Short of a lottery win, or a wealthy relative shuffling off to a new realm, most people must rely on being financially savvy to avoid a life of money worries.
Now the financial New Year is upon us, there’s no better time to get your finances in order and give your spondoolies a shake-up. I’m here to enlighten you with handy money habits guaranteed to save your pennies and reduce your financial woes.
Unlike my robes, one size doesn’t fit all, so pick the tips below that best suit your lifestyle and remember as with any change, start small and don’t try to do everything all at once.
1. Consolidate your debts
If you have multiple credit cards or loans, it’s a good idea to pay off the ones with the highest interest rates first, and consolidate your debt into one manageable monthly sum. Make sure you compare deals at moneyguru.com to find the cheapest interest rate and save yourself money as well as time. Seek and you shall find, my friend.
2. Track your finances
Whether you use Google Docs, or a snazzy app like You Need a Budget, OnTrees or GoodBudget – making sure you’re keeping track of your finances is one of the best ways to spend within your means. Know where you’re spending your disposable income, and you’ll easily see what you could be cutting out so you can save more each month.
Avoid being sucked bamboozled with ‘buy one get one free’ deals if you know you aren’t going to use the additional items. Stick to buying what you need – especially if the goods have a shelf life and might end up going to waste.
4. Bring the party to you
Eating out or meeting friends for after-work drinks could be hitting your bank balance more than you think. Invite friends to your place, spark up a joss stick and wow them with your own culinary skills.
5. Ditch your bad habits
It’s just as important to bin bad financial habits, as it is to adopt new ones. Pay bills on time, confront your credit report and avoid paying for things you don’t need. It’s the path to financial happiness and it’ll stop you being petrified to look at your bank account at the end of each month.
6. Set goals
Set realistic, achievable goals for what you want to save and by when. Set your challenges around real-life goals rather than soulless numbers and make sure you give yourself a little treat when you get there.
7. Create your own rules. And stick to them.
You can make your rules as broad as you want but make sure you stick to them. Tell yourself things like “I won’t spend more than £100 on designer robes this month” or “I’ll always wait 30 days before I buy that medallion, to make sure I really need it”. Write them down and ensure that they’re realistic, so you don’t get disheartened.
8. Save your ‘spare’ money
Think about all the spare change you have loitering in coat pockets and down the back of your meditation cushions – there’s probably loads more than you think. Collect your spare change and add it to your credit card payment at the end of each month. Get into the habit of using bonuses and birthday cheques to pay off your debts – your monthly outgoings will go down faster than you think.
9. Treat savings like a monthly bill
Set up your savings on a direct debit the same as you would with any other bill. Factoring savings into your monthly outgoings will make them part of your routine and you’ll start to adapt to living without them. Future you will thank you bigly.
10. Keep it simple
If you’re spending all your time on complicated accounting systems, you could forget the big picture. Remember the most important thing is to live within your means – spend less than you earn and invest the difference. If you stick to this good basic teaching, everything else should fall into place, and you’ll have more time to be clever about your investments.
Remember, I can always be found at moneyguru.com with enlightened financial tips, ideas and
Peace and loans,