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Reduce Your Expenses – Simple Guide!

Are you looking for ways to reduce expenses so you can spend less and save more?

If at the end of a day, week, or month you think where did all my money go then you need to start looking at your spending and see where you can cut expenses.

Living payday to payday is not fun!

You want to be able to have some money left over at the end of the month so that you can save it for more important things like an emergency fund, retirement or even a vacation.

Most of us don’t realise just how much money we’re wasting on a daily basis. Many unnecessary costs can actually be reduced or cut altogether.

 

 

Write down all your expenses

First of all, you want to know what your monthly expenses is to figure out exactly what your current monthly expenses are.

Many people don’t realize how much they’re spending. That’s because it’s easy to spend £1 here or £5 there and not think anything of it. We may not think we’re buying anything lavish, but at the end of the month we’re left wondering – where did all of my money go?

If you want to learn how to drastically cut expenses, the first step is to write down ALL your fixed and variable (discretionary) spending.

An easy way to figure this out is to look at your previous bank statements to see what you spent. Or you can simply track your spending for the next month.

Fixed expenses – These are expenses that you MUST pay each month, such as rent / mortgage, electricity, gas, water, savings plans, debt payments (credit card, car payments, student loan, personal loan) and so on.

Variable spending – These are non-essential expenses, such as dining out, vacations, entertainment, lunch with friends, gifts, clothes, manicures and pedicures, and so on.

If you’re currently having trouble paying your monthly bills, you’ll want to figure out the absolute minimum amount of money you need to cover your essential living costs.

This includes:

  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Shelter
  • Transportation

If you are currently working towards paying off debt, then you’ll want to include debt payments in your essential living costs too.

I know it’s not easy to cut your monthly expenses and it can be tempting to stop debt repayments. But try to make at least the minimum payments on your debt. Continuing to pay down debt can help reduce your monthly debt payments.

Once you’ve determined your monthly fixed and variable expenses, compare this with your household’s income. If you’re currently living without a source of income, see how much cash you have set aside in your savings account or emergency fund.

 

Determine your financial goals

Most people want to reduce their monthly expenses because they want to save and accomplish more with their money. Knowing your goals can help you align your budget around achieving them.

The best part is your goals can be anything you want. Perhaps you want to pay off credit card debt, save money to purchase a car, or build an emergency fund. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to break down your goals into manageable steps.

Ask yourself – what do I want my finances to look like a year from now? But starting today, you’ll begin planting the seeds for a successful financial future.

Related post:

Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

 

 

Create a realistic monthly budget

Now that you’ve determined your essential living costs and figured out ways to reduce your non-essential spending, it’s time to create a new monthly budget.

For those who currently don’t have an income, you’ll need to see how much cash you have set aside to make sure it’s enough to cover your essential living costs.

Related posts:

Would you like to know more about creating a budget? Then see our post below:

 

Reduce your expenses

Now you have followed the above steps, here’s are 10 tips to help you curb your spending, cut your expenses and live on less than you make.

 

Negotiate your bills

Unfortunately, you can’t cut them completely but chances are you can lower them. Most people miss this one because they think bills are bills and there’s nothing you can do about them, but that is the farthest thing from the truth.

Start by calling around to make sure you have the best deal. 

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You can also cut your heating bill by 3% for every degree you move your thermostat.

Many companies offer a discount if you sign up for autopay. Make sure to ask because sometimes they only apply the discount if you ask for it.

We also cut our internet bill in half by asking about their current promotions. This alone saved us £360 this year. Once you start adding up all savings you found on bills, you’ll find several hundred pounds/dollars in savings

 

Sky/Cable TV

When I was first learning how to live on a budget, Sky TV was one of the first expenses I cut.

The truth is, most of the time with Sky you’re paying for a bunch of channels you don’t watch. Streaming means you’re more likely to use what you pay for every month.

For example, we have:

Altogether, I pay about £25 for these channels compared to the £75 I used to pay for Sky. That’s a massive saving if £600 per year!

If you haven’t made the switch from Sky/cable to streaming yet, that’s 600 reasons to give it a shot.

 

Gym membership

I have been guilty of this, having a gym membership I never used.

The money would be coming out my bank account every month, while I’m trying to convince myself I would start to use it.

You need to get rid of it – ASAP

If you haven’t been using it regularly and consistently for months on end you are not going to do it now.

According to This Is Money, Brits waste a collective £25billion a month each year on subscriptions they don’t use or want, and a massive 12% of that is on gym memberships alone!

That’s a whole lot of money!

If you don’t use your gym membership, look at alternative ways of exercise instead. I have invested in resistant bands and an exercise bike. I prefer this way, and there are plenty of workout tutorials on YouTube to follow.

If your finances are tight, then this one has to go!

 

Stop paying credit card interest

If you’ve got credit card debt with an interest rate – ditch it right now. Get it switched to a 0% deal like yesterday! Credit card interest rates are extortionate if you don’t manage them right.

That being said, 0% credit card deals are great for slashing the costs of any debt you have if you use them properly.

Just make sure if you’re switching to pay it off – cut the new card up and set up a monthly payment to make sure you clear the balance by the end of the term.

I used this trick for years as a gradually cleared the debt I built up at Uni and didn’t have to pay a penny of interest on it as a result. If I couldn’t clear the debt by the end of the term, I switched to another deal to avoid paying interest.

Take a look at this page on Money Saving Expert to find the best current deals.

 

Shop with a plan

If you head to the grocery store with a plan in mind, your shopping trip will be more successful and less expensive.

Many people are unsure of what they have in their cabinets and fridge, let alone what to make for dinner. Make a list of meals to have for the week. Then, see what you need to complete those recipes in your kitchen and pantry.

It’s also a good idea to stock your pantry with essentials when sales are going on.

Supermarket ads can also be incredibly useful. You might have to store hop on a weekly basis, but shopping with the sales can save you a lot of money in the long term.

 

Branded food/drinks

People love brands names, but in my opinion, the majority of the time, you are paying just for the name!

I have ditched name products and shop at Aldi and sometimes Lidl majority of time. There are alternative items of food/drink, are just as good if not better in some cases.

The money you save week in week out is massive!

The Same goes with clothes, I use to buy brand and designer all the time. Not anymore, there are cheaper alternatives out there, such as Boohoo, Primark and ASOS where you can look smart for cheaper.

As long as I look good and feel comfortable in my clothes and shoes, that’s all that matters to me, not what branded name I’m wearing.

Related posts:

Want to know more about saving money with groceries? Then see my posts on cutting back grocery spending:

 

 

Resist impulse purchases

Have you ever walked into a shop to get something small, such as shampoo and you ended up leaving with a bunch of items that weren’t on your shopping list?

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Don’t feel bad if you said yes. It’s called impulse spending and marketers are really good at encouraging consumers to make impulse purchases. This is an unplanned decision to buy a product (or service) right before the purchase is made.

Nearly 78.2% of Brits have succumbed to the temptation to impulse online shopping, according to a recent survey. While it might seem like an impulse buy here and there is harmless, it can sabotage your goals such as paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for a large purchase.

Related post:

Want to know more information on how to complete a no spend month and save a huge chunk of money? See the below post:

 

 

Mobile phone

We have all been caught out on this one. Mobile phone companies offer free phones to entice you into a two-year contract that you are then bound to. Emails flooding your inbox trying to persuade you to upgrade to the latest smartphone can be oh so tempting, but before you succumb, as yourself the following questions.

Do I really need a new phone? (Need, not want!)

What will it really cost me over the course of two years?

Do I really need 100GB of data a month?

Would a prepaid mobile phone be the better financial option?

You’ll know from your answers, what you should really do. It’s all about being sensible and not living above your means for the sake of having the latest smartphone.

 

Eat at home as much as possible

Eating out is a nice treat for every now and again, but when you get into the habit of dining out because you can’t be bother to cook, it becomes and expense game.

After a long day a work, when you’re tired, it’s just the easier option. I’ve done it before, we’ve all done it at one point of time. The thought of cooking after a stressful day is a chore, but there are ways around this.

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Batch cooking food is a great way to give yourself a break from the kitchen. For example, you could cook a batch of meals at the weekend and then freeze them. Each day you will then have a meal prepared without having to cook from scratch.

I do this with my workout meals for the week, it saves me a lot of time.

For a family of four, just by eating out a few times a month, you are talking about a few hundred pounds/dollars per month, if not more.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Stop using disposable items

Some of the products you use from day to day are only used once, then thrown away. Paper towels, for example, are handy when you want to clean up a mess in a hurry, but reaching for one after every spill can become an expensive habit.

I don’t know about you but when there is a roll of paper towels in my house, I go through it like crazy, I wash my hands A LOT (a habit from working in the hospital years ago) and if I had to dry on a paper towel at home daily, I would be buying tons of paper towels.

Instead of paper towels or napkins, use hand towels. Using them will create a bit of extra dirty laundry, but will also cut out the cost of these disposable ones altogether.

You can also eliminate other items like dryer sheets by switching to wool dryer balls and sandwich bags by switching to reusable sandwich bags.

 

Bottled water

Bottled water is expensive! Spending £4-£5 on water every week when you could be using tap water/filtered water, will lead to savings that could be used towards something else.

Buy this reusable bottle and use it at work too.

It is mind boggling how expensive bottled water can get. If you have a fridge that has filtered water then even better, if not, tap water is great too!

If you are family of four getting through a 24 pack of water in less than a week is probably the norm. You could be saving £10 a week on just water.

 

 

Reduce your expenses – Final thought

Whilst these items individually may not seem like they can make big changes to your monthly budget, making small changes can, in fact, help you to save a few hundred extra dollars each month.

Those extra pounds/dollars can really help you make a dent in your debts.

Don’t be discouraged by having to cut back on expenses.

It’s better to look at your long-term goals and use that as your motivation to keep pushing forward to your financial freedom.

One thing I have realised is that you should never turn your nose up at small savings because eventually, they do add up to make a considerable difference.

