Ever get that sinking feeling in your belly when you look in your bank account and think WHERE IS MY MONEY?!
You start freaking out.
It’s only 8 days after payday, your social calendar is extremely full for the rest of the month, 3 friends have birthdays, you’ve racked up a huge phone bill that’s now due and the panic sets in. Maybe someone stole my bank card and has been making crazy purchase’s. Should I call the bank and report fraud? Cancel my cards. Hope the money gets refunded?
I have had that exact same feeling before and we all know it sucks. But I’m going to let you in on a secret:
The worst thing you can do is not look in your bank account.
Closing the app, sticking your head in the sand like some kind of broke ostrich, and avoiding re-opening it until next payday is the opposite of a good idea.
Not looking in your account will not make you have MORE money (as nice as that would be). In fact, not looking in your bank account will make you have less money.
Any month I haven’t tracked my money and then avoided looking at my bank balance… I am convinced I have had less money. It certainly is no coincidence that is turns into a painful and seemingly extra-long month.
And if this is how you live your life on a monthly basis, payday to payday, not checking your bank account, I am glad you are here reading my blog.
It is time to change the way you run your finances, now is the time! And this is a great place to start because when I don’t check my bank account, I always end up:
- Not putting any money in savings or
- Taking money out my savings just to fund that month
One thing to add here is that those months; where I put nothing into my savings or even took money from my savings, were nothing special. I cannot recall anything extraordinary about those months, yet I spent significantly more money.
If this is a monthly re-occurrence for you, I have one top tip to get you on track and one BIG step closer to being financially free – START LOOKING IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.
It is SO easy to tap on Apple Pay or Contactless and whoop £3 gone in Starbucks, oops £6 gone in Sainsburys, oooopsies £8 gone in the pub.
All are forgettable purchases that are super easy to make. But do you know who doesn’t forget about these transactions?! Your bank account.
(Side note – I am not telling you that you cannot make the above purchases or spend money in Starbucks/Sainsburys/the pub, but it is simply about becoming more aware of how easy it is to make those purchases and then about making better, more conscious choices that suit you and your money goals).
Now I know it is going to take some time to undo the work that your brain (the part of your brain that likes to buy clothes and go out for dinner) has done but that’s okay. You’ve got time.
The first step to overcoming the problem, is admitting you have the problem…
It is super easy to just avoid the problem by not looking but it will only make it worse so if you realise this is something you do all the time, then all you need to do is make a small change (start looking in your bank account more regularly) to make a big impact (end result is that you will have more money).
The best way to get rid of anxiety-induced bank-account-checking is to feel confident you won’t want to pass out when you look in your account.
This means you need to know where your money is going and know that you have enough to pay the bills that month. and this can only happen by looking at the money you have as it comes in and goes out. It is not something to fear.
And the best way to do that is to track your money. From the day you get paid.
From today start looking in your account. Just a cheeky log-in in the morning when you wake up or before you go to bed.
Then over time as you check your account more frequently, you will hold yourself accountable for your spending, learn to notice the difference between the essential and non-essential purchases and you will start to realise that checking your account ain’t all that scary after all.
Oh and you have more money.
It seems like a really simple solution, but it is the first step to being able to comfortably track your money and understand your finances in detail, and it is an important one.