Have you ever had the thought…
‘fuck, what did I spend my money on this month?’
It was probably because you still spend money like a 16 year old with their first paycheque, spending money on crap, impulsive and wasteful purchases… allowing the monkey brain to take over.
Well, try this approach
First, ask yourself the following:
- How much do I have to spend daily on travel, food etc
- How much disposable income do I have this month?
- How much disposable income do I really want to spend?
- Wheres my fucking wallet/purse?
Now, at the start of the month withdraw that figure from an ATM, divide it into weeks and carry only that weeks amount on you. Leave your cards at home and put away the fucking credit cards!
What happens now?
The first week, you will be worried about getting mugged or losing your wallet, probably checking your pocket every 5 minutes but it is extremely unlikely either of these will happen and eventually you will relax.
The second week, you will become very aware of how much you have left for the week and impulsive purchasing will start to subside. Your mind will start to value everyday purchases because it can physically see the exchange of money rather than a tap of plastic and some digital numbers diminishing.
The third week, you will start questioning yourself before buying something, like… do I really need this dress? or have I earned it?. This means big impulsive purchases will likely stop and you will assess your financial situation before making purchases.
And finally the fourth week, you will have become tight as fuck and with a different mindset on money.
This conditioning technique might take a few months to build into habit but it will help you in the long-term.
Should I really carry that much cash on me?
Well, if you are carrying hundreds of pounds, I would suggest you are spending too much each week and should probably try saving more! If you are really concerned, divide it up into daily amounts and carry that, they idea is so you can relate to how much that ‘purchase’ will impact on your weekly budget.
Most of my spending is direct debits, what should I do?
For this to work, you shouldn’t have the majority of payments coming out in direct debits, only essential payments. If you are struggling financially every month then maybe you should be cancelling that Netflix subscription and dial it back to basics with this strategy.
I have other expenses like birthdays this month, should I count these in my budget?
Yes! you should only be spending in your means regardless to the occasion. If you are really forced to spend over the weekly budget then rein the spending in the following week, that way it keeps overall spending within the monthly budget.
I go out at the weekends with friends, should I include this in the budget?
Again, yes! This budget is based on your disposable income and any spending on social activities need to be in this income bracket regardless to following this strategy.
Why should I leave my cards at home?
Because it removes the temptation of using them and will prevent the mindset developing.
Is this really a good option for me?
Maybe, but you won’t know until you give it try.
I have money left over every week, what should I do?
You could roll it into the next week but my advice would be to save it either for the long-term or until a big purchase comes along, you will feel less guilty and happy knowing disposable – disposables incomes paid for it.
You should also reassess how much you actually ‘need’ every month.