Hi Everyone, I mentioned in a previous post about managing money that I was absolutely terrible at it. Now, by the grace of God, I can manage my money. Amen to that!
These tips I am wanted to share may seem easy peasy for some or seem like rocket science. Either way, I wanted to share some tips that helped me. Before I start, I am aware there are structural and socioeconomic challenges that people face and that money is a delicate topic.
I would like also like to mention that I am not a qualified financial planner or accountant. I am simply sharing strategies Almond, and I utilised for managing money and saving.
5) Needs vs Wants!
The first tip is crucial to understanding managing money. Here’s the thing, for every want you do not buy will essentially buy you everything you need! I just made that up to try and explain my needs VS wants strategy. It was 101, the most important aspect for managing money for me. I realise some people always want/need things and use both terms interchangeably, but they are different… I guess we live in a society where bigger this and bigger that, newer this and newer that so you begin to justify everything you buy that they become the same thing. Although, if you are trying to save money, then you need to manage your money. For instance, I believe updating your iPhone that works perfectly fine for a newer, bigger and flashier iPhone is a want and not a need.
Example: If Barbie has 100 handbags that all work amazingly/do their job adequately, Barbie does not need another one. Barbie simply wants another one, but if Barbie needs a holiday, then Barbie needs to assess her ‘wants’ for her needs.
The same principle applies to more significant purchases. For instance, if Spiderman needs a car as a mode of transport. Spiderman needs to purchase one that he needs not wants because the car he wants but can’t actually afford will sacrifice something Spiderman actually needs.
Now, I am not trying to tell you to buy $10 sunglasses over a $500 pair or vice versa. It is simply assessing your needs vs wants before you purchase, so you are making choices that do not impact your financial situation negatively.
If you continually assess your needs vs wants, it becomes an act of demonstrating a commitment to managing money which could potentially save you money in the process and eventually in the long run.
4) Cheap weekly meals to enjoy weekend meals!
This tip is based on the 80% eating healthy and 20% unhealthy. Basically, no take out meals during the weekdays and only on the weekend.
Personally, Almond and I choose once a week, which is on a Sunday after Church, to enjoy a takeaway meal. Our staples during the weekdays are simple/cheaper/healthier alternatives for dinner. Our meals are also used as leftovers for lunch the next day, so there was no need to buy lunch. This tip has saved us a significant amount of money because if you are buying takeout multiple times a week or buying lunch, it all adds up. If it is a lifestyle, then I would suggest reading tip number 3.
And, if it’s someone’s birthday during the week and you also need to buy them a gift you can be super generous by being creative to save money or organise with someone to go halves on a gift. For example, you could make a hamper with goodies that are on sale. For easter, we baked cupcakes for our family instead of buying easter eggs. For Christmas, we organise with other family members to go halves/quarters on certain items that more expensive.
3) Manage lifestyle items!
Limit the number of Lifestyle items. For example, it may be going to getting nails done, shopping sprees, coffee outings, hairdresser/barber visits, eating out at fancy restaurants, tattoos, gym, massages, facials, fishing trips, concerts, sporting events or whatever it may be etc.
I have chosen the gym and coffee from my favourite cafe as my weekly lifestyle items that I do weekly. You can have as many as you want but if you need to manage/save money, then having a limit in this department is necessary. I would say that I am frugal in this department because I have ‘goal items’ that I am trying to achieve, so I guess short term pain for long term gain.
2) Manage Unhealthy coping mechanisms!
Limit or Quit smoking, drinking or whatever unhealthy coping mechanisms that has zero benefit to your overall physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health! Finding Jesus was the greatest and healthiest coping mechansim that I needed in my life. Smoking and Drinking are two of the most unhealthiest options that deplete your bank accounts rapidly. This tip has personally saved Almond and I are substantially large amount of money since 2008.
This may sound harsh but coping mechanisms are important aspects of your life you need to manage. I do believe this tip is one aspect in life that also links with goal setting because it can become a motivating factor to buy a goal item as a reward. For instance, a goal item may be paying for a new car outright or house deposit or paying off a credit card or whatever. However, If your goal item is considered a lifestyle item than i would suggest managing this aspect so you can enjoy more lifestyle items. Again, it is about assessing your need for lifestyle over your want of coping mechanism.
1) Survive or Tithe!
This tip has turned my life around when I decided to follow Jesus. I learnt the principle of tithing 10% as an act of faith. Recently at church my pastor explained the value of tithing in a way that I have never heard it before which was awesome because if I don’t tithe I am not going to loose my salvation. Personally, it has been the one financial tip that has helped me from barely surviving to thriving when it comes to managing money. I am a big believer in you can never out give God his generosity overflows. I am not just talking about material possessions either God is eternal he sees what our hearts truly desire. I have learnt in the past that during seasons of when we have not tithed we barely survived spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. This tip will change the condition of your heart and bless you abundantly in every area of your life. Essentially, it was a commitment to trusting God for his provision, protection and peace over my life. This tip from God gave me the strength to have self control to save money and reevaluate my inability to manage money.
I hope and pray these tips can help you or encourage you in any way shape or form to gaining financial freedom with how you manage money and help you become a savvy saver!
Love G x