Since starting my FI journey in November 2016 I’ve thought of money and budgeting in a completely different way.
Money represents your time and energy which you choose to exchange for things of value to you. Every month, our paycheque becomes a transaction where we get paid by our employer and then we immediately start paying others for food, shelter, entertainment or things. In most cases, we spend our hard earned money (time + energy) to pay others but often forget to pay ourselves first.
Here are my top tips to help you save and progress on your journey to FI:
- Always pay yourself first
I first received this first tip from another FI blogger in this ‘Budgets Are Sexy’ article, however can also give credit to numerous other FI bloggers who have written about similar savings tips which helped cement the habit into my mind.
As Anton puts it, paying yourself first sets the priority of what you do with your money each month:
- You get paid
- You transfer money to your savings or investment accounts
- You pay your bills
- You only spend what is left
If you’re like me and the type of person who tries to save what is left over at the end of the month, you end up finding that money slips away easily and there is nothing left over to save because you’ve spent it. Now, on the day I get paid, I have automatic scheduled transfers which move my savings out of my main account to another account which isn’t to be touched, then pay my bills after.
2. Have separate accounts for rent & bills
My savings started to increase once I separated my spending money from my bills money. I have scheduled transactions in my bank account which automatically shifts out my rent, gym membership, internet and telephone bill into a ‘Rent & Bills’ account, my savings into a separate savings account and the remaining money left is what I have for groceries and entertainment for the month. This way I have a clear idea of exactly how much I have left to spend on food and to enjoy for the rest of the month.
3. Religiously track your net worth and spending
By tracking your net worth and spending, you’ll quickly become aware of exactly where your money is going, what your overhead costs and discretionary spending is and what your putting aside. The self awareness of what you’re spending your money on will help you point out what your good and bad habits are, where your weaknesses lie and what you can improve in order to achieve your goals. Above all, tracking your progress will help you stay accountable to yourself.
Do you have any habits or advice to help save? If you have any tips to save I’ve love to hear them!
xx Miss Piggy