Let’s Cut To The Chase
Saving money requires discipline and foresight…before I lose you completely, let me assure you that you CAN do it, so don’t worry! Here are some steps you can take to help you reach your financial goal.
1.) What IS Your Goal?
How can you achieve something without knowing what you were aiming for? Have a clear, solid number in mind and think of what it would mean to you when you get there. If you anchor a meaning to a goal, you’re more likely to stick to the game plan. Opt for positive, motivating thoughts, such as, “I’ll get a beautiful tattoo that means a lot to me” (yeah, I’m biased, obviously 😜), rather than, “So I won’t be poor”.
TASK: Write down your £ goal and WHY you want it.
2.) Keep a Money Diary
This sounds boring but it’s actually super helpful once you get into the flow of it. I’ve even made a template for you (Excel/PDF), so no excuses, eh? 😉 Track your income and outgoings for a minimum of 2 weeks (ideally 1-3 months). Everything counts. Bills, rent, leisure activities and yes, even that chocolate bar or coffee number…how many?
This is a great way to shine light on the little things that slip through the radar, making you aware of wtf is happening to that paycheck!
TASK: Track your income & outgoings for 2-4 weeks.
3.) What Did You Discover?
First off, ignore the inevitable joys that come with being an adult (rent/mortgage, bills, groceries*) and focus on the rest. Are there things you pay for but barely use? Usual suspects are gym memberships and similar subscriptions to things that probably seemed like a good idea at the time, then you forgot about it…then forgot to cancel them. How about you do that? Look out for patterns that indicate unhelpful habits that can be changed. An obvious example would be that morning coffee Zombie Brain automatically buys on the way to work, or yet another take-away. Highlight these habits and tally up the cost per week/month. Does the total surprise you? Does having those things add value to your life, or would you be happier having the big thing in 1.) ?
An alternative to buying beverages out is to carry a flask with your favourite drink. Saves the environment, your bank balance AND time spent in queues! 👏
* Are there items you can skimp on or do away with entirely? Don’t deprive yourself, but have a think about what you actually NEED in life and chip away at the rest. In time, all those shavings will add up, giving you the freedom to spend it on something more worthwhile.
TASK: Highlight Habits & think of solutions to solve them. Ask for help if you need it.
4.) Let’s Do This!
Great job – you’ve done the prep needed to reach your goal!
TASK: Jot down your goal and how you’r’e gonna get there, using solutions from 3.).
Keep track of progress and give yourself a pat on the back whenever you reach mini milestones along the way.