This won’t be news for many, but I have been a bit more curious about what my money is doing, where is it going — or perhaps more importantly where I want it to go, and what I want it to do!
I am a a resistant budgeter, and track record with any disposable income could best be described as ‘reckless’ or ‘spirited’ . I can feel a shift in my approach, and there is evidence in my bank accounts. Yes, the Barefoot Investor set up some good foundations — but these little nuances and make me feel like I am in the driver's seat, an I can really have everything that I want!
ONE: Don’t do ‘hardcore saving’ all the time
Saving can inspire creativity, it can also make you feel like a slave to goal — ta goal that may not even be on the horizon yet. I save in lots of different ways, for different periods of time (is this just the financial version of yo-yo-yo dieting? Or perhaps just a good use of novelty and ‘bright and shiny’ syndrome?!). Sometimes it's rounding up a sale and saving the difference, sometimes it's rounding down on my entire everyday bank balance and popping it away for a raining day , sometimes it's not spending a dollar 6/7 days for a month — I change it, I keep reading and finding inspiration, and go with what flows and what feels good.
Some months it doesn’t grow by much, but I don't sweat it.
The cool thing about decluttering and really knowing what you want is that you also know what you really want to spend your money on, and why you don’t want to spend your money on other stuff. That was gold but I will talk about it in another post #moreconsciousthanminimalist
TWO. You can wait, and you can save.
This isn’t a sexy tip, but it has been my favourite. Want that 3-day juice cleanse now? You can actually find a way to have that money put aside by the start of the next month and then you can do it. It is the best. It allows me to do a very short term reward based saving that feels nothing like a budget but has immediate enough a return to say ‘I’ll use that Nespresso machine we bought for the rest of the month, and the girls can come for dinner here instead of going out’. Nothing is lost, and everything is gained. I think this has single-handedly made me feel like I can adult and not constantly playing in the past or that my savings are going to help Future Me in 5, 10, 15 years.
THREE: Spend on things you love and that matter to you
I think this was the hardest bit. I didn’t say no to myself very often and I definitely loved things — and even if they are THRIFTING, WORKSHOP, and EXPERIENCE based things, they are still things that take my hard-earned dollars. I had to get real, get inspired and see what I wanted to do with my money in the years to come , and tbh this was made easier by the habits I already had.
This shift uncovered a lot of money left on the table, and mixed with ‘You can wait, and you can save’ it is hands down the most excited I have been about financing — and being able to vote with my dollar in fashion, homewares and food, because the things go through a heartfelt process before they make it home, makes me feel like a conscious consumer and when I am spending my money I am doing it in a way that has an impact, and a ripple effect, into community.
FOUR: You can survive on a shit uninspiring meal before the end of the week
You can. Especially when you have decided that you “Just Don’t Deliveroo Anymore”. Honestly, tonight was sautéed fennel, brussel sprouts, eggplant and tomato and it is going on mash of cauiflower, shallots and cabbage. I am clutching at straws and it wasn’t a 5 star meal but its only until tomorrow, I am going to make it through with flying colours!
The feeling of not ‘blowing out’ at the last minute really builds confidence in yourself, and goes a long way to heal the ‘I still have $$$ in my account and its payday so I am going to blow it’ mentality, in favour of one that encourages savings.
FIVE: SIX: Just Don’t Deliveroo
Just don’t. I have been there — I am tired, I have the ingredients in my fridge but I am willing to pay for someone to cut it for me, package it in too much packaging and bring it to my door. Deliveroo poke bowls and salads is not a thing. It’s not (well, it has been, but it's not anymore!). It actually costs me $5-$10 max to make the same, and we have spent $50 for it to be delivered and still be a bit shit. It’s hard when you are sleepy, I know. Meal planning helps, being happy with eggs on toast with kraut helps and so does a few tins of tuna and ready meals in the freezer.
SEVEN: Meal prep to a time limit
I don’t want to spend a weekend day, or half a day, prepping for the week. Am I stoked to do an hour of power, with an hour to cook, after I go the markets? Yes,, I am! I also use condiments in lots of ways — the red curry paste gets mixed with coconut yoghurt as a salad dressing, and the chilli chutney goes into my tahini mayo. Same same but different if my catch cry. Textured sprinkles go a long way too. It is food, it isn’t rocket science, it can as complicated or as simple as you want. I am going to let that guide me more in the coming months!
So they definitely aren’t traditional, nor are they revolutionary, but even reading over them again I know that they will continue to be helpful reminders and help me and my money on our merry way!