The start of a new month brings fresh promise. A chance to wipe clean last months spendy ways and get back to where you want to be – doing a few financial things to help you save money.
When you are so busy it’s easy to think you’ll work differently next month and be different. But it doesn’t always pan out that way does it? You get caught up in the new month of doing and being.
So this month take a moment to press pause.
Let’s get prepared for the month ahead with these 7 quick financial tips that will help you make the most of your money and your time.
7 Financial Things To Do At The Beginning Of Every Month
1. Clean Your Fridge
I know what you’re thinking. What on earth has this got to do with money? But bear with me, your fridge can be a hidden store of food just waiting to be eaten. Food that you have already bought and paid for.
But if you don’t delve into it and clean it then stuff gets pushed to the back and you end up with food waste.
A tidy, clean fridge helps you know what you already have so you don’t buy too much.
In fact I now clean my fridge before I do a grocery shop. That way I can write my grocery list knowing exactly what I’ve got in my fridge.
It also lends itself to my fear of being lazy. Do it on autopilot and I don’t have to think about it. This is why I have many money habits because I fear I will be super lazy without them!
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2. Set A Fitness or Self Care Habit
Again, you might not think this has anything to do with saving money but it does, trust me!
We lead busy lives rushing from work to home to work again. You might be a regular gym bunny but unfortunately most of us aren’t. Nor are we very good at looking after ourselves.
We rarely put our health first but without our health we have very little. You might not think of your health as a financial thing but if you have poor health it will cost you money.
Higher insurance, more medications, increased time off work etc. Looking after your health is a great way to save money.
At the beginning of each month set yourself a fitness goal or a promise of some self care time. Plan it out, what, when and where.
Just this month Mr2p and I decided we needed to focus more on our fitness. We already do a fair amount of walking (16-20 miles each week) but little else. So this month we are following this 5 minute HIIT routine three times a week.
If exercise is already your thing, try something else that focuses on you; meditation, mindfulness or 30 minutes in the garden are all beneficial.
3. Plan A Money Date With Your Partner
Being on the same page financially with your partner is absolutely key to your future finances and happiness. But it’s rare that you start out that way.
You have to work at it and the best way to do that is to talk to each other, without distractions, about your money hopes, dreams and concerns. Do this regularly to understand each others views on money and talk through the differences.
Plan a date away from home, from the kids, at a time when you can both relax and talk. It is always better to choose the right environment, somewhere fairly quiet, when you want to talk about financial things.
Mr2p and I will often chat about our money when we are out for a long walk. But once a month we sit down with our budget and talk about what we’ve spent and what our money plans are for the coming month.
4. Set A Money Saving Challenge
Challenges are great for getting you focus on achieving something just slightly out of your comfort zone. They don’t need to be hard.
You probably have challenges set every day at work, your boss calls them work targets. And targets work don’t they?
They make us strive that little bit more because our boss expects us to achieve them and often our salary or paycheck is dependent upon them too.
If you can achieve targets at work then you can certainly achieve them at home. And when you achieve something for yourself it’s all the sweeter for it.
I am a great believer in no spend days for people who usually buy something multiple times a day. Alternatively you could have a no spend weekend or no spending for a whole week.
My post on no spend challenges has much more info on the benefits of a money challenge and tips to help you be successful.
5. Review Your Budget
I know, I know. Your budget isn’t your most favorite thing, but believe me it is the best thing to help you learn how to manage money effectively.
Think of it this way, your budget is your plan for your money. So you will want to know how you got on with your plan last month.
When you run through last months budget review your spending habits. Was your spending focus on your priorities, your financial goals?
Or did you fritter a chunk of money on things like takeouts and coffee because you weren’t as organized as you had hoped you would be?
And of course you need to plan this months money. It could be very similar to last months budget. Mine usually is as our income doesn’t often change.
When you’ve automated all your bills and saving payments there is little left to do with your budget other than tweak round the edges.
But still, don’t go missing out on checking your budget because it keeps you focused on living within your means.
6. Read A Book
I used to read loads. As in multiple books a week. But now, not so much. Life, work, the internet have all eaten into my reading time.
But books are an enormous resource of usefulness just waiting to be tapped into. Non-fiction books are great for increasing your knowledge. Fiction is great for giving you some me time.
For the best frugal living books have a read of this post:
7. Review & Set Financial Goals
Financial goals are great at giving you a target to focus on. They give you a sense of direction and keep you on the straight and narrow when temptation rears its head.
Without goals I doubt we would have paid our mortgage off early or saved the money we have.
Review your progress toward the goals you have set and plan what you are going to do to progress further this month.
Top Tip – for each of your financial goals set up some form of tracking system. I prefer to use separate savings accounts and name them. That way I know exactly how much I have saved for each goal when I glance at my online banking.
Financial Things To Do Every Month
Taking time out to focus on you and your money is important. You are important. Set yourself up for success every month by starting your month as you mean to go on and action these quick financial tips.
These financial things won’t take too much time and they are an investment in you and your future finances. Because you are worth it!