Financial fitness tips

Now that my American adventure is over, I’m focusing on getting fit. I’ve got back into the gym 3+ times a week, I’m doing a…

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Now that my American adventure is over, I’m focusing on getting fit. I’ve got back into the gym 3+ times a week, I’m doing a 3km charity beach run tomorrow and next week I start training to climb the 3 peaks. But that isn’t the only way I plan on keeping fit. I’m also focusing on getting financially fit.

kate spade purse money saving financially fit tips

With pay day just around the corner, here are my top tips for getting financially fit:

SHOP AROUND – I cannot stress this enough. My friend and I have this thing where we’ll both go shopping but we won’t actually buy anything. Instead, we find ourselves sat in the nearest coffee shop looking online at the things we almost bought in store.  It sounds pretty sad…we just like to think of ourselves as savvy shoppers, okay?! More often than not you’re going to find some kind of online offer like an awesome little discount code, which is alwaaays appreciated. Similarly, if I spot something that I adore but it’s a little too pricey to justify, I’ll shop around to find a cheaper, just as cute, alternative.  If you can be patient enough to wait a few more days, shop online or shop around.

EAT OUT LESS – yelp, it actually kind of pained me to write that. I’m pretty aware that most of my money goes on food. So, starting this pay day, I’m making more of a conscious effort to eat out less. That doesn’t mean always saying ‘no’ to food dates with mates. It simply means I won’t do it as often and when I do go out, I’ll be more careful in my choices. To try and prevent mid-week spending on food, I’m going to get back on track with meal planning. By preparing my work lunch ahead of time, I’ll be 100x less tempted to run over to Tesco to buy food simply because I was too lazy to cook the night before.

FUN FREE THINGS – I’m one of those people who would rather spend my money on adventures than materialistic things. But I think it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to spend money in order to have fun. You can go for a walk in the park, go for a picnic, see live music, be a tourist in your home town, keep an eye out for free events in the local newspapers, visit your local musuem or art gallery, stay home and build a fort, use your imagination, etc. Honestly, there will be so many free things to do in your local area, you just need to open your eyes and open your mind. If you want to tighten the purse strings, make a list of fun things that you could do for free this weekend instead of spending lots of money going out. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do without spending a lot (or any!) money.

BUDGET – This one’s a no brainer and pretty important. You can’t be financially fit if you aren’t willing to budget. You need to have a good idea of your current income and expenditure before you plan to save. Before I first started saving I made a detailed list of my income and all the different outgoings I have including: rent, bills, food, driving lessons, gym membership, monthly subscriptions, meals out, clothes shopping, days out, etc. As you can see my list of outgoings ranged from the necessities like food and rent to the ‘luxuries’ like eating out and shopping. From there, I looked at how I could cut my expenditures down. I started with the luxuries, cutting down my budget and promising to stick within those parameters. Then I turned to the necessities and looked at ways to reduce some of those costs. I also re-opened my credit card for emergency moments, but I haven’t had to use it yet! It’s just nice to have that security to fall back on if and only if it’s ever needed. Once you budget, you’ll have an idea of how much you are realistically able to save and you can get a plan into place.

TREAT YOURSELF – My budgeting point leads nicely onto this next one. Whilst it’s important to budget, I’m a firm believer in the importance of treating yourself.  Now, I’m not saying max out that credit card. I’m simply saying don’t budget so much that you don’t allow yourself to have fun.You’ll most likely end up feeling miserable and will inevitably compensate for that by winding up spending even more than you would have done if you just budgeted for treats in the first place. I’ve witnessed this happen to people I know first-hand and in the extreme cases, things got nasty. They didn’t allow themselves any luxuries in their budget and when they simply couldn’t afford to do anything to reward or treat themselves, they wound up feeling stressed and down. To perk themselves up they tended to think ‘fuck it’ towards the budget and splurged out on treating themselves…which always ended up biting them on the ass when they later realised they overspent, couldn’t pay bills and would end up financially worse. Moral of the story? Make sure you include personal treats, rewards and money for luxuries in your budget and you won’t end up overspending.

What are your top tips for staying financially fit?

 

N.B. This post was created in collaboration with Credit Card Insider. However all words, thoughts and photographs remain that of my own. If you have any questions, please let me know 🙂

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