Let me know what tips you have for cutting down on expenses!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

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smart-grocery-tips

Smart grocery shopping tips – Simple Guide!

Today I will be talking about smart grocery shopping tips.

Whether you’re budgeting newbie or pro, one of the hardest categories to budget is food. Unlike other fixed expenses (like Sky or cable), you can’t easily compare prices to see if you are spending too much.

Yet it’s a category that obviously can’t be overlooked. Here’s a compilation of hacks and tricks to help reduce your grocery bill and making grocery shopping on a budget easy.

 

 

Why would you want to save money on groceries?

For most people, food is the second largest expense every month. You have to have it to live. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.

Most people think that you have to buy cheap, processed foods to save money on groceries. But it is quite the opposite. Fresh (even frozen) foods and foods in bulk can save you quite a chunk of change.

The more money you save on groceries (and eating out), the more money you will have to save for other things. Like that big project around the house that’s been waiting to be finished, or a nice family vacation, or you can stash that cash in an investment account and earn money.

Read on for ways to help your wallet and save money on groceries.

 

Smart grocery shopping tips

These 15 tips for saving money on groceries are subtle and simple changes you can make, which can really add up to big savings over the course of a month.

By implementing these it’s likely that you’ll hardly feel the pinch at all!

 

Make a grocery list and stick to it

Creating a grocery list is going to be a crucial step in you saving money on food each month. There is nothing worse for your budget than when you walk into a grocery store without a list.

Without the guidance of a grocery list, you might remember everything you needed but, I bet you come out with a bunch of stuff you don’t need.

When you create a list, you can see what you need and avoid the things you don’t. Next time you go grocery shopping, make a list and stick to it. I think you’ll be surprised at how big of a difference it will make.

 

Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry

I’m guilty of doing this from time to time, and my budget suffers every time I do. It turns out that when you go to the grocery store hungry, everything looks delicious.

You end up buying things you don’t need because your brain tells you it looks good.

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Make sure you eat a snack before you go grocery shopping. Your stomach and your budget will thank you after.

If you absolutely have to go shopping while you’re hungry, make sure you have a grocery list and stick to it!

 

Shop during the sales

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to shop for grocery items when they are on sale. Buying toiletries during grocery store sales can save you a huge chunk of money.

These items are generally overused at home and can be expensive. Besides, kitchen items like cooking oil, spices, cereals and other things that can be used over a few weeks should be bought on store sales to save you some extra amount.

Always make it a point to prepare a list of grocery items you need before you step out for shopping and use an expense tracker to keep a track of your grocery spending.

 

 

Buy in bulk

One budget grocery shopping trick to consider is buying certain items in bulk.

Analyse a few of your recent meal plans. Do you see a few recurring meals that appear often in your meal plan?

Consider purchasing some of the non-perishable items for these meals in bulk. In this way, you can end up saving hundreds of pounds/dollars on your groceries!

Some common items that can be bought in bulk include rice, canned foods such as sardines, vegetables, tuna, etc.

Buying in bulk is perfect because the unit price of each item is way less (sometimes less than half of the usual price!) than if you purchase one or two cans per week.

 

Also, bulk buy your meat

Personally, I tend to buy meat when I see it reduced in the supermarket but I know others aren’t always able to get there in the evenings when there are bargains to be had.

One of the best ways to stock up on meat for less is using a company like Muscle Foods. Muscle Foods  started out being aimed at those on high protein diet – but the prices are so good that many families have started ordering from them too.

It’s always worth comparing with supermarket prices to make sure you really are getting the best deal, but generally speaking, they have some fantastic deals. Just make sure there’s plenty of room in your freezer!

 

Use leftover to prepare next meal

Using leftover food can easily save you a lot of time and money. Food that doesn’t make enough servings can easily be reused for your next meal instead of getting wasted.

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I sometimes make some extra rice just so I can use it as leftover for my next meal. You can also create new meals out of leftover chicken, bread and boiled rice.

You’ll be surprised to know that leftovers can sometimes provide for an entire meal of yours, if done effectively.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Pay with cash

Avoid carrying your credit cards to the store and pay only with cash. This is what a lot of people call the cash envelope method. This method includes setting money aside in an envelope every month for different spending such as food, gas, clothes, etc. So, you will pay your expenses with the cash that is inside the envelope.

By only spending what is in the envelope for that particular expense such as groceries then, you will stick to your budget and it will force you to save money immediately.

Believe it or not this method works and it would save you a good amount of money. This is because you don’t have another except paying with cash rather than credit cards.

Related post:

Want to find out more about the cash envelope system? Then see our post below:

 

 

Cashback sites

Cashback sites are way of earning money while you spend money on shopping.

Some good sites are Topcashback, Quidco and Boom25.

The cashback site will earn a percentage for referring you to the retailer through their website, and you take a cut of the profits.

It’s an easy way to earn some extra money while making a purchase you were planning to make anyway.

Here’s my posts with all the details of exactly how Quidco, Topcashback and BOOM25 work.

 

Buy seasonal produce

Seasonal produce is cheaper than produce that is out of season period. This is because most of the time seasonal produce is grown locally and they are in abundance.

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Besides, the cost of shipping for seasonal produce is not as much as the produce that is out of season. So, when you see a sale on seasonal produce buy it and use it in your meals.

If you still have some produce that is not being used you can always preserve, freeze, and use it for later in other meals. This would be a great advantage and serious savings on your grocery bill.

 

Try generic brands

Usually, generic brands are cheaper compared to products with a well-known name. You can save money on your groceries by just buying the store generic brand.

Sometimes, you will find generic brands 20% to 30 % cheaper compared to name-brand products. For instance, Costco sells their signature store brand products for around 20% less than other brands.

Try to check out the product’s label and you will notice that most of the time the ingredients are the same and even better with less amount of chemicals! I’ve been using Aldi’s own products for a while, and they’re amazing and very cheap too!

 

Plastic grocery bags

Instead of wasting money when we go grocery shopping, we decided to purchase reusable shopping bags that we now bring with us when we go shopping.

These reusable shopping bags aren’t only good for saving money at the grocery store, they’re also great to just have at home.

If you’re going away, you can use them to pack clothes, toiletries, games, and snacks in as well. The reusable shopping bags I use have many more purposes than simply being used at the grocery store, so you can bet they have more than paid for themselves many times over.

 

Use vouchers and deals

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.

I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

 

 

Stick to real processed food

Avoid the meals with pre-packaged pasta, sauce and spices just add a pound of meat. It really doesn’t take any longer to open a bag of pasta, a can of tomatoes or spaghetti sauce, chop an onion and some garlic while the meat is browning.

You save money and the environment by avoiding all that packaging. Stick as much as possible to things your great-grandmother would recognize and if you read the ingredients and it sounds like a chemical it probably is.

Pass on the chemicals and get something closer to real food saving money and eating healthier.

 

Get to know the markdown schedule

Take some time to talk to the employees! They will let you know when meat will be marked down.

You can get a heads up for the best time to raid the clearance rack for produce! I know that at my local store Wednesdays at 5pm is when they mark down meat.

 

Reduce your number of shopping trips.

One of the best things you can do to save money on groceries is to shop less oftenThe less often you’re in the store, the less often you’re tempted to buy more than you intended.

And the best way to do that is to start planning your meals and to shop for what you can online (more on that below).

 

 

Smart grocery shopping tips – Final thought

Budgeting your food and grocery expenses doesn’t have to be really hard and complicated as long as you know what options are available to you. You can keep your expenses to a minimum & keep more money when you try the options mentioned above.

Let me know what you think. What options have you already tried or willing to try? Which of these do you think will help you keep more?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for later!

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how-to-stay-positive-during-the-lockdown

How to Stay Positive During the Lockdown – Simple Guide!

Today I discussing how to stay positive during the lockdown.

As COVID-19 spreads steadily around the world, many of us are finding ourselves spending all of our time at home due to government restrictions.

I have taken advantage of this extra time to focus on how I can be more motivated, organised and practice self-care

This is a difficult and stressful time for us all. Anxiety levels are high and the pressure of having the whole family at home 24/7 can be a lot to handle.

Working from home whilst home schooling is tough, but if your home is a mess and you have no routine this can have an even greater impact on your anxiety levels and mental health.

At a time like this it is vital to for our homes to be a place of comfort and calm. So, if you feel like you need some help then there has never been a better time to get organised.

Let’s get our homes in order, create a daily routine and give us something to focus on.

Today I will be sharing 13 tips to stay positive during a lockdown.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

How to stay positive during the lockdown

Mental & physical health

First of all, I would like to talk about the importance of continuing to take care of your mental and physical health.

The lockdown is frustrating but this could also be an opportunity to develop yourself or an idea you have been putting on the back-burner.

This is a good time to read a book, take an online course and start a new home workout regimen.

There are plenty Platforms online that have lots of courses that you can explore for new careers and hobbies.

Fitness professionals are also developing home online exercises that you can follow along at home with your family.

Physical activity of around 30 minutes daily will help keep you healthy, this could be going outside for walks, run, a ride while keeping a safe distance from others. You can also dance to music, walk up and down the stairs.

If you are working from home, make sure you do not sit in the same position for long periods. Get up and take three minutes breaks every 30 minutes.

 

Practice Mindfulness

When you put Mindfulness into practice your mind will declutter massively!

I can’t explain how much this practice has changed my life. When you’re mindful your life will transform.

By living in the present moment, you become at peace with your past thoughts and illusions made up in your mind.

Observe your thoughts, become at peace with them, take away the emotional attachment.

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When you find your mind wandering, revert back to the present moment.

The more you live in the present moment, the mind quickly loses control over you. The mind is a tool that should be working for you, not controlling you.

This takes a lot of practice, as your mind has spent so many years in control. The mind has been projecting its illusions on you all your life.

Purchase a book, research it on YouTube. The Mindfulness practice is life changing when used consistently and persistently!

