It’s called the Silly Season for a reason – more parties, more wine, more food, more shopping.
Everything in excess. Summer down under is all about Christmas, end of year celebrations and starting fresh into the new year.
But speaking of starting fresh, do you want to step into 2018 with a fresh, light take on your financial situation? Or are you more likely to carry forward debts accumulated by splurging big?
Believe it or not, money and wellbeing go hand in hand. A big cause of stress in most Australians, your ‘money story’ really does determine your overall states of wellbeing.
And this is not to say you shouldn’t splash out on fancy gifts, nice meals out or that extra bottle of rose. Not at all! This is about knowing what is realistic for where you are at financially, so that as you step into the new year, you don’t have any looming financial hangovers. The alcohol-hangovers are enough, yeah?
So, how can you ensure you are financially stable throughout the silly season?
Get to know your money story
We all have a very individual, unique money story. This is the story we have learned growing up – formed by our parent’s attitudes with money, passing comments we have observed as children, and beliefs we have taken as ‘truths’ throughout adulthood.
Maybe it’s a scarcity mindset: money doesn’t grow on trees.
Or perhaps it’s a resistance to money: money is the root of all evil.
Once we get clear on what our money story is telling us, we can unpick what is actually FACT, and what is just that – a story. Are your money stories serving you?
Remember we attract our thoughts – they create our reality. So if we are telling ourselves we are a bad saver, or we can’t stick to a budget then guess what? We WILL be bad at saving and budgeting.
Change up your money story – what do you really WANT to believe about money? Is it that you always have more than enough? Is it that money is easy to come by? Start repeating your NEW stories, and watch the way you relate to money change.
Find a savings plan that works for you
Notice I didn’t say budget? It’s a word most people squirm at hearing (myself included). The words we use are SO important. In fact, take a look at what you are calling your accounts right now. SAVINGS MAXIMISER is so much less fun than SUMMER SPENDINGS.
Just a simple tweak of the naming conventions in our accounts can change the way we relate to spending our money entirely.
I have accounts called My Dream Business, Our Dream Wedding, Splurge… and the list goes on. Find what works for you.
I HIGHLY recommend reading The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. My partner and I do everything by the book and no longer stress about money – and that’s a couple planning a wedding, and starting two businesses!
Be honest with yourself
Stop comparing your spending habits to your friends and family. Be honest about what you can afford. It doesn’t make you inferior or any less ‘worthy’ than someone who maybe can afford more than you.
Catch the stories you tell yourself when you find you truly are unable to afford as much as someone else in your life. Do you compare? Splurge and deal with the consequences (read: debt) later?
Take note of what YOUR financial priorities are, and own those first! Then, with whatever is leftover, you can be really realistic about where you can invest (read: not ‘waste’) your money.