Spring Clean your Finances

I woke up this morning with the urge to clean!  No, I don’t mean the usual push the vacuum cleaner round; do a bit of dusting clean.  I mean the empty the cupboards out, see what is lurking in the back of the pantry and have a good old decluttering session.

20140928_102029Maybe it has something to do with spring; the trees are just starting to blossom and the garden is coming back to life after winter.  So the urge is there to get ready for summer.  Or maybe I am just sick and tired of opening a cupboard and all this ‘stuff’ that I don’t use or need stares back at me and it is time to do something about it.

That got me thinking, we should also spring clean our finances on a regular basis as well.  Have a look at all the automatic payments and direct debits that come out of your bank account.

Do you know what they are for?

Do you still want the service you are paying for?

It is also a good opportunity to review other expenses like your insurances, phone and power provider to see if there are any deals you could capitalise on.

What about your credit card?  If you have a balance just sitting there that won’t go away, are there any options by changing credit card company that could help reduce the cost.

Don’t forget to look at your savings, when was the last time you increased your contribution to your savings plan?  If you got rid of a couple of unused subscriptions, you could divert the money to savings instead.

Oh well, it’s back to the kitchen cupboards for me…..

If you would like some help decluttering your finances, feel free to drop us an email or give us a call

 

5 tips to help you cope with Money and Depression

Robin_WilliamsIt was with surprise and sadness that we learned of the death of Robin Williams.  How could someone who gave so much to everyone else not realise that he was loved in return?  The answer of course was that insidious illness, Depression.

Then I saw this headline in the NZ Herald “Williams was depressed and broke”.  It was only a few months earlier that Charlotte Dawson also suffering from depression and ‘jobless and penniless’ ended her life as well.  It seems that depression and money problems are a dangerous combination.

I don’t know the details of either’s financial circumstances other than what has been in the media.  But both had been in the situation of earning very good incomes during their careers, they enjoyed the good things in life and were able to be generous to their friends and family.  Then for whatever reason the money stopped flowing and life became even more difficult when combined with depression. Continue reading

Why do women spend money?

OK girls, this one is for us. What is it that gives us the urge to spend money and buy that handbag or candle when we are feeling a bit down?  I also suggest you share this blog with the boys in your life so they get a much better understanding of why we feel the need to shop and spend money.

shopping compressedWhen John Gray wrote “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”, we became a lot more aware of the differences between how men and women think.   These differences not only apply to our relationships but also to how we think about and spend our money.

My daughter has recently changed jobs from working in a small family owned business to a semi corporate environment.  I got the SOS call from her after she was offered the position.

“Mum, my clothes are all wrong; I need your help to get some new ones”.  I was more than happy to oblige. Continue reading

What stories are you telling yourself to justify you’re spending?

I bet you didn’t know you were an author did you.  Whether you recognise it or not we all tell ourselves stories to justify and rationalise our spending.  Some of those stories are short blogs, and others are full length novels!

dinner party compressedWhat do I mean by justifying and rationalising our spending?  I looked up the Merriam-Webster dictionary to see what they had to say about it and this is the definition of justify, “To provide good reason for the actions of [someone].”

Interesting.  What about rationalise?  “To think about or describe something (such as bad behaviour) in a way that explains it and makes it seem proper, more attractive etc.”

I probably don’t need to add much more as those two definitions really sum it up.  But I am going to.

We were at a dinner party recently, and the usual question of “what do you do” came up.  Generally one of two things happens when I say I am a money mentor.  The person suddenly has to go and talk to someone else (the same thing happened when I used to say I was an accountant).  Or I get chapter and verse about how good (or bad) they are with money. Continue reading

Are you experiencing Spending Creep?

What is spending creep I hear you ask?  Well, we think we are doing a good job of keep our spending under control, but things just creep up on us without us really noticing, for example, our insurance comes up for renewal and it is just a little bit higher than last year.  Or the price of a coffee at your favourite cafe goes up a few cents and you don’t notice it.

creep compressed

I had an interesting discussion with my personal trainer/nutritionist today that really got me thinking about how easy it is for creep to happen; not only in our finances but in other areas as well.

I am pretty diligent in my eating habits, I know a couple of glasses of wine goes straight to my back and potato chips head to my hips.  So I very closely monitor how much of both of those I have. If something unexpected happens like indulging in a piece of chocolate cake, (it was birthday cake so that made it OK….) I know I need to do some extra cardio to work it off.

Continue reading

Instant Gratification: the other side of the story.

Earlier this week I wrote a blog on Instant Gratification.  Just like the movie Sliding Doors, the story can have a different ending…..

Twelve months ago, I had a Freddy Mercury moment. “I want it and I want it now”.  What was the object of my desire? A red leather lounge suite.

leather compressed

It would look perfect in our house, not that there was anything wrong with the lounge suite that we had, but the red leather was divine.  It wouldn’t just enhance the room, it would transform it.

We weren’t even looking to buy new furniture, it was one of those moments when you walk past a shop and something grabs your attention, next minute you’re in the shop chatting to the salesman like he is a long-lost friend.

I did all the things that I tell my clients to do when impulse kicks in.  Walk away, give yourself time to assess whether this is a Need or Want.  What is the opportunity cost of the purchase?  Is the purchase worth it in terms of our longer term goals?  We looked at the price tag and decided we weren’t prepared to pay that price.  So we didn’t buy it. Continue reading

Instant Gratification: I want it and I want it now!

Twelve months ago, I had a Freddy Mercury moment. “I want it and I want it now”.

What was the object of my desire? A red leather lounge suite.

leather compressed

It would look perfect in our house, not that there was anything wrong with the lounge suite that we had, but the red leather was divine.  It wouldn’t just enhance the room, it would transform it.

We weren’t even looking to buy new furniture, it was one of those moments when you walk past a shop and something grabs your attention, so you go in to have a closer look.

I did all the things that I tell my clients to do when impulse kicks in.  Walk away, give yourself time to assess whether this is a Need or Want.  What is the opportunity cost of the purchase?  Is the purchase worth it in terms of our longer term goals?  We looked at the price tag and decided we weren’t prepared to pay that price.  So we didn’t buy it. Continue reading