Welcome back to Tebogo’s Story on money and if you missed the first one on the realisation that change was needed, I’d suggest you listen to that first.
Tebogo is a reader of this blog and recently sent me an amazing email sharing how he managed to transform his finances over the past few months. It was so awesome to hear from someone who’s just realised that things are wrong and that he needs to take charge of his money. He also spoke of the WellSpent site which is covered in one of the next posts. (Great site by the way!)
Part 2: I make time for my money
This part of the chat is jam-packed fill of practical tips and habits which Tebogo has implemented in order to completely change his finances! Nothing is particularly difficult or complicated, but they’re just small things that are done with consistency which has made a huge impact! Listen out for the subtle things he says such as how taking charge of his money has improved his relationship and how it’s given him greater confidence!
Take a listen here:
I love my budget
Can you ever imagine saying something like that? I mean really, who loves a budget?
It’s amazing though how a small change of perspective can alter things. Instead of seeing it as a negative thing that stops you from spending, rather look at it as a tool to manage your goals. If you can see progress towards your goals then surely you’ll start to see the benefits of budgeting and maybe you’ll start to love your budget too!
In the chat you heard how Tebogo is simply using a combination a notepad & an Excel spreadsheet to manage his budget and his expenses. There are many free budget spreadsheets available and even apps, but it’s important to start off with a relatively simple budget that makes sense to you! Don’t overcomplicate your life with extra admin, especially if you’re not very good with admin. Start small and over time you can enhance it all.
Kill the debt
Debt is the number one reason that people never get rich. That might sound harsh and maybe even a little simplistic; there are obviously many factors involved but I really think that debt and the mindset of spending money you don’t have, will cause you to never accumulate wealth.
Everyone’s financial circumstances will be different. Have a look at how to unwind the spiral of debt and really make this a focus! The first step is to understand what debt you have; all your debt; and then to make a plan of how to pay it off.
A great practical tip that Tebogo has mentioned is to cancel your credit cards and store cards once they are paid off and start using cash! That may seem very drastic to you but sometimes you need drastic measures to make drastic changes in life! Credit cards aren’t all bad though, but the good side is only accessible to those who have great self control. Have a look at some pro’s and con’s of credit cards.
Make time for your money!
Have you ever started a new hobby or tried to learn a new skill? It usually looks easier than it is and you generally have to spend concerted time and effort to master it.
Why should managing your money be any different? If you don’t have the skills or you don’t spend time & effort on it, how do you suppose things will turn out? If you’re serious about sorting out your money then you’ll need to put in the time.
Four important things that Tebogo spends time on are:-
- Tracking his daily expenses
- Managing his budget (making sure things are on track)
- Checking his bank statements for incorrect or fraudulent transactions
- Understanding all the policies he has in place and negotiating where possible
The savings challenge
“Don’t save what is left after spending; but spend what is left after saving!” Warren Buffet
Amongst the many goals Tebogo has set himself, he is also busy with the 52 Week Savings Challenge! But, he is doubling it up and has adapted it to his own circumstances! That’s the great thing about budgeting, saving and investing, it’s all specific to your own circumstances and you can set the rules.
Tebogo has saved R8,600 already in cash. Wow – that’s incredible isn’t it? Shows what hard work and dedication can do!
Two big changes that Tebogo has implemented in order help him save are:
- Using cash and setting a weekly limit
- Buying food for the week and making his own work lunches
Both great tips which can help you save a lot! And also remember that taking charge of your money also sometimes means saying “no” to others. Have a look at the power of saying “no”.
When you listen to Tebogo you can really hear that he is motivated and excited about what he is doing in terms of his finances! But what drives him? And what will drive you?
Before you can set any goals or make any plans, you need to really want to change your financial situation! You need to realise for yourself that things are not as they should be and you need to decide for yourself! Unfortunately reading books and blogs on the topic won’t help you to magically change your life; it’s something that requires action and the ongoing motivation is driven by your own realisation of what you should be doing.
It’s great to have goals and to work towards them but you need to understand what it truly means for you, and why you want to do whatever it is you want to.
Tebogo has set several goals and is clearly tracking them and knows where he’s at. It’s motivating to hear other peoples stories, but now it’s time for you to take some time to think about your own financial situation.
This section of the chat with Tebogo is really motivating and exciting as he talks us through many practical ways to budget, save money and generally do things better. Some of the tips he shares are:
- Set aside time to discuss your budget with your spouse / partner
- Cancel your store and credit cards and use cash
- Go through your bank statements to see what you’re being charged for
- Understand what insurance policies you have, and whether you need them all
- Negotiate with service providers if possible
- Make time for your money
- Track your expenses
- Take a packed lunch to work
It’s really worth listening to it again to make sure you catch it all.
Listen to how you can save more money! Get the practical tips from Tebogo on what he’s done to save more.