writer: Ona Rihu
Picture: Ona Rihu
I feel like the topic of managing your money is now more present than before, and it makes me extremely happy. I’ve read articles about saving, investing and spending money for a few years now, as it’s always fascinated me. I’ve made all my own money and in the first years of making an income I used to spend it all on fast fashion and eating out. Now that I’m a bit older and wiser I’ve started investing very carefully through my bank and saving a percentage of my income in my savings account and/or my apartment savings account ASP, instead of wasting money on things I don’t need. A part of me wishes I’d started sooner, but I also look back on those carefree years with love. However, there’s been a huge difference in my income now that I’ve started studying. It’s going to be more difficult to save money and to manage it in general, so I’m making this list for myself as a guideline and hoping it can help some of you aswell. x
Step 1 - Make a budget
Whether it’s in excel or an old school notebook, having a clear budget is very important. It helps you see the whole picture of your situation and see your income in detail. This is especially helpful for those who have multiple sources of income.
Step 2 - Track your spending
Write a list of every single purchase you make for 1 week, or as long as you see necessary to get to know your own spending habits. This helps you see where your money is going and how much you’re spending in total. For me this was a real eye-opener, and made me rethink a lot of my past-time activities!
Step 3 - Cut down
Recognize the problem areas you might have and get creative with finding some more affordable solutions. Whether it’s switching your takeaway matcha to homemade, or going on a shopping break, recognize your habits and work on them!
step 4 - save up
If you have any income that you CAN save, do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s 25% of your income or 10 euros per month, get in to the habit of setting aside some money on a seperate account. Once you get into the flow of saving money you’ll notice how nice it feels and hopefully get even more motivated when you see those digits on your savings account. If you need motivation for this, have a prize for yourself when you’ve reached a certain amount of savings.
It’s also important to think about your relationship to money, how it affects you and whether it’s healthy or has something you can improve. I’d like to think of money only as a tool, not something that in itself brings me happiness or a feeling of accomplishment. This way you don’t get too caught up in the numbers and stay grounded. After all, you can’t put a price tag on happiness or health. Even if I’m living on a budget, I try not to say or think negative thoughts about my financial situation. Instead of saying “I’m broke”, I try to say “I’m saving up”. A budget lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t indulge or feel like your life is abundant. This is another great use for a gratitude list. We are all lucky, and we are all more priviledged than someone else, in some way. Try to find gratitude for what you already have instead of lusting after things you don’t have. This way you’re more open to attracting abundance anyway x