We all want it…. But why don’t we have it??
Why do we go to work? Maybe for some of us we go to work purely for the satisfaction it gives us, but there’s one very big thing that we spend a lot of our time chasing.
In the past, I’ve not been great with money and I’m now learning how to make and save it in the most efficient way. It’s not all that easy but it’ll be worth it for us to save those pennies!
- Plan ahead
I find it really helpful to be strict with my spending and set out a realistic budget to work by. I’ll work out what I’ll need and stick to it. Here’s how I work out my budget:
Take a piece of paper and write down all of the regular expenses you can think of.
Decide what expenses you are going to keep, cut down on and which you’re going to get rid of
Work out how much that these cost you every week and try to over estimate the costs a little (don’t jump to every month, just because it’s good for your understanding to break it all down)
THEN, you can work out how much it costs a month
Take that figure and add an extra 10% on top of that and then you have your budget!
(make sure you stick tightly to your budget and don’t be tempted to treat yourself)
Now, here’s the magic part! If you stick tightly to your budget and don’t let yourself get led astray, you may actually find that you won’t end up spending all of your budget! If this happens, You can take the remainder of your budget, put it towards next month’s budget! That way you save from taking that amount from your pay for next month and you can also then reduce the budget to suit your spending. See how you can bring your budget down to maximize your savings!
- Make rules for yourself
When the going gets tough, the rules have to get tougher to match. It isn’t fun to follow the rules, but it is more fun to have money, so you need to bite the bullet and follow the rules.
Be honest with yourself about your spending and how it is making stuff difficult for you. For me, my biggest expenses are food (for a size 0 lady, I eat a lot!) and taxis (for a busy lady, I go out a lot). with this in mind I made a rule that I’d take food with me when I go out so I don’t need to buy snacks, drinks or meals. I quit drinking and also have limited how much I can go out for anything outside of work. I also love buying clothes a little too much…
Look at how much you are spending on stuff and work out where it isn’t necessary then take a deep breath and cut it.
Stick to the rules and you’ll soon see that your money isn’t disappearing as fast. If necessary, write a note of the things you aren’t allowed to buy and stick it where you can see in your wallet – Even write it on your bank cards if you need to!
- Don’t let it get you down
Deciding to save is a good thing, it stops you spending unnecessarily and also works your self-control (comes in handy in life), but you need to remember why you’re doing it. Are you planning a trip? Trying to save for your wedding? Getting a car? Just wanting to accumulate a comfy amount of money? Whatever the goal, keep reminders of it where you can see them. For me, I have a constant reminder of why I’m saving. While I’m happy with my current living situation, I want to save for a nice place to live in future and also for trips to see the people I love in different corners of the world.
Remember to let your hair down a little from time to time. Keep a jar that you always put a certain kind of change in (maybe 20 or 50 pence coins) that you can spend on whatever you want when it’s full! It’s a nice little checkpoint treat that will keep you positive when things get tough. Reward yourself in a helpful way, that way you stay positive and it doesn’t set back your saving!
- Check yourself before to wreck yourself
However painful it may feel, regularly check your bank balance. If you’re doing it right, those numbers should soon start to steadily go up and over time that ritual will become a little less scary (unless one day it’s all gone – in which case I personally would panic). I’m too much of a chicken for online banking but I have taken the step of receiving a text message at the beginning of every day telling me about all the transactions I made the day before. It’s a handy way of also keeping an eye on myself and making sure no thoughtless spends slip through the cracks. No more Starbucks for me!
- Don’t let a slip-up throw you off
Occasionally we all slip up and you may find yourself walking out of a store without realising you were there in the first place. It happens. But one other thing that usually happens is that one slip-up throws people entirely off-course and they pack in the entire venture at the drop of a hat. Don’t do it! Stick with it, move on and stay strong! (I’m probably going to repeat this piece of advice a lot in future, so learn it now so I’m not so tempted to insert it into every post :p )
If you’re driving and you make a wrong turn, you don’t just give up and drive home, do you? (I hope not…) What you probably do is stop, work out where you went wrong and correct your course. In life, that idea works just the same and there’s no shame in doing so. So, keep at it and you’ll be there in no time!
- Try to overcome your fear of money
If there is one thing that working as a waitress has taught me is to not be so afraid of money. It’s not some magical substance that can mess with you or put a curse on you, so don’t treat it as if you’re allergic to it. It’s not going to hurt you (I think the worst it could do is give you a little paper cut).
Try to get comfortable dealing with money and soon you’ll likely find yourself in a better financial situation.
- Don’t beat yourself up
If you’ve got or have had money troubles, don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens, stuff happens – life happens. In the end, money comes and money goes and you just have to learn how to handle it and work well with it. Let go of past troubles dealing with money and start fresh – start a new bank account if you have to! Just don’t feel burdened by it and set yourself free if you’ve still got lingering bad feelings about it all.
It’s just money. You can earn it back anyway!
8. Remember the values of the pennies
People often forget the value of change. They’ll throw it aside, chuck it in their handbag or just spend it on any thing to get rid of it…
But us… We realise that those pennies, however small and insignificant looking, add up and there’s actually a lot of money in that change that we once just tossed aside.
Keep a jar of pennies (Or a jar for each denomination of coins) and save all your change in there so you can haul it to a bank/coin exchange and enjoy the satisfaction of getting handed cash for your seemingly worthless coins. Result!
I really hope this has been helpful to you! If you have comments or questions, please please please share them with us.