3 Simple Money Rules I Use To Keep My Finances In Check

Personal Finance
3 Simple Money Rules I Use To Keep My Finances In Check | Personal Finance | The Chronicles of Carly

3 Simple Money Rules I Use To Keep My Finances In Check

Just a little over three months ago I finished reading The Barefoot Investor and my finances have been busy ticking away in the background. Now that I have found, trialed and settled into a new money system that works for me and aligns with how I want to manage my finances I thought it was a good time to share my three simple money rules with you!

1. Automation is KEY to financial success

As a micromanager, learning to fully automate my finances has been a game changer. I was that crazy person that checked on my bank accounts daily only to be disappointed when I was not hitting my goals quickly. It was the classic ‘wet paint never dries’ thing. By adopting a ‘set and forget’ approach I have been pleasantly surprised to see my money perform when I automate everything according to my goals and let time do its thing. Added bonus? I am never doing a last-minute bill payment. It all just pays itself.

Side note: I call this a ‘set and forget’ as it allows me to relinquish control, tone done my neurotic tenancies and not micromanage everything. I do not recommend you take this literally – you should be checking in with your finances regularly to analyse how you are spending, if you are getting the best deals and if there is any suspicious activity occurring.

2. Make room in my budget for ‘cheap luxuries’

One thing I never thought I would do is spend $4.50 a day on coffee. My #FrugalLyf heart has a panic attack as I write this but I have had to learn to make room in my budget (and brain) for ‘cheap luxuries’.

Why do I do this?

Think of your financial health, like your physical health. You have two options, you could:

  1. Force yourself into a highly restrictive and unhealthy diet to lose 15kg in one week OR;
  2. Create a diet that is majority health-based but allows for treats because… #Balance

We all know which option is more achievable and successful over the long term.
By allowing myself to have a small slice of a metaphorical cake (or in my case a daily coffee) I am keeping myself satisfied and therefore won’t have a blow out where I eat an entire cake and make myself sick with regret (or in my case, a $300 pair of shoes).

The pleasure centre in our brain demands to be rewarded and us Western folk use consumerism as a quick ‘pick-me-up’. Acknowledging this and manipulating it to your advantage is a shortcut to reclaim control over your finances!

While we are on the subject, when I spend that $4.50 for the coffee I try to get the most bang-for-my-buck by creating an experience around it. When time permits I will take a book and soak up some professional (or personal) development time as I watch the world go by. If I don’t have time up my sleeve, I will savour the walk to-and-from the cafe. The point is I am ‘buying’ more than caffeine – I am buying into a self care ritual which I treasure. If you are mindlessly exchanging cash for product you are not spending your money consciously or wisely.

3. Learn to say ‘no’.

Time for a hard truth – sometimes you are going to have to suffer through the FOMO for your bank balances’ greater good. This is something I have had to make peace with, particularly in the past 18 months with a mortgage to maintain.

I have had to build up my willpower and learned how to say ‘no’. I have found that exercising my ‘no-muscle’ when it comes to my looking after my bank account has given me the strength to use ‘no’ across other aspects of my life. It is definitely a good personal development technique to have in your arsenal.

As a general rule, I try to limit my ‘social outings’ to one a week as a maximum. Some weeks I will have zero events in my calendar. Other weeks I will have four events on. On the weeks I have four I need to make some tough decisions. Some questions I ask myself are:

  • Can we reschedule for another week?
  • Can we have a night in at one of our houses instead of going out and spending $$$?
  • Do I need to attend this event? And no, you ‘wanting’ or ‘dying’ to go to an event does not constitute as a necessity.

I am not going to sugarcoat it – sometimes it really f***ing sucks knowing your friends are out on the town and you have had to sit it out. When I do miss an event I try to stay off social media until the next day and carry out some self-care instead. And remember your future self will thank you for it.

There you have it… 3 money rules I use to keep my finances in check.

Did this article help you? What money rules do you follow? I would love to know!

Thank you so much for reading,
Carly xx

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