Related posts:

Want to find out how practicing Mindfulness helped me turn my life around? Then see below:

Top tips:

Some great channels that I use for mindfulness videos, are the following:

I also recommend the following books to read:

 

 

Practice self-care

Last but not least, take some time to look after yourself. The best thing to come out of this experience is the opportunity to slow down and catch your breath.

The first few months of the year tend to be a sprint and we can begin to lose sight of our needs, because we are chasing moving goal posts.

Take time to cook for yourself, to do your chores properly, to spend time with your family doing meaningful things together and also just relaxing.

You now have time to sleep in during what was supposed to be that 1-hour commute, you also have time to read a few pages a day and time to do homework with the kids.

Self-care involves nurturing your relationships as well as looking after your environment. It’s not just bubble baths and fresh bedding – though it is equally important- it’s about finding that much needed balance and tranquillity.

Related post:

Want to find out how to make time for self-care? Then read our posts below:

 

 

Set out a daily routine

This one won’t be for everyone, but for a lot of people it is essential when trying to protect your mental well-being.

Setting out a routine every day can ensure you keep being productive whilst staying indoors on lockdown.

It also gives you a reason to wake up every morning and keeps some normality and stability in your life, as being organised with a routine can often help people feel more in control of their situation.

Having a daily routine also ensures you don’t spend all day in bed doing nothing, which is the worst thing you can do for your mental health and well-being at a crucial time like this.

Even if you don’t do any super productive things, even reading a book or putting a load of washing on is much better than nothing!

Related post:

Want to find out how out how implementing a morning routine into your life can have massive benefits to your mindset? Then see our psot below:

 

 

Meditation

I thought this was complete nonsense a few years ago, now I love it.

The one thing that calmed my mind beyond belief, if done properly, is meditation.

This helps you become at peace with your thoughts, and also mindful meditation helps you stay in the present moment.

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Try to meditate before breakfast, if not, then late afternoon/early evening is a good time to do it.

Meditation will seem like a chore at first, but the more you practice, it will become more of an enjoyable experience that you will look forward to.

There are tonnes of videos on YouTube to help you get started.

Top tip:

The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations;

If you want to learn about meditation, the follow channel is excellent:

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:

 

 

Make a daily to-do list

Knowing your goals is great, it means you know where you want to get to. But that is not enough without knowing what you need to do to get there.

Ultimately, every goal needs to be broken apart as much as possible and written down as a simple list of to-dos.

Having this little list of what you need to get done every day enables you to organise your time and how to tackle things. It helps keep you motivated.

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Every morning, try to write down your top 3 priorities for the day, and only after that all the other smaller things you’d like to get done during the day (IF you have the time).

This will help you stay focused on the things that matter and, in the same time, it will raise your energy levels and get you in that ready-for-action mood.

Related post:

Want to find out more about  how setting SMART goals can help you be more productive and positive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Practice gratitude

Gratitude helps you gain much needed perspective in times when you feel down. It helps you realise that life is not so bad and that there are still some very good things happening for you.

Most therapists recommend writing down a list of things you are grateful each day, you can do this in the morning or in the evening.

The list doesn’t have to be long it’s ok to write even 3 simple things that you are grateful for.

If you don’t know where to start, here are three things to start you off: I am grateful for the sunshine today. I am grateful for the meal I ate with my family and I am grateful for the wifi not playing up today!

You can be grateful for anything and everything and you are sure to feel a bit lighter, a bit happier once you have done this exercise.

 

Facetime or call family & friends

One of the most essential things to do in order to protect your mental well-being is to set times throughout the day to facetime or ring your family & friends.

This is a great way to ensure you are still keeping in contact with other people, rather than being completely alone in the house with no-one to keep in contact with.

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It’s also nice to talk to people you love about something other than the pandemic, as it can take your mind off it and leave you feeling in better spirits.

I also find facetiming helps protect your mental well-being, as seeing another person’s face can bring you back down to earth and keep some normality in your life.

 

Journaling

Another activity that can really help you sort your thoughts and keep a positive mindset during quarantine is journaling.

To be honest I am not journaling regularly, even though it can have a very positive impact on yourself. When I am journaling, I am particularly writing down my feelings and emotions when I am not feeling very good.

It is a good way to get these pulling down thoughts that keep circling through your mind out of the way. Once you have written down your concerns you 100% feel lighter and there is more room for positivity.

What you are writing has not to be in a certain order, just write whatever comes to your mind.

I would recommend using an empty notebook that is just being used for journaling, so you have all of your old journals at one place.

If you keep doing this regularly or when you feel like you need it is up to you!

 

Get some fresh air

Fresh air can work wonders when you need a break or just want to recharge your batteries. Even a short walk outside or just sitting on a park bench can make you feel uplifted and energised.

Not only that, but vitamin D deficiency is a known cause for tiredness and fatigue, so you must ensure you get enough of it.

Depending on where you are in the world, you’re probably allowed to be outside at least for a short time for some daylight and/or exercise.

Make the most of it and don’t let any day pass by without being outdoors for a little bit, if you can help it. If not, at least open your windows wide and let the sunshine in.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how slowing down and focusing on the present can help you be more productive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Remember lockdown is temporary

One of the biggest things I’ve been struggling with is not knowing how long this lockdown will last. It seems like it is going to last for quite a while but no one can say for sure.

The thing we all need to remember is that, however long it lasts, it won’t last forever. Take things one day at a time rather than looking for an end point.

Try to enjoy the time you have right now and soon enough we will be getting back to normal.

Everything will reopen (hopefully sooner rather than later) and everyone will go back to work. We will all be able to visit friends and family (and I expect there will be some great celebrations and social get togethers once this is all over!).

Related post:

Want to find out more bout how to develop a positive mindset? Then the see post below:

 

 

Limit your media intake

Sure, we still need to take in the appropriate government guidance regarding what steps to take next but it’s seriously damaging to our mental health and mood to be absorbing unnecessary amounts of negative and low energy conversation.

There’s a lot of that being passed around and it’s a dangerous spiral to get caught up in.

Acknowledge that being completely absorbed in the media during this time will do you no good.

There are very few people that can spend hours and hours in front of negativity without feeling the impact.

If you’re feeling a little low in mood, limit your media intake to 30 minutes at the end of the day to get the updates and please, continue with your day.

 

Declutter

Now is the perfect time to get into every room of your home and have a good clear out.

There will be many items you can throw or recycle but you may need to put some bigger items aside to take to the tip once social distancing is over. For now, you can store these items away in a garage or shed.

Disposing of your physical clutter will help you deal with your mental clutter and anxieties.

 

 

How to stay positive during the lockdown – Final thought

So, that’s my tips on how to protect your mental well-being whilst being in lockdown or self-isolation during this hectic global pandemic.

Do you have any other tips? Please write them in the comments so other people can see them. Stay safe and keep smiling.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Lifestyle board for later!

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How to budget on low income – Simple Guide!

How to budget money on low income? Money certainly does not grow on trees and that means we all need to be a little clever with the cash we have, to try and make it go that little bit further.

In addition to this rather annoying lack of a money tree situation, it’s also a truth that most of us aren’t earning as much as we want to, or as much as we believe we deserve.

For most of my young adult life I was living with little money due to me drowning in debt! This was because of my lifestyle at the time, I was living the highlife and spending money like it didn’t exist.

Over time I learned how to budget myself and adapt to my situation. I have paid a big chunk of debt off and now I’m in a much better place financially.

Living on a small budget is possible and many people do it. With prices of literally everything on the rise and minimum wage not keeping up, more people are looking to find ways to live with less money.

Today I will be talking you through 10 tips on how to budget on low income.

 

 

How to budget on low income

Honesty is the best policy

It’s no-good setting a budget and not being honest. That would be a complete waste of time!

Sure, it might be painful to sit down and write how much money you have coming in, how much money you have going out, and then trying to divide up the bit that’s left, but it’s a necessary evil if you want the whole process to work for you.

Nobody else has to see your budget, so make sure that you’re honest with yourself.

Many people also find the process of writing these figures down to be quite cathartic and it often proves to be a wake-up call – it might be a rather shocking wakeup call – but it works nonetheless!

 

Set Up a Budget

Secondly, you need to think about setting up a budget.

Making a budget is fairly simple. It’s following it that becomes difficult.

For example, you would first write down your income for a month at the top. Next list every single expense that needs to be paid monthly. So that includes, rent or mortgage, electricity, water, and even groceries, car payment, and car insurance.

The list goes on. Everyone has different expenses so be sure to list yours and the expected amount of that expense.

Next, you simply subtract all of your expenses from your monthly income and you will have your final amount. By writing everything down on paper you get a very good visual of where all of your money is going and if you need to make any changes to your expenses.

Related posts:

Would you like to know more about creating a budget? Then see our post below:

 

 

Track your expenses

No, I don’t mean keep a mental log in your head (although I’m totally guilty of doing that sometimes). I mean actually tracking your expenses – this is an absolute must when you’re trying to save on a low income.

You need to know where your money is going before you can actually start saving.

If you’ve never done this before, this advice applies to you. Track your expenses for one month, starting today.

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Tracking your spending for even just a month will give you a far clearer picture of where your money is going and what you need to work on in your budgeting plan.

I’ve listed a few awesome Money Trackers below for both UK and US readers:

These are all completely free to sign up to, so take advantage of the software and have a go at tracking your spending and finances for the month.

Related posts:

Would you like to cut back your expenses, to save money? but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Analyse your spending

First, learn how much you spend each month, and then use that data. Identify where you probably spend more money than you should and work to reduce the spending in that area.

Small changes, one after the other, is what really starts a frugal habit.

Analysing my spending is what makes living on a low income while travelling possible for me. We know how much we earn, how much we spend each month and what our limit is.

Sure, our spending isn’t always perfect and things don’t always go to plan – but arming yourself with some knowledge about your spending is the best first step.

