I am all about the simple life – it’s our goal to live a holistically simple lifestyle. But what does this really mean? No, it’s not just about slower living, or eating healthy, or getting rid of our stuff (or whatever else you may think haha). Simple living is taking a step back and looking at all aspects of your lifestyle and considering how you can make them easier. More simple. It is in our nature to over complicate life – things need to be fast, we need to multitask, we need to do more, work more, have more. And much of what lays underneath these sentiments is one thing: money. But money can be simple too.
Our family has definitely been in the category of single income, stay at home mum, burnout, in debt and digging a deeper hole. Until we got simple about our finances. Now, we are still a one income family, but we are living comfortably. How? Creating a budget. Simplifying our finances and trimming the fat.
Here are the best 10 habits to change in order to simplify your money.
- Be Aware
It is so easy to stick your head in the sand and avoid this – but habit #1 to change when simplifying your money is to be aware. Do you know your exact income? Do you know your exact expenses? Do you know your exact debt? If you’re reading this, then probably not. And that’s okay. But now is the time to take a look and find those numbers. Awareness is the first step needed to make changes to our habits.
Do you have a budget? If not, do you know how to make a budget? Once you’re aware of where your money is coming from and going to, it’s time to really sit down and hash out a budget. This will help you to see what areas of your lifestyle are using the most money, or which areas you can cut back on. A budget doesn’t need to be a controlling thing – done correctly, it’s actually super simple and empowering!
- Start Sinking Funds
Sinking funds are amazing things. Consider the areas that you need to spend money on each year e.g. birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day and so on. Rather than leaving your budgeting, spending and shopping til that time of year, a sinking fund allows you to put away a little bit of money throughout the year so you always have some available to buy what you need. The best part is, sinking funds are totally unique and individual. I have one for family travel, but you may prefer to have one for family outings.
- Find More Money
If you are on a decluttering buzz, can you sell some of your stuff? Is there a side hustle you would love to start? Finding more money can be as simple as looking at your hobbies or what’s around you and thinking creatively. You can even find more money by reducing your costs!
- Meal Plan
I reckon food is the category that is easiest to overspend! Whether it’s from shopping without a plan, shopping without a list, shopping when you’re hungry or buying food on the go – it all adds up and quickly too! Meal planning each week or fortnight will not only reduce food waste (good for the environment) and reduce stress (good for your health!) but it will also reduce your spend (good for your wallet!).
- Cancel Unneccesaries
Spotify Premium, SKY, Cable, Netflix, Hulu, Neon etc etc all these additional services that we have. Are they necessary? Some, probably, but not all. See what you can pare back – or what you can share with your significant other. We only have one Spotify account and it works fine! And saves us $15.00 a month! That’s nearly $200 a year.
- Set Goals
Without goals we have limited direction. And that’s fine, but it also means you’re likely to just stay in the same place and become stagnant. Setting some basic money goals will help you to maintain your awareness and your new spending habits. Whether it’s paying off debt, saving a rainy day buffer or an emergency fund, or a planning a trip overseas – having something to focus on will give purpose to your decisions.
- Notice your Mindset
Become an observer of yourself. What makes you want to spend? What drives you to shop? How do you feel? What are you seeking? Because more often than not, we aren’t seeking that funky table lamp – we’re seeking a feeling. Happiness or comfort or luxury or fashion? When you know what drives you to spend, you are able to consider if it’s purposeful or not.
- Change your Behaviours
And once you have decided if what you’re doing is purposeful, you can change your behaviours. If You have learnt that you shop to feel happiness, then you can consider other strategies that may make you feel happy. Dancing, or nature time, or a hot cup of tea etc. You can also recognise when you are feeling the need to shop, that you may need some self care time to raise your vibrations.
- Check In
Whenever we make changes to the way we think, believe, act or feel, it takes time for these changes to become permanent. Our brains work in patterns, and the more we do something the deeper the pattern becomes. So if you’re a retail therapy sort of person – this reaction is one that is likely to be deeply ingrained. Doesn’t mean you can’t change it – it just means that it will take time, probably encounter some mistakes on the way, and will need you to continue to be aware of yourself and your goals in order to succeed.
Money really doesn’t need to be a ‘big thing’. Society just makes it this way. If you’re keen to learn more about budgeting, I have an awesome eBook for sale or if you sign up to our website you will get your own copy (plus a budgeting template) for free!