Step One – Acceptance & Awareness
It is important for us to acknowledge that budgets are NOT evil! Your budget helps you to put a specific target on what you want to spend money and what you have to spend money on. This is acceptance. You need to understand what it costs to be you.
You are unique and individual. Averages and benchmarking to others like you (single, couple or young family) can be used as a helpful “measuring stick” of what a “decent lifestyle” is, but in the beginning, you need to identify financial habits or behaviours that could be acting as a roadblock to your goals and aspirations.
Step Two – Why guilt free spending is great…
We may upset a few people here – but truth be told – some budget tips are simply terrible. You absolutely should be able to enjoy some of life’s little pleasures. Coffees, drinks with friends, Netflix, takeaway - the list goes on
If those small items bring you joy you should not have to cut them out. Sure, you could save $800 a year by cutting out bought coffees. Being down and saving can be counter productive leading to further unhappiness and loss of drive or motivation towards your saving goals. What’s the point otherwise?! Creating a separate and specific “guilt free spending” bucket is a must. This concept feeds into our idea of a great money management system which we'll cover next time.
Step Three – Always ask why
Why are you saving?
Take the time to sit down and ask yourself why you want to save money. What is your relationship with money like? Can you define it? Has your upbringing influenced your attitude towards money? Research shows that you are more likely to succeed in your saving targets if you have a strong reason or purpose to save. This may include your desire to be the best possible financial version of yourself.
Tune in for more next month..