How many smart money habits can you tick off?

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Smart money habits can make all the difference to improving your financial situation. How many of these healthy money habits can you tick off?

Live on less than you make

It might seem obvious, but it would surprise you how many people:

a) don't know if they spend less than they make

b) spend more than they earn every single month

If you always spend more than you make, you will always be in debt and your debt will always be increasing. 

Have a monthly money date!

Another of my favourite smart money habits is to have a monthly money date. 

Does it sound bonkers?

Bear with me; I think you will love this! 

Set aside some time each month, after payday, grab a cuppa or something stronger and take some time out with your money.  It's a chance to spend time with your money, get excited about it and treat it as you would a loved one!

This is a great chance to become really smart with your money as you consider the following 8 things during your money date.  

Check your bank account

It’s tempting to put your head in the sand and avoid checking your bank account but that won’t help you improve your finances! Getting into the good habit of checking your account regularly puts you in control of your money and lets you avoid nasty surprises.

 

healthy habits

Create a spending plan

A spending plan is an exciting thing because it lets you CHOOSE what you want to spend your money on. 

I talk about using a spending plan and creating positive pounds with clients.  Rather than ignoring your money and watching it disappear, this is about getting to know your money and making sure it gets spent on the things that make you happy. 

It doesn't matter a toss what Jeanie up the road is spending her money on, it's about you spending your money on the things that fill your soul; the things that make YOU happy.  

It's about making every pound count and making every pound go towards something positive, hence the positive pounds! 

Introducing this concept is one of my favourite things to do with clients and it honestly has life-changing consequences.

By making a spending plan you will ensure that you have money for the important things and also avoid getting into debt. A spending plan also helps you break down the big financial goals and make them achievable.

Set big financial goals

Did you know that if you set specific financial goals, you are 42% more likely to achieve them?  Set specific goals around how much you want to save each month, when you want to be debt-free, how much debt you are going to pay off each month etc.  I promise you will see a difference!

If you aren’t working towards anything specific, you are more likely to spend more than you should.  When thinking about financial goals during your money date, consider the following 3 things:

Getting out of debt

It seems obvious but the interest you pay on debt is wasted money. Debt also causes worry, stress and sleepless nights.

Building an emergency fund

This is one of the best money habits to get into. If you have a savings account for emergencies, you will feel calmer and more in control. You won’t need to worry about unexpected expenses.  It can also help you avoid bad debts and make good financial decisions.

shopping on credit card

Investing for retirement

Whatever it is you want from retirement; it is vital to consider how you will fund it. The earlier you start, the more prepared you will be.

For teachers, one of the most important things you can do is ensure that you are paying into your teacher's pension and keep checking that it is going to allow you to retire when you want to.

It's often wise to consider other options for investing for retirement, but that's for another post! 

Pay yourself first – save before you spend

By putting savings away first, you will know how much money you have left to spend. This helps you to prioritise your goals, avoid overspending and avoid debt.

Set up standing orders, immediately after payday. 

Track your financial progress, your net worth

The final thing to do on your money date is tracking your progress, whether it be reducing debt or increasing savings.  This will give you feelings of achievement and satisfaction. You will see that your hard work is paying off and that your goals are within grasp.

This may seem like it's an awful lot of things to be doing on your money date, but once you have the initial goals set and the tracking in place, it really won't take long at all.  It will also be exciting, inspiring and very worthwhile! 

Other smart money habits

Getting used to using the following smart money habits will really help you to achieve those goals and create the life that you really want.  

laptop shopping

Ask yourself for every purchase “will this help me to reach my financial goals?”

Once you are aware of your financial goals, it becomes so much easier to avoid spending money on random crap! 

Before buying anything, stop and think about your goals.  Ask yourself "Will this purchase help me to reach my financial goals?"  Doing this helps you to work out if you really need or want something.

It also remind you of your priorities and financial goals and hopefully creates a feeling of excitement!  You are choosing to avoid spending because you can see the bigger, more exciting prize. 

You don't feel like you are denying yourself; instead, you feel proud that you are making a positive and empowering decision!

Avoid buy now, pay later

Attractive as this seems, it can lead to debt building up through interest and late payment fees. It is made to seem so easy and so acceptable, that it is easy to get drawn into it.  However, if you want to create financial security and live a happy, secure life, then avoiding buy now, pay later is a good money habit to have. 

meal plan

Meal plan

It’s so easy to get carried away with food shopping and then end up wasting food. Planning your meals for the week ensures that you buy only what you need. Also always shop with a list.  These two simple money habits will help to save you money and avoid waste. Win-win!

Why it's important

Adopting all, or even some, of these smart money habits can make all the difference to your life.  

They will help you to have more money in your pocket, both now and in the future, but to me the biggest difference is the contribution they make to your happiness!  Life is short, and life is about enjoying ourselves.  The sooner you can get your money under control, the better.  You can really focus on you, the things that make you happy and creating a life that really works for you.  

It doesn't matter whether it's more holidays, a new kitchen, early retirement or buying shoes and handbags!  Whatever matters to you, is most important.  

If you want to create a happy relationship with money and have money for all the things you love, then take action today. 

Eileen x

Hi, I’m Eileen Adamson, teacher, money coach and co-host of BBC podcast Clever About Cash.  I help female teachers to become happier, healthier and wealthier. Find out how you can provide amazing experiences for your children, feel financially secure and retire early from teaching, while still having enough money to enjoy life right now! 

For more information on how I can help you, please see my coaching courses, my favourite products and services, my Etsy shop or my Amazon shop.

financial coach for teachers

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