Yes, indeed, it looks like we will have more time at home, good for some, bad for others. The New Years’ Resolutions are a bit deflated as the lockdown has smothered some. At this time of year, so many people plan to overhaul their personal finances, but this loses steam as time goes on and it is more difficult this year to be sure. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to pull January out of the bag yet.
If you are intent on getting back on track with a fresh goal this January, why not pick a particular expenditure item to review and save money on? I agree that not everyone has the capacity to switch and save at this moment, but I also feel that there is an added benefit to just saving some money. It is naturally a good time to get more organised, informed, and focussed, Covid-19, or not. When kicking around a goal in your head, the best thing you can do is start at it. It does not start itself.
Can you spend 2 hours of your week on this?
Here is my recent experience with my mobile phone. I am telling everyone, of course. I was unhappy with my mobile phone bill late last year. I was paying an all-in package of €47pm with Eir. Every time I got a bill I winced. If my phone made me tea or gave me a back rub, that is a good deal but alas, no, just a normal smartphone with no extraordinary usage.
I spent 2 hours on research, got a new android phone (as my son was using the old one as a trampoline) for €169, protective cover for €12. I was out of contract which helps but I switched to an introductory rolling contract with Virgin for €5 pm, yes that is €5! So, after tax and stuff, it does not go beyond € 7 pm, saving €40pm, paying off my phone in 4 months. Very pleased, no loss in performance or coverage. I aim to move to another deal in 4 months. I was looking around for the catch but cannot find it yet. Before I sat down to investigate this, I kind of thought I might save € 15 pm or something so was complacent and slow to move. I was pleasantly surprised when I acted on it. Now of course I feel smug and self-satisfied when I get my €7 bill, but we must get our kicks somewhere.
So, take one outgoing this January, or more if you have time, and research it, action it and enjoy the feeling you get from even saving a few quid. There is a “rightness” about doing stuff like this that feels so good.
Most of us know there are savings somewhere but do not move on it. Why is that? It is due to many things: information overload, analysis paralysis, fear of making the wrong move, and decision-making fatigue. My trigger was seeing the €47 each month and that spurred me to action. I knew I could save money and felt bad at not doing anything about it, especially when I coach people about their money usage! This was my trigger. The will to change is determined by how angry you are with your current situation; how easy it is to activate the change and what is the outcome you want.
Ask these questions about something you want to change:
- “How dissatisfied am I on a scale of one to 10 about this?” If you are at a 1, being very mildly dissatisfied, maybe you should pick something more dissatisfying.
- “Have I a clear vision of what it is you want to achieve?”
- “How easy or hard is it going to be and what are the steps involved?” Seriously, list them out: E.g, Look at a comparison website, look at a phone shop website, ring a phone shop, drive to the phone shop, talk to a phone shop person…….
So, what is the one thing you want to do first? Is it picking up the phone and calling a mortgage broker to ask can you switch provider? Is it searching for “change gas provider” and going where Google tells you? Whatever it is, block off an hour or two and sit down to do it. You will thank yourself.
Goalsetting and getting things done with money and work is my specialty so if you need coaching support to hit your target, let me know.