How we keep consistent with our finances.

Consistency is the key to making big financial improvements whether it is getting out of debt, saving for a car or buying a house – consistency is always key. Small leaks can sink big ships. So have a look at how we stay consistent and motivated to keep on track with our finances.

how to keep your finances on track
How we stay consistent with our finances.

Financial meetings – deciding on your goals should be a group activity. If you are in a couple or a family then the key contributors need to be present in your decision and goal making. Holding regular financial meetings ensures you are updating your goals and everyone involved knows what the aim is. It is also a great time to do financial analysis of your situation to keep you and your family on track.

Budget updates – having a budget that is consistently updates makes you financial life so much easier than guessing. Projecting saving and expenses is easily done if you have the past information. This shows you where you may have been overspending or where you can save extra money. It also helps when negotiating with insurance companies etc – you can see previous bills and ask why it has increased.

Motivation – by following the above steps and making your finances a priority it makes it easier for you to stay on track. We keep ourselves motivated by having posters of our goals. I have it on my desk at work so I know what I am working towards. You can read about other ways to motivate here.

Discussing your goals with family and friends – instead of saying I’m broke when a close friend invites you out – try telling them what you are working towards. You will find a lot more people supportive than judgemental and will want to help you work towards your goals faster. Maybe not financially but with tips and hints or by inviting you over for dinner instead of out to dinner. By sharing your goals with your children it helps them understand money and help towards reaching the family goal as well.

How do you stay consistent in your finances? I would love to know!

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Ways to motive yourself financially 

Saving money, paying off debt and staying in budget. All things that require A LOT of patience, perseverance and most of all motivation.  Keeping yourself motivated is probably the hardest part of keeping up your financial goals. Here are some hints and tips on ways to motivate yourself financially to reach your goals.

reaching your financial goal quicker by staying motivated.
How to stay financially motivated to reach your goals
Tips to keep your self motivated to reach your financial goals.
  1. Have exact goals.  Not I need about $10,000 – do you need $10,000? Or $10,650 – be exact.  Know the exact number.  Add up all your debt and know to the cent what you owe or what you need to save.  Having an exact goal is an import step.  If it becomes lower then that is a bonus but have an exact figure to work with.  Once you start making payments you can then say its $8453.  That is a lot more satisfying than saying I need ‘oh about $8500.’  You will also find it a lot more motivating to make payments to get under $8000, then under $7000 etc.
  2. Compare.  What the minimum is and what you want/can pay is.  If paying off your credit card will take 8 years paying the minimum work out how quickly it can paid off paying extra.  Often the time and the interest is enough motivation to knuckle down and pay it off asap.
  3. Recognise how far you have come.  Too often we are overly critical of ourselves – if you were doing well then fell off the wagon than consider how well you had done, why you fell off the wagon and how you are committed not to do that again.
  4. Create a visual payment section, I love a colouring in page -divided into payment segments. Colour in how much you have paid off, of my favourite a good old thermometer going up in increments of your payment schedule so you can track you progress. At the beginning it will seem a little boring but once you start making progress it will really motivate you to keep going!  You can keep this in your budget folder or somewhere you will see all the time. My favourite is on my bedroom wall with my motivation board!
  5. Have a motivation board – have a picture of what you aiming for.  If it is a holiday a picture of where you want to go, what life will be like without having a credit card.  I like to have a picture/collage in our room to keep me motivated with my payment board. It can be anywhere that you see regularly.  I like our bedroom because I see it all the time but visitors don’t see it.  Another great place is on your screensaver on your phone.  If your like me and love to check your phone through the day this can be very very helpful, the constant reminder during the day helps stop any impulse buying!
  6. Follow like minded people on social media!  I have found the instagram community soooo helpful, motivating and encouraging.  I follow people from all over the world, all in the same situation trying to better ourselves financially!  It’s so inspiring to find people who are looking for ways to save on food, on electricity on christmas presents etc.  I just started searching hashtags that I used like #budgetmum, #frugalliving and started commenting and found so many lovely people that are sooo eager to help and share their ideas!  You can follow me here.

I hope that this has give you some tips and hints on how to stay motivated to reach your financial goals!  I would love to hear any more ideas or if you a motivating story I would love to share it!

Budget Mum Blog

Why we do a full financial analysis

Do you do a State of the Union type analysis on your budget?  It is a financial analysis of your true financial position. We do and I urge you to as well.  We have been doing this since we moved into our first house.  We do it yearly, sometimes even six monthly.  It is a great visual and awesome motivation for you and your family to actually track and visualise your financial situation.

how to do your own personal financial analysis
how to do your own personal financial analysis

What is your financial situation?  Do you know what your financial situation is? Honestly?  Some people can quote every debt they have others, not so much.  Your true financial situation is what would be left if you sold everything.  For example (a not very nice example) if you died. Would you leave debt? Or would your leave money?  Very early in our marriage we would have left debt.  We bought a house at what was a high time (unknown to us), followed by the GFC.  Not great for resale.  I had a nice chunk of debt and my car was worth nothing (not that cars are ever a great investment).  So this is an example of what a State of Union Financial Analysis would look like.

ASSET                              WORTH                              OWING

House                           $300,000                             $280,000

Cars                               $15,000                               $15,000

Credit Cards                  $6,000                                $0

TOTAL                         $321,000                              $295,000

So your financial position would be $26,000 in credit.

Not bad you say, well it’s not great if you take into account 2 people earnings, age, etc.  What have you been doing with your money?

Why is it important to know?  It is important that you know exactly your financial situation, so you can take charge of your finances.  Once you start doing this regularly you understand your finances and what is important, and what is not.  This type of analysis is a great motivator, we started doing it when we didn’t think our finances were too bad (boy were we wrong!) It is a great motivator to be able to see how much progress you have made this year.  It is also a great motivator to stay on track.

Budget Mum Blog