In life, it is the new or the unknown that we are most afraid of. Ignorance is not always bliss and that feeling of dread when we’ve not remembered everything on that to-do list – that Mother’s Day card you forgot to buy, or that birthday you missed – can set you off balance for the day.
When it comes to managing your finances, being on top of those unknowns means no nasty surprises or feelings of dread. Self-awareness is your secret weapon here, and being truly honest with yourself about your finances is your key to financial happiness.
Frequently we curse ourselves for not putting X amount away for that holiday, or Y amount aside for that first mortgage.
Step 1: Spring Clean
Step 1 is about tidying up all of that needless mess. Take those dog-eared receipts out of your wallet; go through your closet and shred any unnecessary documents; download a budgeting app, or if you prefer paper and pen, invest in a money diary; clean out your handbag. You never know what you might find – gift cards you’d forgotten about since Christmas, or maybe you’ll find an extra couple of quid that’s been picking up dirt at the bottom of your bag.
You’ll feel refreshed after this deep-cleanse, and even a few pounds lighter. Those extra pennies at the bottom of your bag, along with that gift card or two, are an extra boost for the start of the month.
Step 2: Your Money Diary
Find a budgeting app or money diary that works for you and embrace it. This will give you a clearer picture of your finances and you’ll feel totally in control.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Record all of your ingoing’s and outgoings. Burrito at lunch time? Note it down. Energy bills going out at the end of the month? Note it down. What about that suit or dress for the June wedding? Note it down.
Be honest with yourself. Diaries can present an idealised version of ourselves, we omit bad choices or character flaws. For your Money Diary or budgeting app, honestly recording what you are spending and where it is you are spending it is crucial.
It doesn’t matter what system works best for you. The importance is financial clarity. By noting down each transaction you’ll soon become very aware of your finances, both short-term and long-term.
Being financially honest with yourself for just one month will make all the difference. Your consciousness will be raised and you will never again have those midnight dreads.
Although we are a short term loan lender, we are passionate about helping our customers enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Our regular blog posts are dedicated to helping our customers achieve a prosperous lifestyle and financial freedom.