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Welcome to the New Year! It is time to turn the page, start fresh and upgrade your money mindset. Here’s how.
By Julie Nipperess
Welcome to 2020! There’s been a little joke making its way around the internet and social media for a while now, along the lines of how great this year will be because we will all have 2020 vision!
So, with that in mind, I want you to open your eyes … open them wide … to possibility.
I want you to create a vision for your life. Dream big. And then I want you to make a plan… to bring that vision to life!
The simple fact of the matter is that money makes the world go around. And I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t want a little more of it. Because money provides opportunities, freedom, choices…
Let’s say you were suddenly gifted a windfall of $10,000, no strings attached.
Would you say ‘Ah, no thanks?’ Didn’t think so. Even when the bills are paid comfortably and there’s a savings buffer in place, we’d all love a little extra – to save, invest, spoil ourselves, take care of our loved ones, make a meaningful donation to a deserving cause, take a bit more time off, maybe travel, renovate, get a personal trainer, or perhaps take a course and learn something new… There’s always something we can find to spend money on.
So, make this YOUR year! You CAN absolutely save $10k if you’re committed to it. It’s just a matter of changing your ‘money mindset’. And you can change your money mindset, in five easy steps.
I know I talk about this a lot, but budgeting is the NUMBER ONE TOOL that’s going to get you where you want to go, by helping you to understand exactly what you earn and what you spend. It will provide both the foundation and the framework for your financial success.
The key to successful budgeting is to get right down to the nitty gritty detail … note down everything. Yes, everything.
This is not just about figuring out where you might be haemorrhaging money and where you can save, it’s about considering the way you spend and what exactly you have to show for it.
Are you someone who constantly taps and swipes cards without really thinking about it? Do you have a compulsion for buying homewares, or lipstick or trashy magazines?
Are you someone who ALWAYS buys in sales whether you actually need the stuff or not? The key to success in assessing your own spending habits, is to be super honest with yourself.
One of my clients is a voracious reader and he used to justify what he spent at the bookstore because he figured he doesn’t go out much, spending up big at the pub or restaurants like some of his mates.
He’s a bit of an introvert and is happy at home. And he loves to read. But he signed up to the local library and halved his expenditure. So, you see? You don’t have to make sweeping changes, but you will have to consider where you can reclaim some cash and make some modifications.
Remember too, that ‘if you take care of the cents, the dollars will take care of themselves’. This is an old fashioned motto – what it means is that if you find ways to save on what you consider the ‘little’ things (five dollars here, ten dollars there) … then it all adds up.
Sometimes you just can’t tinker with the bigger bills, so look to your daily expenditure first. Plus, these smaller things can tend to feel like less of a sacrifice and they can still make a noticable difference.
Leave the cards at home when you go out, or stop having brunch with your friends every weekend and just order coffee instead. Take your lunch to work, check out the charity shops or your community buy/swap before you buy something ‘new’.
You’ll be amazed at the variety, the quality and the prices…
If you’re a family, does your local have a ‘kids eat free’ night? Choose that instead of an expensive restaurant when Mum needs a break from the kitchen.
There are so many ways you can save cash if you put your mind to it; you just have to find a few ideas that work for you. The key to success in making new habits is deciding which ones you can realistically stick to. Otherwise you’ll just set yourself up to fail.
Upgrading your money mindset, and therefore changing your habits and beliefs about your finances, is as much psychological as it is logical and practical. It can be affected by your environment, too. Your friends and family members influence your spending way more than you think. So, you have two choices – ignore them and go your own way or encourage them to join you in a savings spree. (This includes your spouse and kids, too, if you have them.)
In the bigger scheme of things, maybe spend an hour or so comparing electricity suppliers or internet providers or mobile phone plans (or all of the above!) to make sure you’re not better off changing.
If you can save money on these regular bills, not only will you be better off in the long term overall, in the meantime, it’s money you can put towards your goal.
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We aim to provide useful ideas and suggestions that will help you along your way.
The key to success here is that knowledge is power. And practice makes perfect.
Think of it this way – you aren’t born knowing how to ride a bike. You learn, and then you build courage and confidence until you have control. The same principle applies to most things, including finances.
Most of all, have some fun with ALL of it – the goal setting, the budgeting, the saving … and make sure to celebrate your progress along the way, because none of this needs to be a chore. All it requires is changing your money mindset.
My challenge to you is to think differently about money this year, because, as a wise man called Wayne Dyer once said: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
You’ve got this!
Drop me a line to let me know how you go.
This is general advice and should not be treated as personal advice. Julie Nipperess is an authorised representative of Step Up Financial Group Pty Ltd ASFL No: 512509.