What was your upbringing like around money? ‘Save your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’? ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’? When reading books like ‘The Secret’ these quotes are seen as not helpful to ‘abundance’ way of thought but I actually don’t see anything wrong with them as money really doesn’t grow on trees! Plus my mum (R.I.P) and dad were proud parents who taught us the art of saving pennies and the best advice ever ‘spend some, save some, give some’.
While running a short course on ‘Money Management’, I’m reminded how savvy we as women can be when running our households with as little or as much as we have coming in. They say that someone earning £15,000 a year can have more cash available than someone earning £75,000, so why do some of us live UP to our income? And do we really know where all our money goes?
When was the last time you looked at your bank statement? Maybe you do it all online now but do you check all your accounts every week? There could be the odd payment going out, an old subscription you no longer need or you’ll realise how much you spend on cappuccino each month and then see how you could afford that X if you just put away that card, only spend cash each week and consider basic brands in the supermarket.
Quick ways to do a stop check and save:
- At the supermarket, check the lower shelves for alternative cheaper options (though not all beans are Heinz!)
- Buy in bulk – get your Costco or Makro card and share the toilet paper, cleaning products or washing powder with family or friends then the weekly shop is left for salads, bread, dairy.
- Meat & fish is so expensive in the main shops – maybe try the local market once a month to stock up (take a trolley or suitcase – there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, though we were forced to help mum when we were younger and have a ‘thing’ about it. I lost that when I tried carrying 4 bags to the car!)
- Check your bank statements regularly. Check your savings & bills and switch to a better rate
- Have separate bank accounts – put one aside for medium term (holidays etc) and one for long term savings (even £10 a month is something).
There are loads of tips, advice and ideas on moneysavingexpert.com and even if you have surplus income every month it doesn’t mean you can’t save more to give to a charity or choose that X you always wanted. If it’s all too much for you or you think ‘the universe is working against me’, ask someone for help. Habitual thoughts cannot change overnight but you can decide to move forward and filter out those worries with rational thought and motivating statements, like the one which keeps me going, ‘I CAN do it’.
Month by month if you choose to save, you will see progress or if you’ve been too tight, maybe you will buy an item and spoil yourself or someone you love. This is just a reminder to look at this potential ‘bone of contention’ area which often gets overlooked or swept under the carpet. Don’t let the shops, advertisers, banks, loan & utility companies be in control of your choices by giving them more than they need! Look at it. Talk about it. Then make a conscious decision about you and your money.