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My parents taught me a lot of money facts when I was growing up. From how to save to how to spend, I think I had a fairly healthy upbringing when it comes to finances. But through various things, including our current economic climate, my financial wellness has fallen by the wayside. I find myself overwhelmed with how to survive each month, while also planning for our future. Despite being a two-person household with no plans for expansion, I struggle to ‘treat myself‘ with the little disposable income I have.
Being approached by Savings Calculator to write a post about financial wellness couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I was able to take the time to sit and reevaluate what I know about money. And how I’m currently feeling about my own financial situation.
6 Important Money Facts You Need To Hear.
It’s okay to spend money on yourself and what you love!
Possibly one of the most important money facts I’ve had to learn is the ability to spend money selfishly. I’ve always struggled to allow myself to indulge. Even when I have disposable income available, I don’t feel deserving enough to spend it on any non-essentials. Part of me is terrified that once I start spending, I won’t be able to stop. Since buying our first home, I’ve been scared to go over my personal financial budget. So much so that the rise in the cost of living has filled me with additional levels of insecurity. Even when we’re fine, I’m still scared it’ll all disappear! It’s only recently that I’ve learned that this is quite an unhealthy financial habit, rather than the other way around
Recently, after a rocky few months, I’ve had to sit back and realign myself. That includes how I see money and what it means to me.
You can Make Budgeting work for you!
Finances stress me out. Once I see numbers, I’m immediately confused and terrified. I’ve tried different things to help me budget without going into a panic, from writing it down to using apps. But, no matter what I try, I struggle with panic each time I set eyes on my incomings and outgoings. I’d given up on budgeting altogether until my husband came up with an old-fashioned method for money tracking; An excel sheet!
We don’t regularly consult it but come back every so often to add new bills or update our income. So far it’s helped reduce my overall levels of financial anxiety and put things into perspective.
If you’d like to give it a try I have the excel sheet on hand and I’m happy to pass it on to whoever needs it.
make use of online financial calculators.
If you’re budgeting or saving towards a specific goal, I’ve always found online calculators work best. Websites such as Savings Calculator take into account your current financial situation, goal, and current interest rates. Using this information, their calculators can tell you exactly how long you have to save in order to meet your financial goal. Here’s just one example!
Talking about money can be awkward, but a big relief!
No matter how many money facts you know, talking about money can be really awkward and scary. But once you start discussing your finances openly, it can take a real weight off your shoulders. I’m a financially insecure person in that I hate talking about what I have or don’t have. Likewise, at work, it took me a long time to learn to ask for what I’m both owed and worth. I’ve gone years squirming over talking about my paycheck with my manager. I hated having to address payroll errors, of which there are many.
But once I became more confident in my personal life, it became easier to stand up for myself professionally. Both in my day job and my freelancing. Now I realise that I’ve been undervaluing myself my whole life. I’ve offered to work when I shouldn’t have, for less than I should have, just to show myself as a ‘good employee.’ Even when my paycheck wasn’t reflecting it!
You should always shop around!
While it can seem easy to take the first offer, chances are that you’re missing out on much better deals! Especially if it’s something like car insurance, a mortgage, or even the latest gadget! The internet has opened us up to an entire world of comparison possibilities, so there really is no excuse to settle.
There are hundreds of different ways to earn extra money!
Gone are the days when a standard day job was the only way to make a few quid! There are endless things you can do to make some money on the side. From helping others in your local neighbourhood to starting a blog, there really is something for everyone.
Since leaving my full-time job due to illness I’ve found both solace and financial freedom in my freelance work. As well as working part-time, I also write, design tattoos, and illustrate to make some money on the side. Even if you’re not creatively talented, you may have something else to offer. Do you play an instrument? Why not consider teaching on the side? Maybe you have a knack for gardening? Offer to do some landscaping for your elderly neighbour. There’s even money to be made in completing online surveys, stocks, and joining freelance networks like Intellifluence.
Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others.
A money fact that I found hard to comprehend was that you can be happy with less. There was a time when I struggled with the fact that I no longer brought home the bacon. My life had gone from earning over a thousand a month to nothing overnight. And because my self-worth was so wrapped up in what I earned, my insecurities flared. I watched as those I knew all moved on in life, buying beautiful homes and going on lavish holidays, while I remained stuck. Yes, I had a beautiful semi-detached home, but I couldn’t see beyond my own jealousy and grief. I grieved not for someone or something, but for the life, I could have had.
The pandemic really taught my husband and I how happy we can be with less. Fewer hours at work meant more time for our passions. Less money spent on vacations meant more to spend on what we really wanted. But I was so caught up in trying to be like everyone else, that I’d ignored who I really am. I’m not into vacationing twice a year, visiting the latest restaurant, or frequenting a pub. In fact, I’d rather stay in for a drink, eat ‘fake-aways‘ and play video games than step outside my front door.
And that’s perfectly okay.