You’re frequently reminded of how important it is to take a date night with your partner, or solo eve with yourself, but your finances? Well, “chuck them in a bag and see how they add up” is about the extent of it.
Money is more than just numbers: financial freedom is so linked to personal freedom that it’s just as important to remember why you need one to be under control in order for you to feel as though you can take on the world.
So, we’re suggesting that you schedule a weekly money date with your dollars in order to keep on top of them, as per financial planner Brittany Castro’s suggestion.
“By calling this allocated time with your money a ‘date’,” she explains, “you can begin to bring fun, exciting elements into your financial life to help you stay committed for the long haul and really show your money some extra TLC.”
Pour your dosh a glass of wine and tackle the following during your one-on-one time:
Get it in (auto) order
If you’re still taking a late fee on the chin every month for those bills you’re too lazy to set up direct debit for, your weekly money date covers the time to take care of this. Some companies also offer a 4 per cent discount to those who sign up for email bills, as opposed to paper ones, so it’s worth spending your date looking into where you can save this extra bit of money.
You know how big-ticket expenses seem to come out of nowhere? We swear it was just last month we paid our car rego and insurance, or a year’s worth of gym membership just got debited. If you meet with your money for an hour a week, you can anticipate these costs, and adjust your spending accordingly to help ease the pain of crawling through to pay day. Also, if next month you know rego has to come out, you can start putting a little extra away each week until then to take the sting out of it.
Budgets are great, but if you’re not sticking to yours, or it doesn’t accurately reflect the life you’re living, you’d do well to review it. If you’re consistently spending over your allocated amount, it might be time to reconsider the amount you’ve anticipated you’ll save – or dig into saving money in another area. By checking in weekly, this doesn’t have to be a mammoth task, just something to keep on your radar.
Brittany insists that in order for your money date to work, you should still have a bit of fun. It doesn’t have to be you, a calculator and a pile of bills until you’re blue in the face: get a glass of wine or put on some music and treat it much like you would a real date. But give yourself the full hour – your bank account will thank you.