Today, you’re going to discover better money habits that can crush your uncertainty around money for good
These simple money habits are what I’ve used in the last few years to create “impossible” results in my life – even when it seemed like I didn’t have enough to start.
Let’s dive in.
In the last 3 – 5 years, I can hand on heart say that my relationship with money has changed in ways I never thought possible.
It usually takes a crisis to get a majority of people to finally stare money in the face.
I was no different.
As long as I had money coming in one way or another, I always scraped through each month by the skin of my teeth.
My father’s death on Christmas day in 2008 and then my mother’s ill health a few years later is what made the penny drop.
Because I had to close up my life in London to start all over in another part of the world.
Starting from almost zero is a humbling experience.
Here are a few things I learned along the way about creating more and saving when money is tight.
“what does it cost to live your life each month?”
Grab my free tracking spreadsheet to get started. on tracking your true cost
Note: DO NOT edit the template directly unless you want to share your finances with the world.
Make a copy of the template instead.
Be sure to download the template to your drive rather than trying to edit template directly on my drive.
To download it / make a copy
Go to file > make a copy > select where you would like to save your copy of the template.
Although the the act of manually entering your daily spend can help you with getting familiar with your numbers quickly,
I understand there are people that still prefer 21st century methods.
So here are a few apps that can help you along:
Related Reading: How to Make A Budget (with wiggle room) A step-by-step guide
In the Uk there are meat and vegetable boxes that deliver:
In the US there also options like:
This one habit of bulk buying cut back on my anxiety that we’ll not have the money when we need it for food.
Knowing that I don’t have to worry about the simple basics all the time freed up my mind to focus on growing money rather than surviving.
Research wholesale options for each category of your life cost.
You can start slowly. There’s no need to try to get every category into bulk buy mode in one go.
I started with getting two weeks of worth of food and then one month.
Now I have a mix of minimum of 1 month for some items and up to 6 months for others
This was something that came out of necessity for me.
The system over here in Nigeria leans towards pre-payment for a majority of services.
Over here, you can’t pay the electricity bill at the end of the month, you pay for your credits before you use them.
Same goes for the phone bill and a lot of other things.
You can obviously top up your credits if you do run out.
But knowing that I’m paying for things upfront means that I’m more aware of how I use them.
Also, It means I don’t get a nasty surprise at the end of the month.
Again, It doesn’t mean that I “nickel and dime” myself but it means that I’m more conscious of wastage.
It means that I’m responding to the change rather than reacting.
What services can you prepay for? Switch and get it off your mind.
The more you can cut down on the unexpected figures, the better.
Cheap doesn’t mean “better” and more expensive doesn’t mean “best.”
This is the one major lesson I learned early on.
A majority of us get used to dealing with one supplier.
We don’t bother checking to see if we’re getting good value for money.
You need to be in the habit of always focusing on value
Are your suppliers giving you better value?
Here’s the thing:
Your phone, electricity and other suppliers may act like they’re doing you a favour but they do need your patronage.
And you have to leverage that.
As long as you’re paying money for it, it’s your job to determine and squeeze value from it.
I’m not shy anymore about asking for what I want.
I’ve been known to negotiate better phone contracts, bank interest rates and service delivery from contractors.
You name it, I’ve tried it.
The trick is to know when to negotiate.
Are you getting the best value for things on your true cost list?
Get clear on what you want.
Know what brings value to you. Then find the best supplier to offer it.
If your old supplier wants you to stay, ask if they can offer the value you want at the best price.
Majority of us are always looking for the big payout that will bring in tons of cash in one sitting.
But the advantage of knowing the true cost of your life means that you have a clear idea of how much each of your spending categories cost.
Now all you have to do is create small assets that can bring in income to cover each of those categories.
I learned this little trick from Andre over at tiny little businesses.
It flipped the script for me because in the past I was looking for the one thing that could help me make six figures.
