Taking Control of Your Finances, Once and For All…
This year for me has been defined by how I manage my money. Whilst all the craziness of the world has been going on, it has really made me completely take control of this area of my life once and for all. I’ve spoken previously about what I want to achieve and establish with my money before I turn 30, and these have been fast-tracked with the recent events.
Part of this fast-tracking is of how I manage my money is establishing some habits every Pay Day. It’s my monthly ritual, sitting down with my laptop and budgeting spreadsheet. In the last three months, thanks to these habits, our bank account has been given a full MOT. We’ve never felt this comfortable with where we are right now in years.
If you’re wanting to get your finances in control and not to have any fear when you open up your bank balance, here are the monthly habits I do every Pay Day to manage my money…
CHECK YOUR PAYSLIP.
If you get a regular income, do not take for doubt that your income will be the same each month. Make sure to check your payslip every single month. You never know when your tax payments may shoot up for no reason (this has happened to me before, I got £700 back for incorrect calculations one time), or student finances have sneaked a little too much in repayments. Sometimes, it can be the other way around. You may have underpaid and need to budget for this taken another time. Honestly, it takes a few minutes for some peace of mind that your payslip is corrected for that month. A simple error can derail you and mess up your success for the future.
CONFIRM YOUR BILLS AND SCHEDULED PAYMENTS.
Another thing that I always do on Pay Day is to check my budgeting spreadsheet. I’ve spoken about it in a previous blog post, my spreadsheet is a beast! I love diving into my budgeting spreadsheet, confirming all my bills and schedule payments. One thing I love to know is how much money I have left overall at the end of the month. It’s such a great way to know that you have enough money in your account to cover your bills, with money left over for the rest of the month to enjoy for yourself and other things coming up. Which leads me to…
BUDGET FOR UPCOMING EVENTS.
Along with my budget spreadsheet, now its time to whip out the paper diary. every Pay Day I like to check for upcoming birthdays, events and invites that I got from the previous months. This allows me to budget to ensure meals, presents and funds are there so I can enjoy myself at the event. It’s no fun when you’re out with your girlfriends and you have to order a salad because you can’t afford anything else. Even if I don’t spend that amount (I normally over-guess) it allows me to ensure that I’m saving pennies. So I get to enjoy myself and not overspend. A win-win situation all around. Allowing me to ensure that the next month is going to just as awesome as this month.
MOVE SAVINGS IMMEDIATELY.
As soon as that money comes in, whatever I’ve budgeted to go to savings. As always, if you don’t see, you can’t spend it. Most of the time I would do this direct debit. However, during this time, I’ve found it rewarding to do it by hand. See the amount that I’m saving. It gives me the boost of how well I’m doing. Pushing me to continue and save more.
If you’re wanting to save more money, move it out of your current account immediately. You can always put more away later on in the month. I always find even saving the smallest amount of pennies is the best boost towards feeling like you’re bossing it with your finances. It’s amazing how seeing your savings building can give you a major boost to continue to be awesome with your finances.
MAKE EVERY PENNY WORK.
Also known as ‘zero-based budgeting’ essentially you leave no penny left. I like to separate all my income into categories, even the amount of money I want leftover at the end of the month. Again, you don’t need to spend every penny in that category, but it will ensure you never overspend in that area. It also allows you not to strangle yourself and let budgeting completely stunt your life. Back then, I spent many a month for not budgeting to any form of ‘fun’. Which, eventually lead me to overspend.
Give every penny in your account a job. It allows you to have fun. Also, knowing your money is accounted for and you’re not going to overspend. Any money that is remaining at the end of the month can be moved to the next month category. Allowing you a lovely big budget to spend your hard-earned pennies on something lovely.
By allowing every penny to have a purpose, your money will work smart. Spending an evening with a lovely glass of rose and your budgeting resources allows you to set yourself up for a fabulous month. As always, I consider it self care. Taking an hour to invest in my future and to ensure that I can achieve my goals.
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