Simplify Your Life in 30 Days

Simplify your life challenge: Day 17

Simplify your life: Day 17 - money

This is my journey through the 30 Day Simplify Your Life challenge. If you would like to join in, you can get the ebook here and follow along.

Resources:
The official Youtube video for “Where to put your money” week, by muchelleb.

I am working through the challenge in an order that suits me best, instead of directly following the set challenge order. Feel free to do the same!

Day 17: Decide where to put your money

Simplify your life: Day 17 - MoneyDay 17 in the official challenge is actually ‘figure out what lights you up‘ but I have already done this. So today we are returning to mental decluttering and going for challenge day 19: Decide where to put your money.

The first step is to evaluate your spending habits. I feel like there wasn’t really too much to think about here because I have always been a very good saver. I have always saved at least 50% of my income and been very careful with how I spend the rest of my money. Although, over the last couple of years, I had started to spend more money on clothes, I have reduced this dramatically since starting this challenge. In terms of day-to-day small purchases, I spend a lot of money on public transport to get to and from work (can’t really help that) and try and restrict myself to buying three coffees a week. So I feel like I’m not too bad!

The next step is to write down where you want your money to be going. This is my list:

  • Makeup (only what I need)
  • Bonsai tools (only what I need)
  • Good quality clothes (I now buy clothes very rarely and prefer to aim for sustainable clothes from independent sellers unless it is a basic that I will get a lot of use out of)
  • Date night/adventure money (which usually involves a meal, paying for parking, tickets if needed and any related purchases)
  • Gifts (I am far more happy to spend my money on gifts for others than on myself)

The next step is to make a list of things you don’t want to spend your money on. Mine is reasonably short because I am already pretty controlled with my money:

  • More than three coffees in the work week (weekend coffees are not counted in the limit because weekends are for enjoying and socialising)
  • Stationery I don’t need
  • Low quality clothes from fast fashion brands
  • Hair and face products I don’t need
  • Impulsive snack purchases

After this, you are supposed to create a budget that caters for the lists you have just made. I already have a very structured financial process which means I don’t really have to budget so much (it helps that I have very few bills). So this is what I work with (specifics not provided):

  1. House deposit ~ 60%
  2. Bills ~ 10-15%
  3. Holiday fund ~ fluctuates
  4. Wedding expenses (which will become household savings for big ticket items once wedding planning is done) ~ fluctuates
  5. Fun spending ~ fluctuates (this is the money leftover for me to spend after the rest is split between the other accounts)

I have provided a range for bills because this fluctuates slightly depending on how many bills I have in a particular fortnight. Holiday fund, wedding expenses and fun spending fluctuate a lot for a couple of reasons. A main one is that I use fun spending to purchase gifts for people so typically I will allocate more to this account around busy festive and birthday periods (meaning less money goes to either wedding or holiday). Similarly, we may have a particularly expensive fortnight for the wedding meaning we have to forego the payment to the holiday fund. However, typically, I will allocate a specific amount to wedding and holiday and leave what is left over as fun spending (which covers the cost of items in my ‘what I want to spend money on’ list).

For some this seems like a lot of accounts but I love having this split because it means I can spend the money in my fun spending account happily, knowing that I have saved up for everything I need. Sometimes it means I don’t have much at all in the fun spending account but I would prefer that over no house deposit!

And that’s it! That was a pretty easy challenge for me. I hope you guys could get something out of it.

Keep smiling and saving

~ Alice Maisie

 

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