Would you ever think that “Fabulous” & “Frugal” would go in the same sentence?
Here is how I recently worked out how to pay down debt, have the things that contributed to my health and wellbeing and also save money to invest towards my future, without earning an extra dollar…
Most people think…If only I earnt more, than I could…. It was amazing to go through this process as I discovered that I could have everything I want, right now. I just had to work out what gave me the most value and what I actually needed and then I prioritised it.
One. For the last month, go through all your bank statements. Export them into an excel spreadsheet and move each transaction into categories. Here are the ones I used:
- Bank Fees
- Interest Charged
- Health & Wellbeing
- Home & Clothing
- Restaurants & Eating Out
See what you actually spent. I did this exercise and was shocked on how much take out food I was eating. $10 here and there really adds up. Also if you have credit cards and they are never getting paid down, it is amazing how much interest you can pay and also bank fees you accumulate. Credit cards are usually not good and are taking up your valuable cash flow in which could be contributed to savings.
Two. If you have credit cards. Stop using them now. Check what the minimum repayments are and what interest rates you are paying on each one. Prioritise them and select the lowest interest rates and add the minimum repayment into your new budget. You are now going to pay them off.
Three. Prioritise the important things like health & wellbeing. If you don’t have your health you don’t have anything. Your quality of life is important and this is derived from your health. Mind, body & Soul. Ask yourself do you actually need this and does it create a more happy, healthier me? If not, scrap it. You will find if you feel healthier you will have more energy to put into all other areas of your life.
Four. Cook your food. Set a realistic grocery budget for yourself. Buy a range of meat (if you eat meat) eg chicken, sausages, mince and freeze it. Buy a couple of pieces of fruit and a bunch of vege’s. Cook a couple of batch meals each week and freeze. I cooked a minestrone soup with bacon and also a delicious chicken soup with a small amount of brown rice. I created 10 meals out of that which is amazing and so when I get hungry, straight to the freezer I go. You start to look at that $10 differently as you can make 4-5 meals out of it or buy a take out meal and may not be that nutritious or substantial. The best part of cooking (I am not naturally a cook 🙂 is that it is actually meditative. You have to focus on what you are doing when you are cooking otherwise you will burn yourself. 🙂 And the second best thing is that I can take delicious lunch with me and I feel like I am really caring for myself and my family now.
Five. Open up a second bank account and calculate your total budget and set up an auto transfers into your new account. Pay the minimum repayments (via an autopay) to your credit cards/loans so that the money leaves your account. Whatever is in Account 1 is surplus (try not to touch it). Whatever is in account 2 is your living expenses. Bills get paid out of this one (again try to set up direct debits/autopays to/from this account.
After one month of being disciplined you will start to see the benefits and the fruits of your labour. Your debts will start to get paid off and you will feel stronger and more in control of your finances. Its important to feel safe and know that you are on the right track.
Do you feel stronger? x