Do you ever wake up Monday morning and think back over the money you spent all weekend?
There were the Friday night pints, treating yourself to a new pair of shoes on Saturday afternoon followed by a meal out at a hot new restaurant, and then a long Sunday roast at the pub with a round of drinks for your mate’s birthday. Weekend spending can easily rack up into the hundreds without a second thought.
The financial panic sets in – things have to change
Once you have a look at your chequing account on Monday morning, you might find yourself feeling depressed or even a little ashamed. In order to attain financial freedom, you know that things have to change.
Thankfully, you are not alone. A lot of people struggle with making the transition from the free-spending days of your 20s (when you had less to spend, and therefore fewer pounds to squander!) and the higher pressure to be mature about money matters in your 30s.
Commit one year to making good financial choices
Studies have shown that our generation is worse off than our parents – and it is time to do something about it.
By altering your spending habits for just one year, you can make a big difference in your life and change your financial habits for the better. By making a few subtle changes in your life you can amass more money in 12 months than you ever thought possible.
There is no denying that you might feel a bit of a pinch on the days you’re really craving a flat white from the posh Aussie coffee shop, but test your mettle. You can do this – and if you do, your future could look brighter than ever.
Steps you can this year take to achieve your financial goals
Remember to start small – Even though you may lament making your own lunches and wonder how it will ever set you on the path to a healthier financial outlook, little changes do add up.
Assess your living conditions – It’s the unnecessary excess spending that we are aiming to cut with this challenge. It’s not a case of downgrading your flat. Living alone? You might want to consider a flat mate.
Download a tracker or spreadsheet – You could set up a spending tracker or spreadsheet, which will help motivate you on those days you feel like giving up and falling back into old habits – by looking at all of the money you have saved on simple stuff you didn’t even miss at the time, you’ll get a big boost to your resolve.
Swap to coffees made at home – By making your own coffee or tea, you’ll save up to 40 pounds per week. This underlines how many simple changes that will save you significant amounts of money. Buy fruit in bulk and make smoothies instead of buying a costly fresh juice with lunch. Drink what is on special at the pub instead of a craft beer. Shop wisely at the supermarket and plan meals around what is on sale.
Walk or ride your bike – Depending on the length of your commute, this may not be feasible, but if it is you should commit to walking or cycling at least 2 or more days per week. This will save you money on a gym membership as well as on your transit or petrol costs.
Cook at home – This is a biggie, and one many people baulk at. Just by cooking your lunches at home, you could save over £1,000 in 12 months. Allow yourself one meal out for each dinner and lunch per week and embrace how great it feels to cook your meals.
Remember to treat yourself – These treats do not have to be expensive and lavish, but do remember that you deserve a little reward now and then. Austerity 24/7 can become monotonous, so treat yourself to a new book, a modestly priced outfit or a night out with friends.
By following these simple tips and adding many more of your own, you can easily save thousands of pounds this year alone, and you’ll be well on your way to a brighter financial future.