I’m no financial expert but at the start of January 2016 I promised myself that I would not go through another ‘January crunch’. I’d spent the 2015 festive season spending money like there was no tomorrow and, like the years before, January came around and I was low on money and pinching every penny to make sure I made it to my pay date. This year, I’m smiling to myself and breezing through January. What did I do different?
Dedication to financial literacy:
I made it a point to educate myself financially with books, newspaper, the web. It’s all crawling with financial education! You just have to look. I made a conscious effort to learn more about how to handle my money and how to make it work for me.
Although I had been saving before, once in a while I would take money out of my savings account and spend it on inconsequential things like shoes. *Guilt*. I learnt that saving towards a goal keeps you focused and will stop you from picking your money and spending it on things that will leave you feeling terrible about yourself.
Guilt free spending:
My original savings account is dedicated to growing my financial empire (yes I plan to have one, one day) and I have an account where I send small amounts of money every month specifically to improve the quality of my life. Trips, shoes, clothes, dinners, drinks – you name it. I take it all out of this account.
I keep an old school excel sheet on my phone and link it to my computer. In it I include the amounts of money I earn every month, what I plan to spend money on (including my miscellaneous costs), my savings amounts to my different accounts, you get my drift. That way, I know exactly what’s coming in and what’s leaving.
Internet banking is synonymous with convenience. As soon as I get the alert letting me know my paycheck is in my main checking account, I log on and get to sending. And when I say sending I mean to my savings accounts. I don’t have to sit around grumbling about needing to stand in one bank’s line, just to line up 3 more times to make deposits to my savings accounts. I send my savings directly to their different accounts, all the while staying aware of all the small costs being charged on my account. Internet banking came to save my damn life.
This is the most important one. If you don’t adjust your thinking and learn to live within your means, then you’re going to end up going round in circles doing the same exact thing and ending up guilty and broke. Spending like your life is going to end in December, especially when you haven’t planned for it, will just get you in trouble. Take my word for it.
Be sure to check out Angela and I’s blog on www.imigani.com for more articles from us.
To a year where money will not be a problem.