Getting everything Sorted for The Perfect Month…
September is always a time that I love to hit the reset button. And this week it’s all about my finances. As I’ve spoken about many times this year, but I’m on a money/ finances journey this year and fully loving it. I’ve taken the subject so seriously, much more than I’ve ever had in my life. In the last couple of months, I’ve made more progress than I have in years.
Along this journey, I’ve established boundaries and certain things that I have to do in order to keep my finances in tip-top shape. All these steps help me keep accountable and on top of everything. Thanks to these, I’m well on my way towards achieving my financial goals. It’s a pretty good feeling, not fearing my balance every time I open up my banking app. If you’re looking to give your finances a quick pick-me-up and want to take it seriously this year, here are my top tips for things you should be doing for your finances right now…
BUILD UP A BARRIER IN YOUR CURRENT ACCOUNT.
One thing that I’ve worked towards is having a barrier/ emergency fund that stands between me and my balance hitting zero. It’s money we could spend, but I rather have it there for just in cases. Perhaps last-minute parking, a coffee the day before Pay Day or emergency fixes on my car, etc.
The way I built it up was to ‘spend’ £10 a month on my budgeting spreadsheet. That’s to say, account for it on the spreadsheet but for it to stay in my bank account. The next month it would be £20, then £30 the next, etc. Slowly you’ll find the barrier getting bigger and bigger. My goal is to get the barrier to £200 by the end of the year. Ultimately, I would love my barrier to be £1,000 and I will get there. I will be so happy once we do!
MOVE YOUR BILL PAYING TO THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH.
Whenever I set up a new bill, I always move it to be paid at the beginning of the month. It’s painful to see all your money go out at once. However, once they are all paid, you know that the rest of the money left over is for you to enjoy! Phone your billing companies or log online and quickly change the dates. I love for all the money to go out at the latest the end of week two of the month. Everything is tied up, I know everything is sorted and I’m ready to rock the rest of the month.
CHECK THAT YOUR SAVINGS ARE IN THE RIGHT ACCOUNT.
It’s always worth checking out the different accounts your bank offers to see if your savings are in the right account. Currently, I have two savings; emergency fund and long term goals. Emergency funds sit in a quick access account for well, emergencies. My long term goals fund sits in an account that has higher interest and takes a little longer to get access to the funds. Both work perfectly for our goals.
It’s always worth shopping around, seeing what there is out there. Usually, there’s an offer for taking out new accounts, which is always worth taking advantage of. Just be wary of penalties when it comes to ISA’s. In the UK you’re only allowed one, so pick how you use it wisely. ISA’s are great for long term savings. However, for my husband and myself, we have our Help to Buy ISA’s (set up before the scheme ended). The benefits of the HTB outweigh other ISA’s, so this is the only one we can invest in for now (at least until the next financial year).
LOOK AT YOUR ACCOUNT BALANCE EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
This usually would be such a scary thing for me to do back in the day. To actually see what was in my account, I never wanted to look at that number. Now, I look at my balance every single day, even if I haven’t spent anything. It’s a habit that took a while to form but now it’s become second nature. You never know what might creep up, so you should always be prepared. Arm yourself with a cuppa the first couple of times you do it. Soon you’ll be logging in like there’s no worry whatsoever.
GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK.
One thing that I have learnt is you need to give yourself credit for being awesome with your finances. Looking after your money can be so serious and joyless. But if you’re really making progress, you have to give yourself a pat on the back for being awesome at the progress you’ve made. Now, you don’t necessarily want to reward yourself with a spending spree. But take stock of the progress you’ve made and how good you’re going to feel once you’ve hit your financial goals. You’ve been awesome and you deserve this win.
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