Mind Over Money

May 10th, 2010

When I ask my clients what they want more of in their lives, money is often on the list.

Here’s a few ideas to help you have more of it.

The first step is to get an accurate picture of your financial situation as it is now.  Know exactly what income you have, how much you spend and on what.  If you are like most people and have no idea where it all goes, keep a diary for at least a week, or ideally a month and keep track of what gets spent where.  You may be surprised! 

Now, obviously if you want more money you will need to either make more or spend less. Spending less may not sound like much fun but it’s all about your mindset.  If you think of it as changing your spending so you can have even more money, or spend it on things that you really want rather than things you don’t even notice, it has more appeal.

Look at your spending diary and see what things you could happily do without or cut down on.  How much are you spending on coffees, cigarettes, alcohol, car parking, bank fees, credit card interest?  Going without that second latte, saves you about $20 per week, giving up smoking could save you $70 per week, taking a bottle of wine around to a friends place instead of having drinks in town could save you $100!  The secret is to keep it fun.  You don’t want to become so frugal that you don’t have any enjoyment left, simply make good choices, and watch the extra dollars you save stack up.

Next, look at reducing your debt.  Credit cards, store cards and hire purchases, can seem like a wonderful idea at the time but if you can’t afford to pay them off, you spend huge amounts on fees and interest.  Get out your credit card statements and see how much you have been paying the bank for the privilege of using their money.  See how it all adds up.  Isn’t there something you would rather have used that money for?  Use the money you’re saving from cutting down on your spending to pay the debt off for once and for all and then get rid of your card or at least try and save it for emergencies. 

Also, shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal on bank fees and charges.  Know what your fees entitle you too and what gets charged as an extra.  Make the effort to use ATM’s less if you get charged per transaction, and use your own bank’s ATM machine, rather than other banks.  The same goes for service charges such as phone, mobile and internet usage.

Some Ideas to Save Money and Still Have a Life:

• Take your lunch to work

• Stop or reduce the amount of coffee you buy

• Pay off your debts so you don’t pay interest

• Shop around for the best bank deal and reduce your bank charges

• Take public transport or walk instead of paying for petrol and car parking

• Have friends around for dinner, BBQ’s, DVD’s, instead of going out to restaurants, bars and movies

• Quit smoking

• Only buy as much fresh food as you know you will eat

• Start growing your own vegetables, and trade the extra supplies with friends

• Make sure you have the best mobile phone, internet and toll call plans for your usage.

• Cancel subscriptions for newspapers, magazines and Pay TV and make the most of free information

• Enjoy the outdoors for some free entertainment – go to the beach, go for a walk, go fishing, take a book to the park.

• Swap babysitting services with other parents.

• Join the local library

© Jacqui Thomas, 2010 All rights reserved