Always, always shop with intention. This is where the list and weekly meal plan comes in. I’ve realised that going grocery shopping without really knowing what we’ll be cooking for the rest of the week, just leads to me over buying.

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We pretty much always end up wasting food, which means, we’re wasting money.

Now, before we go grocery shopping, we always make sure to create a weekly meal plan, make a list of what we need and always stick to it. That’s the most important part – sticking with the list!

If you want to start cutting your spending and save more money, you always have to look at what you’re buying. Be aware of where your money is going and make smart choices.

Saving money and living with one income is not easy but it’s also not impossible. I’ve learned that with just a few tweaks and changes in our spending habit, we can even end up saving more money than we anticipated.

 

Set financial goals

Not only do you need to know why you want to start budgeting in the first place, but it’s also very important to think in terms of specific numbers.

How much debt are you hoping to pay off each month? How much money do you want to put aside in your emergency fund? How much will you be saving to go toward your retirement?

You cannot budget with the vague idea that you want to “save up some money”. Focus on numbers and focus on facts.

Related post:

Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

 

 

Eat at home as much as possible

Eating out is a nice treat for every now and again, but when you get into the habit of dining out because you can’t be bother to cook, it becomes and expense game.

After a long day a work, when you’re tired, it’s just the easier option. I’ve done it before, we’ve all done it at one point of time. The thought of cooking after a stressful day is a chore, but there are ways around this.

Batch cooking food is a great way to give yourself a break from the kitchen. For example, you could cook a batch of meals at the weekend and then freeze them. Each day you will then have a meal prepared without having to cook from scratch.

I do this with my workout meals for the week, it saves me a lot of time.

For a family of four, just by eating out a few times a month, you are talking about a few hundred pounds/dollars per month, if not more.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Resist impulse purchases

Have you ever walked into a shop to get something small, such as shampoo and you ended up leaving with a bunch of items that weren’t on your shopping list?

Don’t feel bad if you said yes. It’s called impulse spending and marketers are really good at encouraging consumers to make impulse purchases. This is an unplanned decision to buy a product (or service) right before the purchase is made.

Nearly 78.2% of Brits have succumbed to the temptation to impulse online shopping, according to a recent survey. While it might seem like an impulse buy here and there is harmless, it can sabotage your goals such as paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for a large purchase.

 

Use vouchers/coupons

Take advantage of coupons/vouchers to save money.

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online. I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

Want to find out more about these two sites? here is my posts for Honey and Latest Deals.

 

 

Cancel unnecessary subscriptions

Have you ever fell into the trap of starting a trial and then you forgot to cancel your subscription at the end of the week or month? Me too! Companies prey on those who are forgetful! Don’t get me wrong, if I love their service and it’s something I need, I will absolutely pay!

Sometimes, unnecessary subscriptions can be magazines, tv show/movie services, shopping and delivery services or educational programs. Analyse and decide if you really need each.

For example, I have decided that I no longer need to pay a membership fee to get certain products in two days.

I’ve also decided that my subscription for Shutter was not necessary as I wasn’t watching it anymore! Therefore, I cancelled them both. Simple living to save money!

 

 

Use cashback shopping sites

I use cashback shopping sites such as TopCashback or Quidco for my online purchases. Cashback sites are a way for you to save money every time you shop online at one of its partner retailers using a link from the cashback website.

A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase. Cashback shopping sites offer cash back at thousands of stores and they are free to use.

cashback

I use both TopCashback and Quidco to shop online and like them both. I usually check to see which of the cashback sites will give me more money back on my purchase and then shop through that cashback site for my specific purchase.

Rakuten is a great cash back site for those over in the US. In addition, you’ll find thousands of coupons and promo codes from Rakuten. Every quarter Rakuten mails you a cheque or PayPal payment with the cash back you received from shopping online through them.

 

How to budget on low income – Final thought

So that’s it! These are the actions I recommend to live on low. By putting this into practice, you will definitely start to see the pounds/dollars adding up at the end of the month. And who doesn’t like extra money in their pocket?

What about you? Are you trying to achieve financial freedom? Are you working towards becoming debt free? Is there anything else you’d add to this list? Share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance board for later!

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work-from-home-tips-and-advice

Work from home tips and advice – Simple Guide!

Are you looking for simple work from home tips and advice? Do you need to get more done, but most of the time you struggle to get through the day?

We all know working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. Gone are the days of commuting to the office, and in are the days where you roll out of bed and hop onto the computer, right?!

For the majority of us, working from home requires a lot of willpower and developing loads of healthy habits to stay on top of work and home life together.

When you’re working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by household chores, friends and family and find the motivation to get on with the hard work tasks that simply need to get done.

So, to help, I’ve put together 10 work from home tips and healthy habits that you can start implementing in your working life.

 

 

Work from home tips and advice

Have a to-do list for the day and keep it realistic

Your list may be long but if you want to rock the work from home life, you need to balance it all out.

So, try doing this:

  • Prioritise to have maximum two big goals that can be accomplished in one day on the top of your list
  • Create a list of three to four easy and quick activities that you can do in an hour. Get them completed first thing in the morning.
  • If something isn’t done by the end of your business day, leave it to tomorrow. Remember work-life balance means you stop, unless something is on deadline.

You can work from home effectively if you’re organised and on top of your to-do lists.

Related post:

Want to find out more about  how setting SMART goals can help you be more productive and positive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Develop a morning routine

I’ve heard it a million times, to get the most of your work from home life, a little discipline goes a long way.

However, where I differ is, I’m not encouraging you to get up at 4 am, do some yoga, make a smoothie, journal and meditate. Instead, I believe in a simple and tailored approach that’s tailored to you.

work-from-home-tips-and-advice

A routine is simply something you do over and over again to flip the switch in your brain to tell you it’s time to get into work mode.

For you that might mean waking at 7am, making a cup of coffee and reading. For someone else, it might mean waking at 5am, getting your kids ready for school, dropping them off and then unwinding before work with a hot drink and a book.

Experiment and find a routine that works for your unique situation, is easy and enjoyable and the rest will fall into place.

Related post:

Want to find out how implementing a morning routine has really helped me improve my mindset? Then the see post below:

 

 

Set a real work schedule and stick to it

If you have ever worked from home, you know saying, “I need to work on this project for 3 hours at some point today,” either leaves you up working at 10pm or pushing your project off until tomorrow.

Whether your kids and spouse are home or you are on your own, there are just too many demands on our time. We need to put the washing away, call our brother, take our child to the library and so much more. So, all too quickly, it is dinner time and we’ve only worked for 30 minutes.

Set a real time when you are, at the office. Fit everything else around that schedule the same way you would if you went to a physical office.

Personally, when I have the whole day, I like to get my work done first. That way if one of my other demands take more time than I thought or I get distracted, my work still gets done.

Plus, it means I can concentrate on and value the other tasks and responsibilities in my life without worrying about work tasks.

 

 

Make time for some physical activity

Move your body!

Sitting on your ass for 8 to 10 hours each day is unhealthy. You will end up with a sore neck, achy back, headaches and in worst cases something serious as a carpal tunnel syndrome or a heart condition.

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Besides this, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real, people. Working from home during winter can be very hard on remote workers. Long periods of no sunshine, non-stop rain and short days can dampen spirits of even the most positive optimistic person. It eventually leads to productivity issues and a lack of motivation.

Regular exercise also helps. There’s no need to get an expensive gym membership. A simple home workout session is also a great pick me up. You will need a yoga mat and some sports attire at most. I make it a point to workout 6-times a week from home.

Top tip:

Exercise is great for your mental health! See this article from Mind for more information.

 

 

Know Your most productive times

In addition to having a schedule, it’s good to get to know which times during the day are your most productive hours.

When you want to get important tasks done that need your full attention, do it during these hours.

You might want to experiment with this to figure out when the best time period is for you.

For me, the best time is right in the morning after I wake up because I’m more well-rested and there are fewer distractions around the house.  For you, it could mean late at night when your kids are asleep.

 

Create a workspace

A workspace goes hand in hand with creating good working habits.

This is a space that stimulates your workflow and is clear from distractions that may hinder you.

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Depending on your work, this could be an organised desk in a quiet room with a comfortable chair. Or a backpack filled with hiking and camera gear. Or even your very own video set where all you need to do is hit the record button to get started.

An ideal workspace is one that doesn’t require any assembly or extra work to get started. Once you introduce additional obstacles to get started, the higher the likelihood is that procrastination will sneak its way into your workday.

 

Take breaks throughout the day

The work from home life means you can easily take breaks throughout the day without your boss looking over your shoulder.

Morning coffee or tea break, lunch and an afternoon break are a must for a few reasons:

  • You keep yourself hydrated and powered up with food throughout the day to stay on top of your productivity levels
  • They force you to get up and move around
  • You get away from the work and take a little work-life balance mental break

Leave your phone at home so that nobody can reach you with work-related stuff. It can wait for 15 to 30 minutes.

Top tip:

If you can go out for a brief walk in your neighbourhood or area, do so. Even a quick 15-minute walk around the block will do wonders for you. If you can’t, do a short workout video to get yourself moving. It really helps to get some fresh air and sunshine if you have been indoors for too long.

 

 

Eat & drink lots of water to avoid energy crashes

Keeping healthy snacks on hand to stay fuelled for a more productive day is one of the best ways to stay more motivated and productive throughout the day.

The food we eat is highly essential to not only boost our brainpower but to influence how productive we are with any task at hand, so make sure that you’re eating healthy foods throughout the day to avoid energy crashes.

For some healthy snacks that are easy to make so you can spend less time cooking, try these:

    • Bananas
    • Eggs
    • Apple & Peanut Butter
    • Yogurt & Granola
    • Nuts and fruit

Of course, staying hydrated is essential, so always make sure you have fresh water by your side throughout your workday and take note of how much coffee you are drinking!

Coffee will give you that crash and burn feeling much faster than tea and water won’t cause you any fatigue at all!

