There is a saying that ‘money is the root of all evil’ and it can easily result in the demise of relationships and your happiness. It’s time for you to harness control and make your money worries a thing of the past. Follow these 5 simple tips to make your money management a little less stressful:
Establish your necessities and non-negotiables. Think about what the bare minimum things are that you need to pay for in order to survive (e.g food, rent, bills). In your mind (and on paper if that helps), allocate money from your income to these essentials. You need to be of the mindset that you have already paid for these essentials. Once you have established this mindset the rest is much easier. For example, if your weekly income is $1,000 and you have calculated that all of your non-negotiables are $500 a week, you need to be in the mindset that the leftover money is what you are to survive on (in this instance, $500). The adverse situation of this is living lavishly and going out for dinners and drinks and social events without initially dedicating money to your essentials. Then at the end of the week when rent and your other bills are due, you are stressing because you have no idea how you are going to pay for them. It is much more enjoyable to have fun without worrying about what you’ll have left over at the end of the week when you can allocate your money at the start of the week to the essentials and know that you can enjoy the rest however you please. By mentally dedicating money to these essentials you are one step closer to putting your money worries behind you.
Pro tip: Learn how to budget with our favourite financial podcasts.
Keep some money aside for an emergency. You never know when your car is going to breakdown, you’ll lose your phone, or any other potentially expensive disaster is going to happen. Each week get in the habit of putting a small amount of money aside for a rainy day. Choose an amount that you won’t notice is missing from your spending (try starting at $50 per week and see if that is manageable). Put this into a separate account to your spending and savings so that you don’t accidentally spend it on another round of drinks. This is an instant where you need to think of future you.
Do what makes you happy. Self-care has no price tag. You can’t buy happiness, but you can have a lot of fun and create long lasting memories that are enabled by money. Treat yourself with something that you have had your eye on that you have worked hard for and saved for. Consider someone else’s needs over your own. Donate to a cause that you feel passionately about (remember to keep the receipt, donations are tax deductible).
Control your impulses. Just remember, impulse buying is what gets you in trouble. Stores and supermarkets are specifically laid out to cash in on your impulsive habits. The big supermarkets in Australia, like Coles and Woolworths, have entire teams working on ‘impulse’ as a category. The impulse buy will make you feel good for a second, but after the initial thrill wears off, regret starts to sink in. To establish financial wellbeing, you never want to regret what you’ve spent your money on.
Ensure that your mentality about money and spending is healthy. You shouldn’t feel guilty about spending money if you are spending it on the right things. Go back to the necessity stage and think about what is really important. You can live a happy and fulfilled life without materialistic items. Yes, having lavish and expensive designer items are nice but is the street appeal of these material items as important as knowing that you are financially secure?
The wrap up
Life isn’t as simple as needing food, shelter and water. However, they are the simple things that you can dedicate money to in order to simplify your life. You have to create a routine or system that is flexible and suits your lifestyle. By following these very small and simple steps your money worries will soon be a thing of the past. Nothing in this article is intended to be financial, legal or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such. Before making any commitment of a financial nature you should seek advice from a qualified and registered financial or investment adviser. This information relied on sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of publication. All information is general in nature.