Ok, so… how to save money or make it work for you! Simple concept, good intentions, but for some reason the outcome evades the vast majority of us.
When considering your savings goals, techniques or prior failures, it’s important to remember that saving money (or in some cases paying off more debt) at its core is predominantly one thing…. habit. Our daily lives can make changing our habits near impossible because we are emotional about protecting or enhancing our ‘way of life’… and new habits are of course different to our current ‘way of life’.
Here are 5 steps that help form more positive cash flow habits:
Step 1 – Have a ‘why’.
It’s no good trying to create new habits without a solid ‘why’. Generally, this needs to be about more than just making money, or having money. Your ‘why’ will be what really drives you to succeed because achieving your ‘why’ will be the reason that you go without certain luxuries and previous necessities throughout this journey.
Your ‘Why’ could be a holiday, a new car, a house deposit, tuition fees, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it matters to you.
Step 2 – Have a plan.
Having a plan makes a complex situation simple, and the key here is to ensure it is exactly that, simple. We’ve seen benefits of segregating expenses into only a few categories (less than 5) and where possible have them paid from separate bank accounts so you can track your spending habits and overlay with your plan.
“If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail,”
Benjamin Franklin. (and that’s coming from a guy who’s face is on the US $100 bill!)
Step 3 – Remove emotions.
Probably the most difficult part of creating new habits is controlling your emotions and impulses.
There is no special potion to reduce this emotional challenge that we all face, in fact the truth is that emotional challenge will always be present. The trick is to be aware of it, understand when it is occurring and refer back to your ‘why’ about why you need to forgo that impulse buy.
Step 4 – Give it time.
A new habit isn’t created in a day, or two, or 30. In this instance, we estimate the time to get your savings/spending plan accurate to be anywhere from 3 to 6 months given that not all expenses are weekly or monthly. Some expenses run quarterly or even yearly and at times you will be caught by surprise. When this occurs you need to be intelligent, look at your plan and decide if this is an expense which can be removed or whether it’s an expense that must stay. If it needs to stay then add it to your plan and start accounting for it every month so the money is there the next time the cost is incurred.
Step 5 – Have someone to hold you accountable.
A very powerful tool of maintaining any commitment is accountability. Whether it’s actually turning up at the gym like we tell ourselves we will, or finishing that work project on time and within budget. Accountability is quite essential at this point of creating a new habit, in this case being your saving or spending plan.
You may or may not have someone who you feel can adequately hold you accountable to sticking with your goals (as that includes you actually sharing your goals which involves divulging private information). It is our opinion that this is essential… at the least it makes dealing with tough decisions a lot easier. In most cases this is the role we play for our clients from an independent and unbiased position.
At dozzi, we focus on the little things that make the biggest differences. Our cash flow strategies that we create for our clients are unique, interactive, non-invasive and most importantly THEY ACTUALLY WORK. Although we all might need differing levels of assistance or support, there is a plan that can be created to suit your needs.
We’d love to sit down with you and learn about your ‘why’ and help put you on the right path to help you save more and make your money work harder for you.