How often do you get to the end of the month and have run out of money again? As a Mum, I know that we shoulder many of the jobs at home, and taking care of the finances is usually one of them! I know how awful it can be when things get out of hand and it can be hard to get your finances back on track.
“The amount of time you spend worrying about money, is in reverse proportion to how well you manage your money”
I find finances to be a lot like a household with little children in, you can tidy the whole house, make it lovely and organise everything…. But if you turn your back on it for too long, when you look back the house is in a right state! Let’s get your finances back on track so that you can start focussing on the important things in life!
Recently we lost our main income contract and so I am cutting back on costs and ramping up all business activity to try and make up for it everywhere else now! I have a few systems in place which I will share with you below, it all really helped when this awful news hit. It meant I could spring into action and shave over £250 off of our monthly outgoings instantly. I’m no financial expert, but I have been through (and am now going through again now) some very tight times myself and just wanted to share some helpful hints with you if you are feeling.
I’m no financial expert, but I have been through (and am now going through again now) some very tight times myself and just wanted to share some helpful hints with you if you are feeling like your finances are getting out of hand! I got a lot of help from the book “The 4 Laws of Financial Prosperity: Get Control of Your Money now!” By Blaine Harris. I put a link to this for you below as it really helped me change things.
Money is such a cause of stress and worry, it’s draining when you are fighting against it. Money trouble is actually the number one cause given for divorce, over any other reason! So it’s incredibly important to keep your finances in check, don’t bury your head in the sand, grab it by the scruff of the neck and get your finances back on track! You will feel soooo much better for it!
Get your finances back on track now!
The best way to start is to take stock of where you are right now. This can be shocking and scary, but be honest and get out of denial. Steins Law in economics states that
“anything that can’t go on, won’t!”
If you are spending way more than your earn, it can’t go on forever and needs curbing as soon as possible.
1. Start by taking a piece of paper. Write down you income, what is coming in from everywhere, for example, income, and grants, benefits, sales anything.
2. And what are your monthly expenses? This bit can be really painful to do, but it is so, so worth it! We need to know what your costs are to be able to move forward, to know where we can make cuts and to be able to make a plan to go forwards.
This is best in an excel spreadsheet like below, go through your bank statement and put all of your direct debits and standing orders on there and how much they are. List them all!! Be honest, don’t cheat yourself on this! I then have a video below to show you how to automate your life a bit better so this is your homework 😀 (numbers have been made up and rounded off for an easy example).
I explain this better in this video below
Start Tracking your Spending
The second part we need to do to get your finances back on track is to start tracking your payments on a daily basis for the next 30 days, and I mean ALL of them! Even if they are only a few pence! Pizzas, chocolate, petrol, coffee, chewing gum! Get a little notebook and jot it down after every payment, or there are some great apps for your phone on this!
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” – George Odiorne
Tracking the costs, like any new habit is a pain at first, but once you get used to it, it gets a bit addictive, and the feeling you get from finally getting on top of things just feels great!
Tracking brings insights, it can be shocking how much those harmless little expenses really add up over the 30 days! Tracking gives you a focus, raw data and shows where you can take back some control. It shows where the leaks are that you can patch up immediately. The subscriptions you may have canceled but the direct debit is still active and taking the money. Any duplicates, and unnecessary outgoings.
As boring as it may seem, cooking at home might feel the last thing you want to do, but cutting down on takeaways, for example, can really make a huge difference. £2.50 on 2 coffees a weekday is £25 a week, £100 a month, just on coffee?? That’s eye watering!
Manage Your Joint Spending
If you have a joint account with your partner, I have found this becomes a bit tricky to get your finances back on track. If you have found any apps that allow you to share information please let me know! There is nothing worse than reining everything in, only to find your partner just blew all your saved pennies on a whim!
The best way I have found is for you both to bring all receipts home and put them in a jar to go through every evening. This way all costs are being brought together and you can manage it together then. It also makes sure you are both on the same page with a common goal, moving you forward as a team. I have another tip below under the “If times are really tight” title.
Once you know where you stand with your spending, from here you can then start trimming down the unnecessary costs! you can see where the costs are high because you have rounded them all together and it is all right in front of you! the beauty of setting your expenditures out like in the spreadsheet above is that if bad times hit, you know exactly where to shave off those luxury, or unnecessary costs like the gym, Sky TV and any surprises that came up when you were going through your receipts!
“That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our income unless we protest to the contrary” George Clason
Now that it is all clear in front of you, you can get a grip on it so much better! Live on less than you earn, so that you can use this surplus to get out of debts and then start growing your emergency fund and savings. For a video on how to snowball your way out of debts, I made a video for you here!
Grow Your Means With A Side Income
Robert Kiyosaki (Bestselling Author of ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad) hates this idea of living below your means though. He thinks it’s a miserable way to live! He believes in the more positive mindset of increasing your means instead.
Learn to increase your income so that you can grow your means and get out of debts that way. A great way to do this would be to start a side income, this link offers a free 7-day video series, teaching you how to set up a simple and profitable online business that is easy to run and brings in a side income. You can start this from scratch and I can personally vouch for this business model as I have been with them for a few months now and love it!
You will always be spending money, it can’t be avoided, but we can choose how to spend it and that makes all the difference.
Start shopping a bit smarter, I don’t mean going around all the different shops to pick up different deals because this starts to cost time, which is often worth more. Simple things like buying the nappies online can make a big difference. I did a blog here on how to shop and cook smart to help save money and time. It all helps!
DVDs are another thing, they cost a lot and then I never watch them after I have seen them once. I used to buy a couple of DVDs a month which mounts up fast and then they just clutter up the house! I realised one DVD is the same price as a service like Netflix, where you can get many films a month for the same price. This way you are spending a lot wiser without taking a big compromise.
If Times Are Really Tight…
If times are really tight, draw your living money out in cash. Leave the direct debit money plus a bit for online shopping in your account and then draw the rest out in cash. This will then be used in the tried and proven envelope method. This is where you get envelopes and split the money into categories. I split it into “Car Fuel, Food and Miscellaneous”. Some have a category for haircuts, kids shoes and everything, but I find this too restrictive!
when you have it all out in cash, you can see exactly where you stand, and how quickly it disappears. All of a sudden spending it on needless things starts to feel a little more painful. handling the money with your partner becomes easier too as you can physically see your money. If it’s not there to spend, you can’t spend it and go over your monthly limit. it makes a massive difference.
Suddenly you are instantly rewarded when you save some money on something, you can see the money you have left right there in from of you! In the same way that a coffee a day really adds up and costs a packet over the month, these small savings can really add up fast too!
Put Things into Practice!
These steps will set your financial success and get your finances back on track. Put this to action and you will already start to feel so much better, we can start to turn things around from here!
I really recommend growing your income to help your cashflow problems. We can only trim and tighten belts so far before we are at the absolute minimum and soon feeling miserable and trapped. The only real answer is to grow your income, even just a little, to be able to pay off debts, start saving and then get on track for financial freedom! A proven business model like this can make all the difference, start a simple and profitable online business on the side, even from scratch, and things can start turning around pretty fast! Sign up to the 7-day video series on the link and it will explain everything.
My Mission is to help Mums create a more deliberate lifestyle and make their own living online around their passion. I empower and help them become strong, independent and financially secure women.
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