3 ways to take control of your financial wellbeing
If you’re losing sleep over looming bills, scared to check your bank balance before payday, or feeling stretched living week to week, these may be signs that your financial health is negatively impacting on your personal health, writes Bryan Lee.
The first step to taking back control of your financial wellbeing is recognising the signs that your finances are due for a check in. There are three simple ways to prioritise your financial wellbeing and help prevent your money troubles from getting the best of you:
Budgeting for your individual circumstances
Budget, budget and budget. This is probably not the first time you have come across this advice, but it is something we may all be a bit guilty of when it comes to making it part of our everyday lives. It certainly does sound harder on paper, but it is much easier in practise.
Take the first step today by reviewing your income and expenses; look at what is coming in and going out from your bank accounts every month. From there, you will now know where your money is going, so set yourself a personal, realistic budget that aligns with your own personal lifestyle and financial situation. After all, budgeting is one of the most important steps in improving your overall financial wellbeing.
Assess your spending habits
To better understand yourself and get your finances into a better place, start by taking a close look at your spending habits. One thing we tend to overlook at is just how we really spend our money every day. Consider grouping the money you spend in two categories, a “need” or “want”. Things that are essential for your everyday living are placed into your “need” category.
For example, electricity bills or rent might be “needs”, whereas things that you could live without are placed in your “wants”. A “want”, could be clothing or the newest phone in the market. From here, you may realise what a good portion of your money is currently being spent on. Personally, I tend to find myself time to time splurging on foods and trying out different foodie places all around the city to make sure I have gotten a taste of what this world has to offer!
Importantly, this is not to say you can’t splurge on yourself every now and again, but it is important to make sure we balance and be smart with our spending and savings.
Live within your means
When it comes to financial wellbeing, it’s important to keep things in perspective. It’s easy to look on Instagram and YouTube and compare your lifestyles with theirs. Financial wellbeing is an individual’s journey, so one great way to assist you in doing so is to look at how much you are spending in relative to how much you earn, or “spending hours”.
For example, if you earn $20 an hour, a $5 coffee may well be worth 15 minutes of your time at work, but it may make you reconsider with having the second coffee you were craving. One great quote I thought about years ago that has helped me with my own spending is, “If someone can pay you the same amount it takes you to buy the item to not purchase it, would you still buy it?”
Bryan Lee is a Millennial money expert at CUA.
“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain