Let’s be honest, I love to shop! Who doesn’t? When I was younger, saving money definitely was not my strong suit and my frame of mind was more focused on living in the moment and dealing with the consequences later.
Being in my 30’s now, I can say that my goals have definitely shifted for the better. Being self-employed is NO JOKE and I have definitely had to show some restraint when it comes to my spending. To be completely honest, for a few years there starting out I was broke, I struggled and relied heavily on my husband to support us financially while I got my business under way. It was kinda scary and stressful at times. When your work is mostly contracted out, you never really know when or where your next pay check will come from – and since there’s no ‘rule book’ on how to do my job I truly had to fend for myself and figure things out quickly.
Over the years, as I’ve built my business and figured out how I can make a steady income, I’ve figured out a much better way to approach my finances so that I can spend less time worrying and start focusing more energy on continuing to build.
The beginning of the year is a time to reset everything from your home, health and fitness routine, to your finances. It’s taken me many years to get my finances in check and come up with a system that helps keep things streamlined. I’ve made sure to set boundaries with what I spend and allow for money to be set aside to save for the future.
While I’m obviously not an expert in finance, here are 4 tips I’ve implemented into my own life that have helped me build my own financial wealth + freedom.
REWIEW YOUR STATEMENTS: I take a look at my monthly financial statements and access the damage. Being a visual person, I like to go through my bank statements with a highlighter and mark my expenses, earnings and anything that was an ‘extra’; things like coffee shop stops, trips to homesense..you get the drift. Having things highlighted in different colors allows me to see at a glance, how frequently I might be spending unnecessarily or if my earnings for that month are a little lower (so I know to pull back accordingly).
CANCEL YOUR AUTO-PAYMENTS: reviewing our statements monthly also allows us to review any payments that are coming out automatically, for subscriptions like Audible or any apps I might have forgotten about. These charges might seem little, but everything little thing adds up. I go through and see what we can cancel to save.
SET A BUDGET: everyone loves to treat themselves, I know I do! But I try to put a limit on my spending as much as I can. For things like trips to Starbucks for example, I give myself a monthly allowance. I load my rewards cards every month, but once my card runs out I try my best to treat it like that’s it.
If there’s something larger I’m looking to purchase, I refer back to my highlighted statements and see if it makes sense to spend at that time. If it’s absolutely something I can’t live without, then I tighten the reigns accordingly, afterwards. I don’t believe in being too stringent, but I do try my best to take the whole picture into consideration.
DETERMINE WAYS TO SAVE: I’m always trying to find little ways to be more efficient. Whether that means, only doing one bigger shop every-other week (to avoid many little trips to the grocery store), ordering twice a week through a meal delivery service (like Fresh Prep, which lessens our monthly grocery expenses & waste) or stocking up with one monthly stop to costco (for things like toilet paper, family-size/value pack snacks) I’ve found it all adds up and ends up saving me so much more time for important things, rather than feeling like I’m always running around aimlessly. This approach definitely takes more planning but in our experience, it’s been totally worth it.
Let me know if you would like me to do a full blog post on how I plan out our meals + shopping list! xx