What is #smartmoneymoves2018?
A movement (that started off as a joke) that is essentially all about making ‘logical’ and ‘smart’ financial decisions that will help myself and others reach their financial goals.
I believe that we can all have healthy and flourishing finances as long as we make smart decisions which are sometimes very simple and effortless. So below I’m going to give you some of the things that I am doing this year which I refer to as smart money moves.
1. A saving goal
First and foremost, I have set myself a goal to save a particular amount by the end of this year. Once you have a goal in mind it is much easier to make smarter decisions.
If you are saving towards multiple things e.g. a new car, property, holiday etc, it may be easier to split your savings in to different accounts so you can track and manage it better (saving categories – which can also include an emergency saving fund).
2. Setting myself a monthly budget (excluding mandatory expenses e.g. transport, phone bill etc.)
This year I have set myself a rather low but do-able monthly budget that I can only hope I stick too. Within this budget I have also budgeted for the things that are not necessary for life but necessary to me e.g. upkeep. Budgeting within my budget means that I know exactly what money I can spend on non-essentials which makes financial planning much easier.
3. Thoroughly track my spending through my Monzo account and an app called ‘Spending’
Monzo is a digital mobile-only bank which provides users with debit cards. It operates through an app and you can top up your account by bank transfers or by using another debit card. What I love about Monzo is that the money leaves your account straight away and the app provides you with specific details about when and where your money was spent (thoroughly tracked spending). You can use your Monzo card the same way you use any other card.
‘Spending’ is an app where you have to manually input income and expenses. I would only recommend this if you have a good memory and will remember to add every single transaction. I like this app because it tracks spending in categories (which you can create yourself). Therefore you are aware of the category or categories that you spend the most money in, consequently allowing you to think of smarter ways to cut down your spending and be more diligent.
4. Plan ahead
It is very important to financially plan ahead for the year. For example I know that I am going on two major holidays later in the year, so I am putting smaller amounts of spending money away each month. This means that in the future I avoid large amounts of money leaving my current account in one go and it also avoids me dipping in to my savings because I know that a particular amount of my money is technically unavailable, allowing me to have better cash flow management.
5. Getting a better understanding of the economic and financial climate throughout the world
I do this by subscribing to financial news outlets like Finimize, watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts and attending finance and money events (which I find out about through Eventbrite or word-of-mouth). This is so I can get a better understanding of things like inflation, consumer spending and confidence, interest rates, stocks and bonds, the housing market and much more. I plan on using this information to start investing in stocks and shares and then eventually property.
Also I am making an effort to gain a better understanding of different banks and the different account types on offer to know which banks have better benefits and why (mainly which bank providers offer the best interest rates on not only saving but all types of accounts especially ISA’s).
6. My TOP TIP’s for better cash flow management
- Most of us spend a lot of money on food/eating out – so STOP DOING IT
- YES to necessities, NO to wants – yes you want new clothes but do you really need it?
- Surround yourself with other money conscious people who are interested in pursuing the same journey, as it will be easier to encourage each other
- Are there ways to make your expenses cheaper? – I changed my gym group to save money even though my previous gym was a 1-minute walk from my house (saving over convenience please as this is the time for sacrifice)
- Every time you are about to buy something just ask yourself “do I really need this?”
- Don’t be afraid to tell your friends “this is not in my budget for this month so unfortunately I won’t be in attendance”
- Plan ahead – if you want to do something just plan ahead!
I hope that this has given you some insight in how to make better financial decisions.
Let’s make 2018 full of #smartmoneymoves 🙂