Here at Nav.it, we recognize the reality of financial anxiety and we finding ways to create avenues for better financial planning and managing that do not increase our anxiety but rather inpower (remember, we focus on internally powering our lives!) and uplift us. I don’t know about you, but if something is going to inpower me, it needs to be joyful in some way. So, that’s what we’re setting off to do. Here are six ways to make pay-period based money managing effective and fun!
Make money managing a regular part of your day
Incorporate a review of your spending into the part of your day set for reflection and downtime. I love to write to-do lists as a way to unwind and prepare for a productive tomorrow. If you have a time scheduled into your day for this, choose one of those moments in the week where you’ll also plan what purchases you have coming up, or review your weekly spending.
If reviewing your spending creates anxiety, choose one thing you know you spend on each month….food? clothes? coffee? and just total that. Knowledge is key and once you know the number you then get to decide if you’re comfortable with the amount spent, or would prefer to cut that back. Also, keep of list of what you’re rocking and what you’d like to spend less on, because being kind to yourself in this process is essential!
Make it reflective of you and your personality
If you’re someone who is obsessed with pretty notebooks and writing lists in them – run to Target and buy a journal (one that isn’t going to break the bank of course!). Or if you like to have all your plans on your computer, look up some cool, free money managing excel templates and work from there. (Or if you prefer apps, see #4). Remember to add in a line for your most favorite activity in the world–if it costs money– (spa and facial appointments–see if you can get a discount around your birthday or promotions– consignment store shopping for treasures, or art supplies for painting).
Create room for error
Make sure your money managing is forgiving – and there is a little room for emergency purchases. If it is too restraining, you might find yourself constantly going over your planned expenditure (amount you have to spend). This can be disheartening and chip away at this plan for inpowerment. We’ve talked about having an emergency fund here. This room for error is focused on your spending habits during a pay period or monthly.
Find an app that works for you
There are so many useful apps out there that can help you in the day to day details of your money managing. Even if you are using a notebook or an excel sheet for your pay period money managing, an app can help you with those midday check ups whenever you need them. Before downloading an app, though, take the time to research their features and decide which is best for you. For example, some may offer more interactive interfaces vs. more simple layouts. Some may allow you to link to your bank accounts while others do not have that feature. This article is a good place to start when deciding which app is best for you.
Make it a friendly game
Know someone that also wants to start managing their money more closely and could serve as support for you? Create a fun competition with them – whoever meets their spending and/or savings goals the most that week gets to win some kind of budget friendly prize–$5 coffee? A DIY gift that can’t cost more than $2? Or if competition isn’t your thing, it could just be fun to have a friend to go through the same money managing journey with you and have someone to reflect and discuss things with.
Use this as an opportunity to explore
Money makes things easy on us sometimes – it’s so much easier to just buy a Netflix account or go out to dinner with friends, instead of taking the time to learn a new skill or hobby. Think of this money managing start as an opportunity to slow down and learn new things you’ve always liked the thought of but never actually took the time to do. For example in some alternate universe I think I would love to go back and reteach myself Spanish. Or maybe explore the city you live in and make it a game to find free activities around the area.
Looking for easy ways to be a conscious spender or how to better Nav your finances? Take a look at some of these resources:
Image Credit: Mirjana Jesic