This is the money routine that took me from the four dark walls of my overdraft to having a bank balance that grows every month, healthily.
It’s a routine that lets me treat myself in moderation, spend money on experiences and memories but still overcome lifestyle inflation AND economic inflation 🥴 and I’m sharing it with you so you can do the same!
I made a ‘that financial girl’ series and that’s because I like to think of myself as that financial girl. I’m not 100% there yet with having no financial anxiety as getting good with money is definitely a journey, especially if you’re coming from a place of scarcity, bad habits and fear.
So as much as implementing this routine will definitely help, know that it’s ok to still freak out now and then – as long as you’re marginally improving you will be fine.
This is a routine I like to do on a monthly basis, and monthly for me works perfectly because of my social plans, I get paid monthly and 4ish weeks in between each time I do this is a perfect amount of time for me to consider changing things up.
- The first thing I’ll do is log into my bank account(s). This might seem super simple but this is the biggest barrier for most with financial anxiety, so having this as the first step breaks this whole process down into a management task.
- Tracking spending (through a budget) and any progress to savings/investing goals I have right now. Make sure that spending is what I expected, if not, think about whether I need to change the next months budget – i.e. make new sinking funds, return some things I bought that I really don’t need, or see if I can cut any costs (i.e. could I save the vouchers from the supermarket to save some this month? Any cashback links I can make use of? Useful for any spending that’s definitely happening and not unpredicted).
- Making sure my automated savings are still appropriate, both in amount and purpose and tracking my savings rate – a rate that I want to keep high to try and keep lifestyle inflation low.
- Make sure my automated investments are also still appropriate. I was recently promoted so I increased these relative to my new salary, making sure they were still reasonable but impactful. If there are any one of contributions I want to make, I’ll do it here.
- Look ahead and see if there any big purchases/direct debits/social events coming up. If so, is my sinking fund going to cover it, do I need to adjust the amount or set up a new one?
- Making time in the calendar for any value based spending: for me this is visiting local restaurants and eateries. A nice structure I like is 1 weekend getting a boujie breakfast from a local bakery, 1 evening eating out a week, 2 ice cream sandwiches for this place I’m obsessed with (follow me on Instagram for spam becasue UNREAL), a coffee and a cookie from a place near my office once a week, and 5 pints/10 half pints spread across the month. This sounds meticulous but I love it and it works for me, and it took some trial and error to get to this structure. What I do here is add up the cost of all of this, rounding up, and sending this amount to a pot in my Monzo account. The beauty of this step is that you can adjust it every month. For example last month, a few of my friends visited us in Edinburgh and stayed with us – so I created space fo a few extra drinks, meals out and ice cream (they loved the ice cream sandwiches!!!). Impulsive overspending and associated guilt = gone.
- Add these dates to my calendar or shared calendar with my partner if they’re flat related.
- The final final step is making sure that if there’s any extra money after all the budgeting is done, making sure to put it somewhere. Right now I have a few aggressive travel goals so I’m putting any and all extra cash towards that. But as with the theme of this video, adjust this to your habits and goals! If you have none, it’s best to invest extra funds or build an emergency fund if you don’t have one.