Confident with Cash – 5 Simple Habits
The relationship you have with your money and the way you behave with it is perhaps the biggest factor in becoming confident with cash. A great place to start is by looking at how you can change your relationship with your finances.
It’s always the same with making changes isn’t it? You have great intentions of getting fit, losing weight, drinking less or spending less! You buy new gym gear, fill the fridge with healthy food, avoid pubs and shops like the plague and it works……………………………………….for a wee while!
But then slowly you return to normal – the gym gear lies in the (new) gym bag for another week, the healthy food goes mouldy and gets chucked out (just one bar of chocolate won’t do any harm will it?!) and you have an almost unstoppable craving every time you see, hear, smell a shop or pub!
Why does this happen? Often it’s because people just take on too much, too soon. With work, family, chores, friends & social media taking up so much of our time, it is often just too difficult to add another thing into the mix. If we are to make lasting change in our lives we need to make small changes and repeat these until they become habitual.
If you wish to be confident with cash then the theory is exactly the same. Small, sustainable changes repeated often until they become part of your financial routine will help. Here are some ideas for you:
1 CHECK YOUR BANK BALANCE REGULARLY
An important part of being confident with cash is knowing what has been spent and how much money is in your account. You should check your transactions regularly to ensure that there are no discrepancies – look for fraudulent transactions, as well as any mistakes by the bank (yes, they do make mistakes sometimes!) With most banks offering apps, as well as online banking, it has never been easier or quicker to check your balance on the go. It is easier to remember if you do it at the same time every week. eg: after dropping the kids off at guides, come home and check your bank balance. The trigger of dropping the kids off at guides each week will remind you to check your balance and it will eventually become habit.
2 ALWAYS SHOP WITH A LIST
Shopping with a list is a great way of helping you to spend less money, by ensuring that all purchases are planned. According to research by True Potential, spontaneous purchases of almost £675 are made each year, adding up to over £30,000 in our working lives. If you can make it a habit to ALWAYS shop with a list, then you can avoid these spontaneous purchases that are regretted by many people.
3 CHECK REVIEWS
Good financial habits are not all about spending less money – often they are about ensuring that you are getting best value for money. Taking some time to check reviews online before making any purchases is a great way of ensuring that you are getting a good deal. This applies to any purchases, from TVs and PCs to holidays and haircuts, most items or services that you will buy may well be reviewed online. The cheapest option may not offer the best value for money, as it may be less reliable or poorer quality. Reviews on the item/service will help you to make an informed choice and therefore get the most for your money.
4 MAXIMISE THE DISCOUNTS
Get into the habit of always going through TopCashback or Quidco for every single purchase. Quidco will even give you a free £5 just for signing up. With users of these sites reporting that they get hundreds of pounds of cashback over the year, it is well worth your while. Current offers are £135 on Virgin mobile contract, £150 on BT broadband, 50% on Norton Anti Virus, as well as a whole host of retailers offering up to 15% cashback on every single purchase. There really is no catch, it is free money and is a great habit to get into.
Zeek is also great website for helping to maximise discounts, as they offer discounted gift cards for sale. Many of these gift cards are online cards, so can be spent immediately after purchase. eg: If I am buying something in Debenhams for £50 I will browse online, choose what I want to buy, then use the following process:
- Go to Topcashback and search for Debenhams and click through for my 5% cashback, and add items to my bag. £2.50 cashback
- Go back to Topcashback and search for Zeek to get my £1 cashback, as an existing customer (new customers get £6 at the time of writing) £1 cashback
- Search in Zeek for a Debenhams online gift card. Generally around 6% discount, but today I got 10%. £4.50 saved
- Search for a Debenhams discount code in Google. You will almost always find a 10% or free delivery one. You may need to try a couple of sites, before one works, but just persevere for a couple of minutes. £5 saved
- Pay for my items using my Zeek card
For an extra 5 minutes time spent I have saved £9.50 on the purchase, plus gained £3.50 in cashback. A total of £13 on a £50 spend!
Is it really worth the extra time? For me, absolutely. Imagine if you multiply that saving on every item you purchase online throughout the year!
It will add up to HUNDREDS of pounds over the year, for very little extra work.
5 ALWAYS PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME
If you can set up most of your bills, including credit card payments, to be paid by direct debit then it will help you to be more organised. This will ensure that you don’t get charged for late payments. If you are unable to do this, it might be useful to set aside a specific time each week where you always check to see if you have any bills that are due and use that time slot to get them paid. Doing this at the same time every week will ensure that it soon becomes a habit and you will never miss a bill payment date again.
If you have found these suggestions useful, then I would love to see you in the Your Money Sorted Group.
In there I share more tips and suggestions for making the most of your money and helping you to be confident with cash.
I am Eileen Adamson, a Your Money, Sorted coach, working online with UK based women, helping them to develop a better relationship with money. By gaining an understanding of how their personality affects the decisions they make, I can help them to implement changes which will allow them to feel calm, positive and confident that they are in control and making good financial decisions. I can then support them to put into place simple strategies that will allow them to manage their finances effectively on a daily basis and create a stable, secure and exciting future for themselves.