 

Plan your day the night before

I find this tip really useful as it totally refocuses my mind and allows me to turn off for sleep. Most people finish a working day with lots still going on in their heads, and often is remains running around our minds well into the evening and sometimes at night.

Plan your schedule for the day the night before and write it down, so you stay accountable. It gets everything out of your head and on to paper, so you can rest better.

 

Know your weaknesses

There are going to be struggles when you first start out. The distractions are REAL. I keep a personal notebook next to me at all times. If I spot a chore that needs doing, or suddenly remember a personal task I haven’t done, I resist the urge to do it now and instead jot it in my note book for later.

Think about what might prevent you from concentrating on your work, and alter your daily routine to overcome those hurdles.

As mentioned earlier, maybe go for a lunchtime walk to help your concentration, have a supply of snacks within easy reach to avoid regular kitchen visits and prepare a good background playlist to stop you from watching TV. Whatever works for you!

Related post:

Want to find out more bout how to develop a positive mindset? Then the see post below:

 

 

Set realistic expectations

Consider whether your usual workload will be achievable from your new working environment. If you have children at home, your attention is going to be divided.

Discuss this with your boss or team if you have any concerns, and set realistic goals and expectations for the level of work which you will be able to complete from home.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how slowing down and focusing on the present can help you be more productive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Avoid social media

Social media can be such a time sucker. We scroll through our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feed mindlessly throughout the day.

Often, we intend to watch one short video but end up watching an hour’s worth of related videos that the algorithm so cleverly delivers to us.

We read a friend’s controversial post on their news feed and get sucked into the 100-comment debate that it triggered, reaching for the popcorn rather than our computer mouse.

Social media is the ultimate distraction.

When you’re locked in to your work, stay locked in. Don’t open any apps, don’t keep your Facebook open in a new tab. It will all still be there when the job is done.

If you can’t fully remove yourself from 9 to 5, gift yourself a block of social media time, and once you get your fix, shut that thing down and get back to business.

 

Work from home tips and advice – Final thought

These are 12 simple work from home tips that can help you effectively work and get results without feeling overwhelmed.

It took me a bit of time to adjust to working from home long-term, but once I did, I actually have grown to prefer it.

Beyond 2021, I suspect we’ll see fewer people working within office spaces. Instead, employers will want you to work from your home office, for not only your safety but their own as well.

I think this will extend much longer.

So, invest in your office space at home. Organise it to make work from home effective and fruitful!

I would love to hear your tips for working from home below.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Productivity board for later!

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12-extreme-frugal-tips

12 Extreme Frugality Tips – Simple Guide!

Today I will discussing extreme frugality and everything about the practice.

When your finances are in a deep decline, going all out for extreme frugality can help you stay on budget.

You can find plenty of advice about how to be frugal and how to save money. But advice on extreme frugality with the emphasis on extremely cheap living can be harder to find.

Sometimes saving money like other people do is just not enough.

If you’ve tried all the mainstream frugal tips but your finances are still not going in the right direction then perhaps it’s time to look at what extremely frugal people do.

Maybe you’ve just lost your job or maybe you’ve had your light-bulb moment and are determined to learn how to pay off debt fast as possible.

There are ways to ramp up your money saving attempts if you are prepared to go where others fear to tread.

 

 

What is extreme frugality?

Extreme frugality is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of sticking to the usual money-saving tips like everyone else, extremely frugal people find ways to save money that most people would never even consider.

In fact, even if you think you live an extremely frugal life, you’re probably not taking it anywhere near as far as some of the extreme frugal living tips below go.

So, the question becomes:

Why would anyone live such an extremely frugal life anyway? Well, I think there are two main reasons:

  1. They like to be resourceful
  2. They need to in order to survive

If you’re person #1 and you learned how to live super frugally just because you love being resourceful, keep doing you! As long as you’re happy, who cares what anyone else thinks.

However, if you’re person #3 and you’ve learned how to be extremely frugal just to get by (but you’re completely miserable), keep on reading until the end of the post. I’ll talk about how you can escape the extreme frugality life for good.

But first, let’s get into some of these tips to see what extreme frugal living is really about.

Warning though, some of these are crazy!

 

12 Extreme Frugality Tips

Live in your car

This is another one that is pretty common and not too extreme. It also has the potential to save you the most money as you won’t have to pay rent! Just shower at the local gym and you’re good to go.

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If you want to really embrace car living, join the RV Life movement and live in a small RV or van. It’ll be a lot better than living in a coupe. There’s actually a skateboarder I follow on Instagram that lives in a refurbished ambulance which I think is pretty cool.

You could also potentially turn this into a side gig (if you wanted to) by starting a blog. People love reading about RV extreme frugal living. I’ve seen some RV bloggers making over $100,000/month (not a typo).

 

Raise your own farm animals

We all know hunting is a good way to supply meat in the freezer for months. You can buy a young calf and have a farmer raise it, and you can triple your investment and eat good, quality grass-fed beef for months off of that single purchase.

Likewise, I know someone who has a chicken farm and raise hens for eggs!

You’ll definitely need a deep freeze for storage, and Amazon Prime has several options to choose from with free shipping (especially handy if you don’t have access to a van)!

 

Eat out of date food

In day’s gone past the money mantra was waste not, want not.

If food has a small amount of mould on it, does it mean all of that food is now inedible and off?

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If you want to reach the heights of extreme frugality then using mouldy food can definitely help you save money.

I account my cast iron stomach (no food poisoning for me) with having been given food that had the mould cut off when I was a child.

My Mother’s response to our disgust at this practice was to point out the premium people pay for blue cheeses like Stilton – mouldy cheese!

 

Dumpster living

This one is actually quite popular.

Basically, people will go to grocery stores to find tossed out food and they’ll take it home for themselves. I’ve seen people get some pretty good hauls doing this too:

Honestly, it’s mind-blowing how much fresh food gets thrown out every day. I’ve seen it myself too, I have friends that work in grocery stores, and they have told me they’re constantly told to throw out perfectly fine food just because it was past its date.

Oh, and it’s not just food either. I’ve also seen people have some pretty good finds dumpster diving at electronics stores! My girlfriend told me people do it at makeup stores too.

 

Shower less often

Filling the tub is a no-no when you’re practicing extreme frugality. You’ve got to take showers only and limit to once every few days (at most). Been to the gym? Apologise to your significant other for me!

Do you stink? No problem! Take a sponge bath!

Yes, I’m cringing as I’m writing this, but there are people who practice this method of frugality. I will admit I take 2 showers a day, this sounds like an absolute nightmare to me!

 

Road kill

Another example of extreme frugality food is to eat the road kill you may come across on your travels.

In the UK it is widely accepted that if you accidentally run over an animal you cannot pick it up as road kill. However, the person behind you can.

I have no idea whether this is an urban myth or buried in some law. But what I do know is there are people who supplement their protein intake with road kill.

Not my thing, but there are people out there that do!

 

Flush less

This is a pretty common one. There’s an old saying that goes something like, if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. That’s the soft version.

The real hardcore people treat their toilet like an outhouse and at most flush once a day. Doesn’t matter if it’s brown, yellow, chunky or soft.

Errrgggggh.

 

Take cold showers

For me, this one isn’t actually that extreme. I actually take cold showers just for the benefits but it’s also a good way to save money as you won’t have to heat any water.

12-extreme-frugal-tips

After doing it for a while, you actually get used to the cold pretty fast. It will surely wake you up in the morning too, so maybe you’ll save some money on coffee as well.

You could also just shower less to save money, that would be pretty extreme.

 

Stop shaving!

Beards are very much in fashion these days so no shaving for men is not difficult to achieve.

Nor is it extreme. You won’t seem different from many others around you, indeed you’ll blend right in.

But how about no shaving, waxing or hair removal for women? Are you willing to be more extreme with your personal care in order save money?

 

Don’t wash off you makeup

Another way to save money for women (or men if you’re into that kind of thing!) is to not wash makeup off your face.

Sound crazy?

Makeup is expensive and wearing it every day will make your supply go down super-fast.

Instead of washing your makeup off your face at the end of the day, just skip it, so you can stretch your makeup wear a bit further.

This one sounds pretty crazy but it’s a way to keep your makeup longer and people really do this!

 

Live in a Storage Unit

Similar to living in a car, living in a storage unit is another extremely frugal way to save money on rent.

I saw a video from a guy who did this and he actually had a pretty decent setup in his locker. He had running water, electricity, a bed, a TV, and more.

The only problem is that living in a storage unit is illegal, and the guy in the video ended up getting kicked out after 2 months!

 

Collect and reuse grey water

There are plenty of typically normal ways to save money on your water bill.

But how about reusing your bath water to flush your loo?

Or using water from your washing machine to water your plants?

When you are going all out to learn how to be as frugal as possible, reusing your grey water makes financial sense.

 

 

12 extreme frugality tips – Final thought

Even if you could follow some of the extreme saving tips above, how long could it really last? Some of them are just so extreme that I don’t know how you couldn’t get burnt out eventually.

By adopting these extreme frugal living tips, you can hang with the cheapest of the cheap. But at what cost? There are many other ways to live frugally without sacrificing your quality of life.

I can see why some people resort to the extreme frugality tips above. It’s resourceful, it can help the environment, and the savings are there. If you’re doing any of the things above because you actually want to and they work for you, then I see no problem with that. You do you.

Now I want to hear from you and your opinions on extreme frugal living

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Frugal Living board for later!

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habits-of-debt-free-people

14 Habits of Debt Free People – Simple Guide!

Today I will be discussing 14 habits of debt free people and how they can adopt

Have you ever considered being debt free to be a habit? It’s probably not something we would consider often. We think of habits as things like eating healthy and exercising, something that is a regular practice. But being debt free definitely falls into this category.

You see, spending money is a habit, accumulating debt is a habit and therefore breaking this habit requires the creation of another habit – one that is the habit of being debt free.

t is a conscious choice, an effort and a decision that is made, to be debt free, and there are habits that those who are debt free have. Things that help them remain within their free of debt status, and it’s not as simple as creating a budget.

