Being good with money is like being good with your diet. Damn hard to do all the time.
(And easy to get annoyed with those freaks who are).
Another similarity is that they are both money and spending are easy to get carried away with, then spiral into disaster.
Like when you eat some birthday cake at work in the morning. And then figure you may as well eat a burrito for lunch. And then the day is buggered, so you might as well have three wines and a bowl of wedges. Then a burger.
I know, that sounds like an awesome and delicious day. But we all know it ends in guilt and shame by the time we go to bed a little drunk.
Money is the same. When things get a bit out of control, it’s easy to let them get even more out of control. And the more it gets away from you, the more depressing it is, so you might as well treat yo’self.
But no! Don’t!
We don’t have to let a few bad decisions derail our good habits.
Just because you accidentally fell into Kookai and bought a dress, doesn’t mean you need to buy matching shoes. And just because your credit card is close to being maxed, it doesn’t mean you may as well hit the limit anyway.
So, here are some friendly tips to help you get out of the shame spiral, when things get a little cray-cray in financial department.
- Check your bank statements – Sounds simple, I know. But just like I have a deep aversion to opening mail (because it always requires subsequent admin), it’s tempting to keep the banking app closed and invisible.
Maybe you need to rope in a friend or partner here – but the key is to just dive in and check the damage. Let’s be honest, it’s always better to know what you’re working with, rather than have a vague number rattling around your head. And hey, there are always rewards: knock yourself out with a Tim-Tam after you’ve done it.
- Identify the culprits – You usually have a good idea of what’s causing blowouts. Either too much shopping, too much going out or indulging in whatever hobby/collection/sport you love. But it’s really useful to have a bit of a reckoning, where you go through the above-mentioned bank statement and face the reality of ‘I spent how much on booze last Friday night?‘. Because then you’re ready for the next step.
- Work out what’s going on in your head – What’s driving these blowouts? Is it a response to stress at work or home? Are you distracting yourself from some relationship shit? Are you partying a lot because you’re nearly 40 and your youth is quickly slipping away (asking for a friend…).
It may be that when you’re honest with yourself, you can look for other ways to deal with the issue you’re avoiding. Do some yoga. Get some therapy. Tell your boss/partner to fuck off. Whatever works! But until you get to the root cause, it could be hard to sort your money out.
- Get clear on your goals – I always find it hard to be disciplined if I don’t have a clear goal -whether it’s getting bikini-ready for Mexico (an actual thing that’s happening – yay!), or hitting a savings goal (money for said trip).
If you’re drifting from your good behaviour, it’s time to refocus on your goals – whether they are short, medium or long-term. (And if you don’t know, check out this post).
You should also review if those goals are working for you – if they’re too far away, you can lose track. If they’re too unrealistic, same deal. Make sure your goals are SMART if you want them to work hard for you: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timebound.
Once you have an idea of where you’re going, it’s much easier to stay on the journey.
Remember, you don’t have to perfect with money (or anything, actually). But you do need to believe you can do better, even just a bit better, at any given time.
Did you know that you’re actually awesome and talented and empowered and enlightened and fierce AF? You just need to believe it. And work up the courage to open your banking app…
Good luck Fierce Girls!