There is a myth that Ostriches, when faced with danger, bury their heads in the sand. Although it is not found to be true in nature, many of us tend to behave like this when faced with our monthly budget…
Financial behaviourists actually call the avoidance of perceived risky financial situations by pretending they do not exist, the Ostrich Effect. This tendency to pretend that all is well or ‘bury our heads in the sand’ instead of pro-actively managing our finances is one of the reasons why so many people are in deeper debt than they should be. Turning a blind eye to your finances is the first place where you will lose your control over your money.
If you want to stop being behind every month then you need to take back your control of your finances. You don’t need more money to regain control, you need to manage your income and your expenses better – that’s all!
Here are 3 steps to gaining control over your finances:
KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS COMING FROM
Before you can even consider managing your expenses, you need to know exactly how much money is coming in. Knowing how much you have is basal to deciding how much you can spend and how much you can save. In addition to balancing the books, understanding how money comes in will enable you to expand your income, especially if you work for yourself or have several income streams.
KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING
Monitor your expenses closely and use this knowledge to create a basic spending plan. As soon as your expenses outweigh your income, you can begin to foresee a problem in the future. If you have savings or a positive balance in your account, you may not notice that your income and expenses are out of kilter until it’s too late. Keeping an eye on where your money is going will help you navigate away from unnecessary expenses and work your way through leaner months without going into the red.
KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS BEING KEPT
No matter how much is coming in or going out, it’s always important to keep some money in a savings account. Keeping money aside for special purchases or events is a fantastic way to feel good about your finances and to remain positive about your finances. This could be a short-term savings plan or a long-term one or ideally, a combination of both. Either way, as you see your savings grow you will feel better equipped to manage your money better!
Creating a sound, realistic and sustainable budget is pivotal to your financial planning. If you need help with your budget, managing your money or reviewing your financial plan, then let’s hook up!