Anyone who knows me really well knows I’m rubbish with money. I’ve always have been. When people talk about if they’re a saver or spender, I’m 100% spender. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to be a saver, just like my parents (super savers). What I’ve come to terms with is that it’s not how my brain thinks, and I’ll never be a saver the way they are. But what I can be is organised with my finances. And so can you too. Are you read to organise your finances?
I’m assuming if you’ve got to this paragraph, you too have a strained relationship with money. You too want to organise your finances and get better with money. I don’t think there is one person who has a great relationship with money. There are those who have to make a note of every single penny they are spending and cannot part with their cash at all. And then there are those who spend, spend, spend (hey uni days) and then feel those sharp chest pains when they’re logging onto their online account to take a peek at their balance.
The key is to be floating somewhere in the middle. We work damn hard for our cash, we deserve treats. In the words of Tom Haverford, treat yourself! That gorgeous bag you’ve been eying up? Go for it! And yet there are some treats that take a little bit longer to get the pennies for. As being a member of generation rent, I see owning a house one day as a major treat that one day my husband and I will get ourselves in a few years time.
Can you achieve that balance? Yes. Can you go from being terrible to okay with your spending habits? Absolutely. Is it going to take some time and not happen overnight? You betcha!
Ready to organise your finances?
Check your balance every single day
No more heart palpitations guys. If you’re gonna be organised with your pennies, you need to know your bank balance. If you do nothing with your money but check the balance every day for an entire month, that is a huge achievement towards being financially savvy. Trust me, I know how hard and painful it is to do that. For the first few weeks, I was totally on edge when it came to checking my bank balance. Now, I’m totally okay with it. And in this modern world, you have no excuse not to have access to your balance. Most major banks have an app. There are even some amazing apps like Cleo which are free to use and give you instant access to your balance in a few clicks.
Start by saving a few pennies at a time
Starting small is the easiest way to get into the habit. I do it two ways. The first is the change in my purse. Anything smaller than 50p goes into a glass jar in our living room (that’s guarded by robots! You can’t have it!) At current count, we have a grand total of… £18.73!! The jar still has 2/3 of the way to go before it’s full but at the end of it, we’ll probably either stick it into the bank or treat ourselves to a date night. The second thing I do is round up. So every day, when I look at my available balance I check what pennies I have. anything after the decimal point goes into my E ISA. Doesn’t sound a lot, but at the end of the month, you can have a little chunk of money put to one side with very little effort.
Outgoings first, spending later
I’m a huge fan of having every single one of my bills going out at the beginning of the month. I know that once that money has gone, the rest of it is all mine (and my husband, I’ve not forgotten about him). It’s quite simple to change over (and if you’re setting up new direct debits, always ask for them to go out at the beginning of the month. Whatever your available balance once you minus your bills from your salary, that’s the number you should keep in your head at all times. That’s what you’ve got to spend and you need to stick to it. Getting all your bills out at the beginning of the month is the best way to organise your finances.
Don’t beat yourself up
Gaining a habit takes time and patience. And you may even fail. That’s life, it happens. Should it happen, do not beat yourself up about it. Instead, use that energy to ensure that you do better the next time. Most often the reason we fail it’s because we set the bar too high and it’s not realistic. Start small, and gradually build up. For example, I got tired of living paycheck to paycheck. So I made a vow that I would always have a minimum of £100 in my account at all times. So I started with small increments, working my way up each month. It took a while but I achieved my goal and it felt amazing! Start small, work up. And if shit happens, be Elsa and don’t let it get to you.
Are you ready to organise your finances? Do you have any hints or tricks? Check out more of my lifestyle posts here on the blog.