In that last week prior to payday, are you forever wondering where your money has disappeared to? The final few days before we receive our pay can sometimes be a struggle as we try to make ends meet, and it can be particularly difficult for those of us who are not in the habit of keeping an eye on the finances.
The numbers tell the story – a recent survey found that 12.8 million households have either no, or less than £1,500 in savings. If you fall into this figure and want to do something about it but are not sure how, then keep reading for mindful money management tips that will start you on a journey to financial wellbeing.
Mindful Money Management Basics
Understand Your Financial Habits
The first port of call is to assess your incomings and outgoings. Set time aside to sit down and work out how much money you earn through your salary and any other avenues, and how much you are spending. You need to be thorough in covering all outgoings including rent or mortgage payments, household bills, debit and credit card purchases, fuel costs and any other expenditures that are having an impact on your financial picture.
Identify Opportunities To Save
Once you have a list of all your outgoings, you may find that there are some areas where you can make a significant saving. Are you paying for a gym membership that you never use, for example? Maybe you still subscribe to a host of satellite television channels that you don’t watch, or a monthly magazine that goes straight in the recycling? Even seemingly small savings can add up over the course of a year.
Start Paying Down Debt
Debt is stressful and if you let it get out of control, you will feel an overwhelming anxiety and burden. Identify all of your debts, including student loans, car, mortgage, credit cards, store cards, everything. Get honest with yourself. Figure out how much additional you could pay off your smallest debt each month, set up an automatic payment and begin tackling the money you owe. Having a long hard look at your finances and formulating a plan will help you to reduce your anxiety and give you a greater sense of control over your future. You can get great advice from personal finance bloggers who have been in your position and come out the other side.
Set Up A Savings Account
It may also be worthwhile opening a savings account, separate from your current account. Once that’s done, you can set up a standing order for a small chunk of your salary to be transferred straight into your savings once it drops at the start of the month. That way, you never notice its absence and it will remove the temptation to dip into the pot for that unnecessary treat that will leave you struggling again come the last week before payday. Pay yourself first.
Another great way to make a significant saving is to switch your energy supplier. Taking the time to shop around and compare providers may seem like a dull task, but it can save you hundreds of pounds in the long run, while choosing a more efficient supplier like Bulb may also limit your environmental impact.
Educate yourself on saving, investing and try creating fresh money habits. There are lots of websites and blog dedicated to teaching about personal finance and investing, a few include SoFi (https://www.sofi.com/investing-101-center/), Dave Ramsey, His & Her Money, MamaFurfur, One Big Happy Life, The Humble Penny, Martin Lewis, to name but a few!
Some of us are better with money than others, some of us have made countless silly decisions and there’s no shame in that. The good news is that by following a few of these simple mindful money management tips you might just find your financial picture starts to look a lot prettier.