If you’re on the path to becoming debt free, then it’s a good idea to start creating some of these habits for yourself. Don’t stress about trying to add them all in at once – that’s the thing with habits, they take time to create (and that’s okay).

Perhaps you already do some of these things? Or maybe you’re looking for new habits to add in.

Either way, here are 14 habits of debt free people that you can adopt into your life too.

 

 

14 Habits of Debt Free People 

They stick to a budget

Budgeting. Such a dirty word for so many people, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a budget is the best way to make sure you never end up in debt again.

When you have a detailed budget, you know exactly where your money goes and when it needs to go there! This means that there are no surprises and a much smaller chance that you’ll have to use an emergency credit card.

People who are debt free love a good budget because chances are that is exactly how they got out of debt in the first place!

Related post:

Would you like to know how to create a budget, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

They save save save

This might sound strange but it’s so important to save. If you truly want debt-free living then saving must become normal to you.

For the longest time, we didn’t save any money, partly because we felt that we weren’t in a financial position to be able to do so but also because we just weren’t used to it.

Saving actually felt like a punishment.

In order to save money, you have to have a positive attitude towards it.

habits-of-debt-free-people

You must habitually, purposefully do it otherwise you won’t do it at all. Believe me, I’ve been there.

In the past, the only time I have successfully managed to save was when there was something that I really wanted and my goal was to reach it.

Like the time we needed a bigger house or the time we needed a second car.

Set yourself saving goals, long term ones as well as short term goals. This will make it so much easier for you to save up your money.

 

 

They track their spending

Debt-free people always track their spending and are always aware of their money routes. If you will not track your spending, your budgeting will not be as efficient as it should be. Before budgeting for your next month, when you track your last month’s spending, it becomes easy to create a budget and make any changes you need for your next month.

You might agree with me that every purchase we make seems to be very important to us. We are living in a materialistic culture, where much of the attention is given to owning things, even if we don’t need it. I think you will agree with me on this one that If you want to be debt-free, you have to track your spending and figure out the unnecessary purchases.

It will be easy to figure out your budget when you know, exactly where your money is coming and where it is going. There are a lot of apps to track your expenses but you can do it old school way also. Take your pen and paper, and start writing down your expenses. This is the best habit you can develop to stay debt-free.

Related post:

Would you like advice on cutting down your monthly expenses, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

They live below your means

Living below your means basically means that you spend less than what you earn. It may sound obvious and simple, but the reality is that many people spend all of their income each month.

It is easily done, especially if you do not have a budget in place or do not look at your bank statements.

habits-of-debt-free-people

If you look at many successful people, you can see that they live below their means. What this means is that they do not spend all of their pay-cheque each month – they save a lot of it instead.

If you want to get out of debt and stay out of debt, living below your means will be the key to doing so. You aren’t going to get anywhere fast if you waste all of your money each month!

 

 

They have a financial goals

Having financial goals is great because it keeps you motivated to work towards something you actually want to achieve.

Financial goals are very subjective and not one size fits all. One person’s financial goal might be to become a millionaire by 50, and another person’s goal might be to get out of debt by 30. It all depends on you and your specific circumstances.

Once you know what your goals are related to your finances, you can start coming up with a plan.

If you are someone who has a lot of debt and wants to pay it off before you turn 30, look at how much you owe. Then, calculate how much you would have to pay every month until you reach 30 to pay it all off.

Sometimes, you may find that you can’t reach those goals in the exact time-frame you set out for yourself. And that’s ok. In that case, set smaller goals which will ultimately get you to your bigger goals and to where you want to be with your finances.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to set SMART financial goals, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

They have an emergency fund

Take some of the stress out of life by building up a solid emergency fund for rainy days.

It’s not a case of if you’ll need that money someday, it’s when.

Boilers break, cars need repairing, jobs don’t work out and unexpected bills can land on your doorstep at any moment. If you’re not financially prepared for these situations, then you can end up resorting to credit cards or loans to help you out. That’s how you end up in serious debt, and it makes an already stressful situation much, much worse.

Work on building up a rainy-day fund that’s enough to cover 3-6 months (or more if you can!) worth of bills and living expenses should you not be able to work for any reason.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to create a emergency fund, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

They pay their bills on time

I cannot stress the importance of making sure you pay your bills on time. I know there are situations that occur that are sometimes out of our control but being financially savvy and creating good money habits is about avoiding debt and financial trouble.

There are legitimate reasons why you may not be able to pay your bills on time but there are also reasons that just boil down to not making the correct money decisions.

Your bills should come before anything else. That’s why I always recommend paying your bills as soon as you’ve been paid. That way all the important stuff is out of the way and you don’t have to worry about keeping your money back to pay off your bills.

Aligning all your bill payment dates is another really handy tip to ensure that your bills are all getting paid on time. Make sure all your bills have the same payment date or are very close together rather than being spread out across the month.

 

They know the difference between want and need

Another important habit to have is the ability to know the difference between a want and a need. Making a poor purchase on a want will give you temporary satisfaction, while buying something that you need will be enjoyed long after and won’t be a straining burden on your finances.

When you’re weighing a purchase, you need to take a look at whether it will add more value to your life, or if it will be a setback in your long-term goals.

That’s not to say that you should never buy something that brings pleasure, but you should always consider what value it adds to your life.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to complete a no spend month to save money? Then see the post below:

 

 

Put side hustle money to one side

With our living expenses right down, we were living just under half of the money that we made from our main jobs.  This meant that the difference and any side hustle income was for saving/investing.

I made the decision that any side hustle money was to be put in a separate pot.  I’m not what motivated me to do this in the first place but it worked wonders.

habits-of-debt-free-people

Seeing my side hustle income grow independently made me realise how hard I have been working to achieve it.  It also inspired me to make more.

When the figure didn’t grow much over one month, it would give me a kick up the bottom to find more ways of producing income.

Related posts:

Interested in earning some extra cash through a side hustle? Then see the posts below:

 

 

They have a positive money mindset

A money mindset is the attitude you have towards your financial situation.

If you have a negative mindset and continuously think this is the best you can do and it won’t get any better, then that’s where you’re going to be stuck.

If you always focus on what’s wrong, it’ll be impossible to stay motivated. By changing to a positive money mindset, you’ll start making better choices about your finances.

People who are never broke know that money always comes back to them. Just keep thinking to yourself or saying there’s more where that came from.

Related post:

Would like to learn more about how implementing a money mindset can help you achieve financial freedom and live a happier life? Then the post below:

 

 

They surround themselves with like-minded people

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. We are greatly influenced by relationships and those who are closest to us. These relationships can impact our life in general and our financial life too.

We all have to make tough decisions at some point, especially if you are trying to get out and stay out of debt. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive and supportive people who will cheer you on as you make progress towards achieving your financial goals.

 

They value experience over things

One of the habits of debt free people is that they don’t focus on material things. They understand that stuff can never be a replacement for meaningful relationships with their family and friends.

People who are determined to get out of debt know that experiences make them happier than things, so they stay focused on reaching their goals.

 

They pay attention to detail

Debt-free people know that tracking their spending is the first step in getting control of their finances. This allows them to see if there are any money leaks in their spending so they can eliminate unnecessary expenses.

They also notice if an incorrect charge appears on their bill and are less likely to miss a payment due date.

 

They do their homework

One of the habits of debt free people is that they understand the importance of doing their research. They understand the basic concepts of personal finance so they can gain control of their money and make informed decisions. They don’t let others make important decisions for them.

They think long-term when making any big purchase and they are not afraid to be pro-active or negotiate to get a better deal. They actively seek out opportunities to save money and increase their income on an ongoing basis.

 

14 habits of debt free people – Final thought

If you want to become debt free (and stay debt free), then adopt these 14 habits of debt free people. The best part? You don’t have to wait until you are debt free to do these things.

Start following these 14 habits of debt free people and they will become YOUR habits as well!

What habits do you need to work on to help you become debt free?  And which ones are you already rocking?  Comment below because I’d love to know!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance board for later!

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brain-dump-exercise

Brain Dump Exercise – Declutter Your Mind!

Today I will be discussing what is a brain dump exercise and what benefits the practice can have.

I don’t know about you, but I used to often have so many thoughts running through my head at once, it would be overwhelming.

I would end up in a panicked mess, because I was going over in my head what I needed get done; and at same time getting myself in more of muddle in the process.

Where do I start and how do I fit it all in!

You may notice this more when you are trying to sleep or even when you are trying to concentrate on something.

How many times have you had someone talk to you and then you realise you have no idea what they just said to you?

Do you ever journal about your daily life? If so, good for you! Getting everything out of your head is a great self-care activity.

If you don’t journal, hey, that’s ok too! Journaling is a great way to improve mental health. So, with that in mind, have you ever heard of a brain dump? If not, you’re about to find out how to do one for mental health.

 

 

Brain Dump Exercise – Declutter Your Mind!

What is a brain dump?

A brain dump is a simple process of taking all of the thoughts running around in your head and recording them in one place.

You can use a brain dump for multiple purposes including studying for tests, learning a new skill or arrange your to-do list. The main objective is to organise your knowledge in one single spot for future reference.

brain-dump-exercise

The most common way I use a brain dump is to plan my week and create to-do lists.

Writing down the tasks that constantly fill my thoughts has been an effective way to make sure I don’t forget anything important. Also, just the act of writing down my thoughts makes them less overwhelming and easier to manage.

When I write down my to-do list, all of a sudden it clears up space in my brain and immediately reduces stress. With my entire to-do list is on a single piece of paper, it begins to feel more manageable.

 

Signs you need to brain dump

There are many scenarios that call for “dumping” your thoughts on paper. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you going through a stressful period?
  • Did you recently experience a major life change, like a move or new job?
  • Is there something going on in your personal life at the moment?
  • Does the thought of checking off your to do list overwhelm you?
  • Do you feel anxious, stressed or tired?
  • At the moment, are you having trouble making a decision?
  • Are you unsure of what you really want?
  • Has organisation been an issue in some way lately?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a brain dump worksheet may help you gain clarity

 

 

Why does a brain dump work?

