Happy New Year! I’m a *bit*, ahem, late, but January has drraagggggeed and I’ve not been feeling motivated to do much at all, nevermind switch on my computer and write.
What did you all get up to? I remember the days of queuing to get into nightclubs to bring in the New Year, these days I can hardly muster up the effort to stick my head of out the window to see if there are fireworks or something just as anti-climatic going on! ha.
I know it’s cool to hate New Year’s resolutions, but I quite like thinking up new things to do, to become better. Frankly, self-reflection is something we should be doing all the time (some don’t do it at all – I’ve worked with one or two of them!), but if it takes once a year to have a think about it – what’s the harm?
Cutting back on spending
I’m pretty good with money. I’m lucky enough to have a comfortable amount coming in (at the moment), so I can save quite a bit – but I also spend quite a bit too. So I thought, why not come up with a money challenge for the New Year?
The truth is, because I have a nice wage, I am getting away with spending too much. It’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s just that I’m not being mindful with my money.
Overspending thoughtlessly is an issue whether you can afford it or not. It’s a symptom of something else. And if you get into bad money habits, you’ll keep them when the chips are down and you have less money.
I spend to feel happy
I LOVE spending money. I spend hours mindlessly putting things I don’t need in my basket online. I enjoy walking around shops and markets. I love buying expensive gifts for people. I like to be generous. But if you’re spending, instead of dealing with your feelings or because you’re bored, it’s a quick way to get into trouble.
I don’t intend to stop shopping either! I also don’t want to think too much about it either – so have a plan.
I’m going to put a set amount of money away on payday for spending. That’s for my lunch, pub, shopping etc. That sounds obvious enough, but it’s easier said than done, isn’t it?
However, I’m a big fan of my Starling Card (there’s also Revolut and Monzo too). I usually use it on holiday because there are no charges, including from a cashpoint which is rare, and you get the best conversion rate. It really changed my holidaying game because I didn’t want to get a credit card that’s good for travelling and would usually only take cash on holiday. So yeah, love it.
I’ve dusted it off, going to put an amount for spending on it and once that money has gone, it’s gone. It will mean I have to be more mindful about spending.
The card is connected to my phone via an app so can see what I have, and exactly what I’ve spent my money on. It’s really easy to use and it’s free.
In fact, might write a full blog about Starling and the other challenger banks – think they’re brill.
How much spending money should I put away a month?
I don’t know. What do you think?
I get it’s different for everyone. What you earn and how much you like to shop is different to me. I’m not here to punish myself and stop shopping, so I’m going to start out with about a 1/6 of my paycheck and then cut back if I don’t spend it all. Does that sound about right?!
So that’s that. Other resolutions? Well, I’m going to the gym now. I’d quite like to be a fit person, so am giving it my best shot. Also, I’m going to silversmithing evening classes. I’ve made a ring, necklace and bangle so far. I’m feeling very proud of myself!
What about you? Doing anything to save money this year?