Finances...I'm not sure about you but right now I am struggling to allocate time to review my spending & budget...yet I’ve got time to do it !
Finances are an important segment in the Circle of Life because being worried about money has a very big health impact on all of us.
Right now we are being inundated with all sorts of worries: the virus, state of the economy and your business /work, food supply, when self isolation will end but ignoring your finances is adding extra stress whether you are aware of it or not.
Thanks to suggestions from clients and friends, I’m dedicating this blog to the Elephant in the room - Finances! Social media is full of tips on how to stay active, foods to build immunity, home cooking ideas, best WFH solutions and top rating viewing on TV but no one is talking about the state of your finances even though we all know its weighing heavily on our minds.
I am especially mindful of people who have been furloughed, lost their jobs, on reduced pay or sole traders / small businesses where work has stopped or slowed dramatically.
By writing this blog I am reminding myself of what I need to do, so if this exercise is helpful to you then fantastic. Understand by spending time on your finances (I'm dedicating Friday morning - having ignored it number of weeks) you are addressing the Elephant in the room and quite frankly there’s not much room for him/her right now.
So let’s do this exercise please and know that by doing so we are avoiding prolonged stress which disrupts the digestive system, can prevent nutrient absorption and limit immunity.... financial exercise upside!
Financial Fitness Exercise (30-60mins)
1. Take 10min to download your last bank and credit card statement/s;
2. Go though and highlight anything that does not look right e.g subscriptions, memberships you no longer need or use and cancel them immediately or make a note to do so.
3. Notice any regular expense items that you don’t need or can't get right now e.g take away coffee/ lunch, beauty treatments, fuel etc! Add up how much you spent and will now potentially save and allocate to saving a/c or more worthy investment, (most bank accounts have a current a/c and saving a/c) ;
4.Understand what your “need” expenses are and list them (rent / mortgage, power, food etc) and consider whether they can be reduced - changing providers. At least be aware of this list. If you are struggling to pay bills, write to providers and offer a part payment, or a payment holiday for 2 months. By engaging with the problem you may find a solution.
5.Understand what you are spending on everything else “wants” and whether you can make some changes. Remember there are going to be things you can’t spend money on right now like gym memberships, social outings, beauty treatments etc - how can that money be better allocated? Saving a/c fund?
Any surprises? The main intention of this exercise is to create awareness because ignoring it causes underlying stress and we want to avoid that. You may not be able to solve everything but being aware of your position means you can make informed decisions rather than ignoring, adding stress and just hoping for the best.
I am committed to doing this on Friday morning so get to it ! Let me know how you get on.