Reviewing your finances can feel overwhelming so we’ve put together three tips to break this down for you. It’s so important to make the time to go through your income and expenses to stay financially healthy. Remember, short-term pain for long-term gain!
1. Check your fortnightly spending
The first step is to review your spending habits. It’s helpful to look at a full pay period, so if you get paid fortnightly, have a look at your spending over the two weeks of your pay check. Are you surprised by how much you spend each pay cycle? Can you see anything you can cut back on? For example, coffees, take aways or subscriptions?
The Moneysmart budget planner is an easy tool to help you review your finances.
2. Take it one step at a time
Trying to make a lot of changes at once can often lead to failure. If you change all your habits overnight, it’s almost impossible to adjust to these changes. Make one change at a time, such as preparing your coffee at home rather than popping down to the coffee shop.
Once you’re comfortable with that change, you can add on another small change. Over time this will make a big impact on your wallet, and you’ll be making changes that are sustainable for you to manage.
3. Develop your spending self-control
Taking control of your finances doesn’t mean you should ignore your own needs and wants. It’s about being more conscious of what those needs and wants are and how to manage them properly.
For example, you can create a rule for online shopping. You can place items in the basket when online shopping, but you must wait 24 hours before pressing the purchase button. If you still want the item 24 hours later, you can choose to buy it. These rules can feel hard at the beginning, but with practice they will become a normal routine for you.
These controls you put in place should reflect what progress means to you. Developing a way to monitor your progress will also give you a positive boost when you notice the changes you are making. For example, your progress may be “I have saved $150 since waiting 24 hours before making an online purchase.”
Have you set your goals?
Setting goals can help keep you on track of new spending habits. Check out the secret to making your goals a reality to get started.
Want to strengthen your money management skills?
Did you know, Keystart also offers a free financial coaching program with the Financial Counselling Network? Eligible customers can access free one-on-one coaching sessions to help improve your money management skills.