Brain dumping can accomplish two important things – first, getting your ideas onto paper simply helps calm your brain.

Get your ideas out of your head and they will stop keeping you up all night.

Second, putting your ideas down in words will help you evaluate them and determine whether they’re good enough to continue to explore, or if they should be filed away for later consideration.

When to do a brain dump?

The list may look a little bit different for everyone. But here are some major moments that I know I need a brain dump:

  • When you can’t focus on what you are working on;
  • When you are working long hours but not getting much done;
  • When you are about to start a new project;
  • When you are moving or traveling to somewhere else;
  • When you experience major changes in life, like a new relationship or a new job;
  • When you lose something or someone important;

These are all critical moments where you may have a lot of new tasks to tackle and decisions to make. Brain dump will help to calm your nerves down and to get you in a problem-solving mode.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how slowing down and focusing on the present can help you be more productive? Then the see post below:

 

 

How to do a brain dump

The trick to a successful brain dump is to not think too much about what you’re doing.  Don’t try to write in your neatest handwriting, or stop and think about what makes the most sense.

Think of it as if you were playing that first word that pops into your head game and just run through everything as fast as you can.

brain-dump-exercise

Your original list won’t be organised, or neat, or pretty.  It will most likely be chicken scratch, and a little bit of gibberish, but that’s okay.

We’ll come back to that, later.  The important thing right now is to empty your brain, as quickly as you can so you can stop feeling overwhelmed and actually get something done.

If you really stop to think, it’s more likely that you’ll forget something and start stressing out again.

 

Organise your thoughts

Once you done the brain dump, it’s time to get organised. After you’ve taken a break, sit down with your writing for a moment. Start a new page in your journal (or other outlet) and divide your writing into various categories. This can be done by sectionalising everything based on different aspects of your life.

Categories will vary depending on the general subject matters of your brain dump. However, here are a few ideas:

Categories:

  • Work
  • Personal Life
  • To-Do List
  • Stressors
  • Health & Wellness
  • Appointments
  • Home
  • Bills
  • Hobbies
  • Reminders

Take a look at your list and analyse the categories. This is where highlighters come in handy.

Which thought is the most urgent? Pick two or more pressing items on your to-do list and start with those first.

Also, don’t worry about categorising every thought into a neat list. You can add a separate section for random thoughts. Delete anything that seem unnecessary.

Continue to address each item on the list, but work at your own pace. These things take time!

Related post:

Want to find out more about  how setting SMART goals can help you be more productive and positive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Prioritise your thoughts

Now that you have created a couple of different categories, rearrange the items within each list so that you are able to prioritise what needs to be looked after:

  • High priority – needs most attention
  • Medium priority – can wait, doesn’t need to be done today
  • Low priority – low priority, can wait a while

Now you’re ready to start taking action with the information that you produced from your brain dump.

 

 

Repeat

You can do as many brain dumps as you want. Work mini brain dump sessions into your daily routine (for example, maybe each night after you tuck your kids in), or just do brain dumps once a week when you feel your thoughts starting to pile up.

 

Brain Dump Exercise – Final thought

In the end, there is no right or wrong method when it comes to brain dumping. You already have everything you need – your time, your thoughts, and pen and paper.

There are no rules, as well as there are no limits in writing – we can start dumping our thoughts by asking ourselves simple questions or making to-do lists for tomorrow.

Do you practice brain dumping? If you have any tips and tricks that you’d like to share with everyone, I would like to know.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Self-Care board for later!

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How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

How to Change your Life for the Better – Simple Guide

Do you feel stuck in life? Do you start your mornings feeling fed up and already tired of the day ahead? Do you often ask yourself how to change your life completely?

Ever found yourself in what might seem like a downward spiral or a rut, where you just can’t seem to understand where your efforts and attempts at keeping your life joyful go?

A few years ago, I found myself in one of those ruts. After spinning my wheels for quite some time, I realised my so-called attempts at improving my circumstances were a farce—I was just exhausting my energy waiting for a saviour to come to my rescue.

It finally dawned on me that I am my own saviour and it was up to me to change my perception of life. The choice was mine to change my situation or live life every day in misery.

Life doesn’t have to be a constant chore or a drag. It can be a wonderful journey I’ve found. Here are 10 ways on how change your life for the better.

 

 

How to Change your Life for the Better – Simple Guide

Move your body every day

Any time you look up how you can improve your life, exercise will be near the top of the list.

If you’ve been avoiding making exercise a consistent part of your life, this may be slightly irritating. But the reason it pops up over and over again no matter where you look is because it matters.

Your body releases endorphins when you get your blood pumping. It makes you feel euphoric. It reduces stress and boosts your immune system. You feel good after you exercise and with the boost in happiness and energy, you are ready to show up for the world.

Challenging your body’s physical limits also helps you challenge your mind’s mental limits.

You will know you have what it takes to achieve crazy goals, because you had what it took to do that 50th press-up. You become stronger physically and mentally, and then you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

Many people have a complex relationship with their weight, body image, and the word exercise; but it doesn’t have to be so hard.

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

Set a goal of moving your body for 30 minutes every day.

  • Walk your dog
  • Do yoga
  • Lift weights
  • Go for a run
  • Hike in the forest
  • Jump on the trampoline with your kids
  • Take a dance class

You don’t need a gym membership or a personal trainer. You just need to find a way of moving your body that feels good to you and do it consistently. Find one thing, try it for a week, and switch it up if it doesn’t feel right.

If you’re not ready for 30 minutes, start with 5. Build the habit of taking time to exercise and increase as you grow more accustomed to it.

If you want to live a happy and fulfilling life full of energy and purpose, taking your physical health seriously is a big part of that.

It was one of the harder habits for me to build, but it was definitely the most impactful of all the things on this list. So, find an accountability buddy and get moving. Track your exercise in an app (I use FitBit). Set a small goal that you can achieve and build up from there.

And don’t worry about the weight. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up when the scale isn’t moving, but exercise is not about the weight!

Exercise is about boosting your energy, your mood, and your lifespan. 

It is not about dropping 10 pounds or getting back your high school body.

Top tip:

Exercise is great for your mental health! See this article from Mind for more information.

 

 

Start meditating

I remember when I started meditating sitting for 7 minutes was excruciatingly painful. Now I sit for 30/40 minutes and I love it (mostly).

Meditation was the doorway to so many new things for me. It taught me to be more present in my daily life. It taught me to witness or observe my thoughts and feelings instead of getting hooked by them. It taught me to hear my own soul speak.

I knew my meditation practice was making a difference with how I am in my everyday life. I once had a short fuse and temper, but now I am a more peaceful person.

It has had a massive impact on my life.

Instead of having emotional meltdowns, over certain situations, I feel complete peace. I smile joyfully and takes things in my flow.

That is the power of meditation. It naturally turns you into a calmer, more peaceful person. Make it a part of your daily routine.

Top tip:

The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations;

If you want to learn about meditation, the follow channel is excellent:

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:

 

 

Early morning routine

Never underestimate the power of a solid morning routine.

A morning routine not only sets your day up for success, but if planned accordingly, it can create additional time in your day to work towards your goals.

This is the magic about mornings.

The time is yours, because it’s happening before the busyness of the day hits.

Beginning a morning routine is one of the most important habits to start right now.

Waking up early is tough (I’m not really a fan either), but it is so worth it.

Related post:

Want to find out how implementing a morning routine has really helped me improve my mindset? Then the see post below:

 

 

Forgive yourself

We are all human beings and that means that no-one is perfect. No-one goes through life and never makes a mistake because if they did, they would lose the very essence of what makes them even.

This year, it’s time to move beyond the mistakes you’ve made in the past and move on with your life.

Many times, we hold onto these mistakes without understanding just how much they hold us back. It’s time to accept that they happened, learn from them and go on with your life.

 

Practice Mindfulness

When you put Mindfulness into practice it will change your life massively!

I can’t explain how much this practice has changed my life. When you’re mindful your life will transform massively.

By living in the present moment, you become at peace with your past thoughts and illusions made up in your mind.

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

Observe your thoughts, become at peace with them, take away the emotional attachment.

When you find your mind wandering, revert back to the present moment.

The more you live in the present moment, the mind quickly loses control over you. The mind is a tool that should be working for you, not controlling you.

This takes a lot of practice, as your mind has spent so many years in control. The mind has been projecting its illusions on you all your life.

Purchase a book, research it on

Related posts:

Want to find out how practicing Mindfulness helped me turn my life around? Then see below:

Top tips:

Some great channels that I use for mindfulness videos, are the following:

I also recommend the following books to read:

 

 

Set goals

We all tend to have a vision for our life. What does that look like for you? What do you dream of doing?

I know you have something in mind you’ve always wanted to try but have been too afraid to get started.

Is it starting an online business? Is it a career change? Give this one some thought.

It’s time to think about what you truly want out of life and go after it.

It’s never the perfect time, and waiting for the perfect time will keep you from ever starting.

Identify the goals you have for your life, figure out a huge list of actions needed to accomplish these goals, and GET STARTED.

Setting goals is a life improving habit you need start right now. Don’t keep putting it off.

Related post:

Want to find out more about  how setting SMART goals can help you be more productive and positive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Focus on growth

It is often failure that can stop you in your tracks however, replacing the word failure with feedback completely transforms your experience.

Any time you feel you are not successful it is feedback you are receiving from what you have done.

What can you learn from this opportunity?

How can you change your approach in the future? What can you do better next time?

This is what is called a growth mindset.

Knowing that you might not be there yet but you are learning and growing in the process is an excellent mindset to hold.

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

Rather than feeling restricted by limited talent or ability, you know that with growth and learning you are limitless.

Therefore, focusing on growth will result in an improved mindset and changed behaviour.

