Everyday life is busy. We find ourselves juggling our job, activities outside of work, and family responsibilities too.
When financial stress is present in our life it can feel like a huge storm. It casts a shadow over the things that we usually enjoy and can even impact our mental health. The regular worries about making ends meet, paying off debts, or saving for the future can be exhausting and isolating.
Instead, imagine waking up free from anxiety about money matters. In this space, we are free to pursue our passions, spend time with loved ones, and know that we’re on track financially.
The good news is that we can implement actions that will help us get there. Beyond being a matter of budgeting and saving to make real progress, it’s also about the peace and contentment that comes with financial wellbeing.
Here are five steps you can put in place this week to lift your financial health.
- Track Your Spending: Awareness is the first step towards change. For the next week, jot down every dollar you spend. You don’t have to change anything, just make a note of what goes where. This simple exercise can be eye-opening, revealing patterns and areas where you can consider cutting back.
- Set a Mini-Budget: Based on your tracking, set a small, achievable budget for the upcoming week. Focus on essentials and identify one area where you can reduce spending, however small. Remember, improving our finances is not about perfection, it’s about progress. So, make a start, allow yourself to be imperfect, and improve with each passing week.
- Open a Savings Account: If you don’t have one already, open a savings account. This is a separate account to the one that you use for normal spending. Often you can do this yourself with a few clicks via your existing online banking service. Once it’s opened, then commit to transferring a small, manageable amount in there this week. Think of it as a starting point and know that you’re on your way to financial wellbeing.
- Educate Yourself: Spend an hour this week reading about personal finance – it could be a news article, a blog, a finance book, or a podcast. When it comes to managing your money, knowledge is power so get started today. With that said, 80% of personal finance success is having the right money behaviours in place, so don’t feel any pressure to become a financial guru. You’re learning as you go and you’re also signalling to your brain that this ‘money stuff’ is important.
- Plan a No-Spend Day: Choose one day this week where you won’t spend any money. Prepare meals from what you already have and find free entertainment options. It’s a great way to appreciate what you have and be in control of any impulse spending.