Instead of binge-watching yet another series on Netflix I decided to review 2020 and 2021 to re-categorise all our expenses. Don’t get me wrong, I loved some of the Netflix shows I watched over the last few months. They allowed me to zonk out and just vegetate for a while as I was really overwhelmed with 2021! Now with 2022 really kicking into gear, I need to get my head out of the sand and decide WHAT and WHY I am driven to keep going with my financially independent path and more importantly WHAT will be ENOUGH. To be honest there were times over the last few months that I just wanted to close the laptop and decide to work until 65 and give up. Whatever accumulates in super and property growth and do like the majority “just see how it goes”. It scared the bejesus out of me so I pulled back to what I know and that is reviewing spreadsheets, categorising things and simulating options. One of my happy places.
FINANCE 4 U – STEP 5
Thank you for coming along on this journey. The last 4 weeks have all been about Owning your Numbers and allowing your mind to think about your past and current journey. Having these details in black and white and down on paper is such a tangible thing. It allows this information you have written down to swim around in your mind and also attract what you are thinking about. Like if you are thinking of your car insurance and how to best get this expense down you may start seeing insurance ads or you overhear people at work talking about insurance. Take note and ask around or call to see if you can reduce your expenses.
Curious to know what this week’s task is?
FINANCE 4 U – STEP 4
Glad you are still following along. This is the last step for the foundational phase of Finance 4 U. This step will wrap up the start of the process. Once you know where your money goes and how much you can bring in, it will help you focus on THE NUMBER.
I call this your LIVING NUMBER. To live the life you have carved out for yourself at the moment, these fundamental numbers give you a guide or starting point to move to the next levels of your money management. You are the CEO of YOU … always remember that!
Let’s do this!
FINANCE 4 U – STEP 2
Okay, are you ready? 😊
Last week the task was for you to source an exercise book or notebook so that we can get started on your money journey of Owning your numbers, Controlling your numbers and Building your numbers.
We are going to use some good old fashion methods. If you have already been on your money journey, this series can help remind you of some expenses that may have crept up, or help you tweak your numbers. I will also be working alongside you.
As we move along the SERIES I will explain and cover lots more about building wealth, but for now, we are working on Owning your numbers, slow and steady whilst you are busy living. 😊
I AM …
FINANCE 4 U – STEP 1
I am excited to share this with YOU and I hope that you join me on this journey. Whether you have your budget/expenses/finances already handled, or you just cruise through each week and each month, OR even if you have your head in the sand …😊 I would love to help guide you through with some good old fashion foundations and then get into the FUN stuff… you may not think it can be fun, but trust me when I say this, when you have a plan and you are ticking off achievements and there are fewer surprises/expenses coming your way, you will feel at peace. And even occasionally have a little happy dance! 😊
FINANCE 4 U SERIES
I am excited … this has been a goal of mine for so long and I am thrilled to finally get this out of my head and down on paper/virtual paper!
My intention with this series is simple. Work through the basics of your finances and then, when the foundations are under control, start building wealth for your life and your family. Some of what I will share is simple and perhaps a little ‘old school’. Some ideas will relate to food (more on that later) AND I know that there are perhaps more efficient ways to do this, but to get to know your finances, I believe you need to become really intimate with them …
ACCOUNTABILITY & REVIEW – BUDGET vs ACTUAL
In order to make our investment goals and hit the targets we have set for retirement (see last week’s post about our Financial Planner and Retirement plan here), we need to hone in on our expenses AND review regularly because hubby’s work is still not back to full time. He has had no superannuation for nearly a year and his wage is at around 70% of normal wage.
This reduction has meant we have eaten into our emergency fund a little (about 15%) so need to keep ‘massaging’ day to day expenses to keep our eye on our medium to long term goals.
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
Automate to Clear the Mind
Whilst I get some ‘chill-out’ time from work over the next couple of weeks, there are some things I will be doing to review and reset different areas in my life. I call this ‘simplifying my life’ as it lets me FOCUS on only a few KEY things, so I can give them the BEST chance to succeed in the coming year. Just like the GOALS I had set for 2021 as written up in this blog post.
How to REVIEW, REDUCE and REMOVE
How I saved $2444 pa on our normal expenses – in just a few hours!
I am always surprised after phoning a company we pay money to, when they say “the only time we will review your interest rate/premium/contracted per litre/kw, is when you call through and ask for your account to be checked”.
WOW… it blows me away that we sometimes are on autopilot for years before we call. These calls can be 10-minutes or may take 45-minutes BUT it is so worth it!
Below are some examples of companies I have called over the last few months. They will certainly be on my calendar reminder each year to make sure they don’t creep up again.
The last batch of phones calls gave us a total saving of $2444
Over time, the budget has been streamlined so I distribute our income weekly or monthly (we get paid in different cycles) to the separate accounts, and expenses are paid from the unique accounts.
I keep it rounded up so that I am not micro-managing all expenses! It has taken a while to tweak and get the right amount per bucket.
The great thing is that you can change it whenever you want, it’s yours and you decide where your dollars go.
I believe that TOO much of a budget is constricting and feels like a “scarcity” mindset that doesn’t allow a good flow. Also, if you have a partner that is not enthusiastic with your finance journey they will appreciate a more flowing, relaxed approach to the monthly finances.