But now, I’m open to creating tiny assets that can bring in small amounts that add up to the big amount.
part of my bill for the month are as follows:
internet bill is $27
cable bill: $70
Food bill: $653
mums medicine: $153
electricity bill: $167
Rather than create stress trying to find one magic rocket…
I spend time creating tiny assets that can meet the need of each category expense.
Doing this cuts down on a lot of anxiety and stress.
Also, It means I don’t dismiss potential income sources anymore.
Before, I would dismiss things because I didn’t think they would bring in a lot of money.
But now, I look at each potential source of income based on what category expense it could cover.
Then I compare it to how much energy it would take to set up and maintain.
That’s how I generally decide if I should move forward or not.
Offline, I’m always looking for ways to create value and charge for it.
I use the category expenses that we determined in step one to guide me on what small asset I want to create.
What tiny asset can you create today?
Even if it only brings in $10 – $25 a month, trust me, that money can pay for one of your category expenses.
(Just make sure you don’t spend 80% of your time trying to maintain it – it’s all about balance.)
Want to learn about creating niche posts?
Jennifer Ledbetter (aka potpiegirl) offers shares simple insights into how to doing that.
In fact, I learned how to create niche posts that sell from her product.
And apart from knowing my true costs and all that, I always felt like I wanted to do more and create more.
The one thing that upped my game with money and gave me confidence about the future was knowing how to be a better money manager.
This simple trick helped me save money – even when I didn’t have much to start with.
It’s the 6 jar system and I’ll explain how it works.
There are 6 core places you need to funnel it into apart from your day to day “true cost” expenses
Freedom ( investment) jar – for investments or assets that will bring in more income. This is your golden goose.
The ‘freedom’ account is to help on your journey to becoming financially free.
Education jar – fairly obvious.
You have to keep improving yourself and the funds in this account or jar are for this purpose only. Books, CD, courses etc.
Give account – Money in this account is for giving away.
charity, family, friends. this is what you can afford to give. you have to get in the habit of giving back.
If you don’t know how to give $1 today, then you’ll never be able to give $10,000 later.
Long-term spending jar (LTS) – these are for the big things like children’s education, contingency fund, holidays, car.
A small monthly contribution can go a long way.
You may have more than one LTS jar.
If you have more than one LTS, divide the 10% between the jars according to your priorities.
Monthly play account – this is for you to treat yourself every month.
You get to spend on things you normally wouldn’t consider spending on.
Spend it on whatever you want with no judgement.
It made life so much easier because I wasn’t scrounging around when I needed money for a course or a treat.
I could also save for the big things.
I started out putting just $1 in each of the jars because I didn’t have much money.
But something strange happened. I saw myself wanting to add more money.
And so the next month it became $5
Then it became $10, $15, $25, $80 and more in each jar
Now, it’s a habit to funnel a percentage of any amount of money I get into these 5 accounts.
I feel more in control of my money because I can literally see how it’s working for me now.
Create Six accounts that serve a particular purpose in helping you become a better money manager
Note that these percentages are recommendations. Start and use whatever works for you.
As long as you do it, that’s the point.
I started with putting only $1 in these accounts and then grew from there.
Qapital: set your 6 jar goals with real figures. You can set targets that keeps increasing as you meet them.
Digit: A bit more informal but a great place to start for those still struggling with the idea of saving.
It analyses your spending and helps you save your space change automatically
Making friends with money doesn’t have to be complicated.
I see most blogs with over 50 things and I find them so overwhelming.
I’m a great believer in the premise that life will show you how to live it.
I also believe that there is a path of least resistance for everything including money.
The less you complicate it, the more it shows you how to respond to it.
These 6 habits are what have created 80% of money shifts for me – either by helping me save a fortune or create more of it.
So, which money habit are you going to cultivate today?
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I’m Elizabeth Archibong. A Nigerian girl obsessed setting the rules on fire to create life and results from a place of ease and a path of least resistance. I teach people how to see themselves more simply and accurately. So that they can create and get more of the things that they want.