You’ll be more prepared and motivated to take on challenges and see your potential in the results.

Whatever result you obtain; you can learn from them and continually improve on them.

This kind of mindset opens you up to a new perspective in experiences and the opportunities around you.

You may find that you even seek out new opportunities as you see the potential of expanding your knowledge and growing into your best self.

Related post:

Want to find out more bout how to develop a positive mindset? Then the see post below:

 

 

Practice gratitude

Whenever you focus on gratitude you instantly shift to a positive mindset. No matter what is going on in your life, you have the power to shift your focus to gratitude.

I also encourage the use of a gratitude journal – Every day write down or even just note in your mind at the end of each day, focus on everything you’re grateful for in your life and also how those things impact your life. Always aim for at least 3 things.

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

Here’s some examples from my own journal:

  • I am grateful for the increase in traffic to my website today
  • I am grateful for the nice walk I had with Jo and Alfie (the dog) today
  • I am grateful for seeing the twins today

Try to make your gratitude note specific to today. So rather than me writing I’m so grateful for everyone who visits my website. I would write, I’m so grateful for all of the people who visited my website today, and I’m especially grateful for the lady who took the time to leave a message saying how helpful my post was to her.

I find practicing gratitude helps you appreciated the small things in life that often get overlooked.

 

 

Declutter

You don’t know how much decluttering your life can change your world until you do it. You can declutter your home of all broken, old, and useless items.

Your home will be more spacious, which will allow you to enjoy it more. Organize the items that are left and you’ll be amazed at the difference. There are other areas of your life that you can declutter also.

Do you have apps on your phone that you never use anymore? Delete them! Don’t replace them with more apps though. Only keep the apps you use on a regular basis. This will save you so much time. You can also declutter your social media and friends lists. Focus on the people who really matter to you.

 

Spend less time on social media/internet 

With the advancement of technology this day, people tend to spend more time on social media than real people.

Social media has taken over the world, people tend to use it for different things. Social media and the internet have made so many people rich but let’s not forget the fact that it has made some not useful.

People spend hours on social media without doing anything. Spend less time on social media and you will see the result you get on a daily basis.

If you have something important to do, I will advise you to get rid of or delete the apps and focus on your business. Use social media in your spare time when you are not using it for business.

 

Ditch the negative people

Negative people are toxic to your life. They will bring down your mood and try to kill your dreams. We all have struggles in our lives, but some people live their life in victim mode. You don’t need this kind of person in your life.

Surround yourself with happy and optimistic people. These aren’t people who act like life is always puppies and rainbows. Optimistic people still have bad days now and then. They know things will get better though.

Negative people complain about anything and everything. When you ditch the negative people in your life you will feel a great sense of relief.

 

Read more self-help books

I just can’t stress it enough, no one can deny the major benefits of self-help books to improve the quality of life, I’m personally addicted to self-development books.Self-help books are life changing, and the best type of books to help you improve your life!

The fact that something someone wrote has the power to change the way I do things just gets me. I get fired up just typing about it.

 

How to Change your Life for the Better – Final thought

I am so much happier this year than I’ve ever been. Part of this is because I’ve intentionally made some big changes in my work, who I surround myself with, and how I spend my time. But a lot of it is just because I picked up a few habits here and there that made me happier, more energetic, and more mindful.

If you’re looking to change your life, I hope you’ve found some inspiration and I hope that you start today.

What are your tips for a better life?

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What is the debt snowball method? Simple Guide!

Today I will be discussing what is the debt snowball method?

If you’ve ever been into personal finance you’ve probably heard of Dave Ramsey. If you haven’t, Dave Ramsey is a financial guru with his own radio show and the best-selling-book called The Total Money MakeoverI’ve been an on again, off again, listener of Dave Ramsey’s and I totally agree with his debt snowball method of paying off debt.

The greatest thing about the debt snowball method is that it’s so incredibly simple that anybody can understand it! It makes it super accessible to anybody.

Being in debt can really strangle you and make your entire life more complicated. If you’re able to get rid of all your debt, your entire life will change.

Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method is a great way to start paying off debt because it’s based on psychology and small wins to get you started on the right foot. Let me teach you how to make the debt snowball method work for you!

 

 

What is the debt snowball method?

With the Debt Snowball Method, debts are paid off in order of lowest balance.

Order your debts from lowest balance to highest balance, disregarding minimum payment amounts and interest rates. Pay the minimum amount on all debts.

Pay as much as you can, in addition to the minimum payment, on the debt with the lowest balance. The extra money you plan to apply to debt each month is called your “debt snowball.”

Once it is paid off, apply that minimum payment + your debt snowball to your next lowest balance.

Your debt snowball will grow larger and larger as you continue adding the previous minimum payment to the next debt.

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For this example, let’s say you have £100 extra to pay on debt every month:

Department Store Credit Card = £1,200; 23% interest rate; £55 minimum

Auto Loan = £7,000; 9% interest rate; £190 minimum

Student Loan = £20,000; 6% interest rate; £240 minimum

Travel Rewards Credit Card = £400; 18% interest rate; £30 minimum

Debt Snowball: £100

After ordering these debts from lowest balance to highest balance, you would focus on paying off the Travel Rewards Credit Card first, applying your £100 snowball each month.

Once that is paid off, you will move to the Department Store Credit Card. Your debt snowball at this time will be £130 (£100 initial snowball + £30 Travel Rewards Credit Card minimum payment).

Each month, you will pay £185 on the Department Store Credit Card (£130 snowball + £55 minimum payment).

Once that is paid you, you’ll target the Auto Loan (£185 snowball + £190 minimum payment). Lastly, you’ll tackle the Student Loan (£375 snowball + £240 minimum payment).

In this example, you would be paying £615 towards your Student Loan each month, an extra £375!

Related posts:

Interested in learning about the different methods of paying off debt or advice in paying it off? Then see our posts below:

 

 

Tips for the debt snowball method

  1. Create a Budget

Before you even develop a plan to pay off debt, you should create a budget which lists all of your income and expenses. You need to know where you are starting so that you have an idea of where you are trying to go.

  1. Trim the Fat

Really dig into your expenses and determine if there is anything you can get rid of. This will increase the amount you can apply toward debt payments, hence the income boost listed above.

  1. List All Debts

List all of your debts in order, beginning with the debt that has the lowest balance. Ignore the interest rates. The debt snowball method focuses on paying off the debt with the smallest balances, unlike the debt avalanche method which focuses on paying off the debts with the highest interest rates.

  1. Make the Payments

After you’ve listed all of your debts from smallest to largest, begin making the minimum payments on all balances except for the debt with the lowest balance. Any extra money, in addition to the minimum payment, should be paid towards the debt with the lowest balance.

  1. Earn Extra Income

If you’ve trimmed the fat from every expense that you could and your income is still not enough to kick start your debt payoff, then you might have to pick up a part-time job or start some sort of side hustle. If you need extra income to help get rid of your debt, check out my blog post for

Related posts:

Interested in learning how to create a budget? but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

Interested in cutting down your expenses, but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

Interested in earning some extra cash? Check out my posts below on how to earn money online with a sidehustle fast!

 

 

Debt snowball method excel template

If you want to see quickly how long it will take you to pay off each debt, the best way to do that is using a pre-designed debt payoff spreadsheet. I used the Google Sheets Debt Payoff Template

They also have an Excel version of the Dave Ramsey Snowball Concept and you can choose between the Snowball method or the Avalanche method of debt payoff.

 

Why the debt snowball works

The debt snowball method leverages momentum over math.

The idea is to get a quick win by paying off a small debt first. This win will give you the motivation to continue aggressively attacking your debt.

It’s the same psychology that’s necessary for weight loss. If you can lose those first few pounds quickly, you’ll be motivated to continue your regimen and lose more weight.

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This approach is what distinguishes it from the debt avalanche method.

The debt avalanche method is intended to save you the most money overall by attacking your debt from the highest interest rate to the smallest.

Though, both methods will get you to the ultimate goal of paying off debt.

 

Make sure your debts are organised

This has to be the first step before you even start to plan your debt snowball. You’re going to find it pretty tough to use the snowball method effectively if you don’t organize your debts. You need to know exactly how many debts you have and how much they total.

From there, you can work out your smallest debt and begin the snowball effect. This is one of the steps many people struggle with.

It can be daunting and let’s face it, depressing, writing down everything you owe, and actually seeing it there in front of you. However, by doing so, you’re actually taking control over your finances, rather than letting them control you.

Plus, you’ll soon start to feel much better when you put the snowball method into effect and you see those debts coming down.

Related post:

Interested in learning how to organise your finances, but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

 

 

Why does this method work so fast?

As you pay off debts, the amount that you’re paying on them increases. There are no minimum payments allowed on the snowball debt method–and that is why it works!

Instead of languishing behind constant interest {which never stops} you’re steadily increasing your payments so you can finally get ahead and stay there!

 

My opinion on the debt snowball method

It really depends on your circumstances, but this is definitely a great debt strategy for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by debt.

If you have many debts with varying balances this method could help you to focus on one debt at a time.

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I think the biggest benefit of The Snowball Method is that it can be very encouraging to see each small debt disappear.

Eliminating a debt feels incredible and it is likely to motivate you to continue paying off the rest of your debts.

You’ll probably pay a little more (or maybe a lot more depending on your circumstances) in interest in the long run. That’s something that needs to be weighed against the motivation benefit of this method.

 

What is the debt snowball method – Final thought?

When paying off debt, you must realize that it won’t be easy. No sacrifice is ever easy. If you want to change the trajectory of your life and that of future generations, stay focused and put it in the work.

The debt snowball method really works and it allows you to see your actual progress much quicker than if you had started paying on the highest debt first.

It also keeps you motivated and if followed correctly can have you living a debt-free life sooner than you think. I wholeheartedly encourage you to use this method because it will change your life. It certainly changed mine.

What are your thoughts on the debt snowball method?

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