Improving your finances is a big priority for many and one of the most common reasons people give for working with me.
Money can be such a huge pain point. When we feel out of control with our finances, the impact is felt in multiple areas of our lives. To have financial freedom we need structure and conscious action (not just busyness).
As the saying goes, the person who doesn’t know where their next dollar is coming from usually doesn’t know where their last dollar went!
Tips for improving your finances
Some of these tips I’ve shared before but, let’s be honest, sometimes we need to hear things more than once before we actually take action!
To keep improving your finances it’s helpful to revisit and work on these tips periodically throughout the year!
So, grab yourself a cuppa and your journal, and let’s begin.
Tip 1: Use Cash
Instead of charging things like eating out, groceries, coffees, etc., to your credit or debit card, use cash.
It’s so easy to swipe the plastic. But when you spend with cash, psychologically it makes the spending more real, meaning you’ll only spend on things you actually need.
For example, if I go into a store and plan to buy a dress, it’s so easy to put 200CHFS on my credit card – but handing over 200CHFS in cash is another story. With cash I stop and ask myself if I really want it and, more often than not, the answer is no.
[Of course, right now, not every shop is happy with cash. The next best thing is a pre-pay card. Only load it with the money you want to spend and don’t have it on auto top-up]
Tip 2: Save 10,000 a year
Would you like your savings account to grow by 10,000 per year?
I mean, who wouldn’t, right?!
It takes 27.40 per day to make 10,000.
Think about how often you buy food out when you already have things in your fridge or cupboards to use. Or those regular stops at Starbucks for a coffee and cake – they all add up!
If you haven’t started saving, start today! Grab a glass jar or tin and put 27.40 away and deposit these savings regularly so you don’t have easy access to them.
Tip 3: Stay Home
Going out means you’re far more likely to spend unnecessarily. Cooking at home is much more cost-effective and enjoyable with family or friends. It’s often healthier too!
Get creative with new recipes from the internet. You can even recreate a restaurant vibe with candles and flowers from your garden on the table. Make it fun and get your family or partner involved.
Tip 4: Exercise for free
How many of you have gym memberships you’re not using? If you haven’t been to the gym and are still paying your membership, cancel it!
There are so many free and fun ways to exercise. Go for a run, walk with your dog (or someone else’s if you don’t have one), go on a hike or walk to the shopping centre. And why not call a friend and arrange to exercise together – accountability is a great motivator.
Life is busy and it’s easy to forget to put ourselves first. So, get your calendar and plan in time to exercise. If your week is simply too busy, do something on a Sunday with family or friends that gets your body moving and your heart rate up.
Also, if you have health insurance find out what exercise it covers and use the offer.
Tip 5: Declutter
Getting rid of things you don’t need anymore, creates more space in your home and more energy and freedom for you.
The saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ is so true. Clean out your cupboards in the basement, garage, kitchen, etc., and sell what you don’t need.
Declutter your computer too. Get rid of old emails so you can actually see the ones that need your attention. Unsubscribe from ones trying to sell you something or tempt you with special offers you don’t need. Are you paying for any domains that you registered and don’t use?
Tip 6: Bank Account
Can you see at any given moment exactly how much money you have in the bank?
The majority of banks have their own apps, so make sure you’ve downloaded yours. Then look at it DAILY! Your money needs your attention.
Check your bank statements regularly and highlight necessary and unnecessary spending. This helps you become aware of exactly where your money is going. To improve your finances and take control of your money you have to be conscious of your spending and take responsibility.
Use a tracker to see when you spend money and how you were feeling at the time. Sometimes we shop because we’re lonely, bored, or frustrated. Once you’re aware of any emotions you attach to shopping, you can find more positive ways to deal with them. For example, call a friend, write in your journal, take a walk in nature or have a bubble bath.
Tip 7: 30 Day list
Sometimes we want something and we want it now! Does that sound familiar? Half the time things take our fancy on impulse.
I recommend keeping a ‘30 List’. If you still want or need the item after 30-days, then you know you’re more in control and are thinking more clearly, rather than buying something just because you feel sad, fat, bored, etc.
Tip 8: Plan and budget
While withdrawals from an ATM might be easy and convenient, did you know they can often cost you more than going into your bank for money? Plan ahead and become aware of the small charges and costs, because over a period of time they all add up!
And finally, create a budget and stick to it! You need to know your income and expenditure every month. A budget tells you exactly where your money needs to go, and ensures you’re not left wondering where it’s disappeared too!
I’ll leave you with this quote from Benjamin Franklin, which is very apt when it comes to improving your finances…
“Beware of little expenses: a small leak will sink a great ship”
If you’d like more personalised tips that can help you plug any leaks in your finances, take my Money Quiz. Then schedule a free call with me and let’s talk through improving your finances together.