18 November 2019

How to work on your potential life 'blind spots'

All of us have our own blind spots, no matter how diligently we think we’ve worked through our so called 'flaws'. It’s only natural to have these issues within us, but luckily, they can come to light and be improved should you make that effort. It can take a little time, and a lot of error, but the willingness to try is certainly what counts the most.

It can be hard to know just what may comprise a blind spot in the first place. For example, there have been those who suffered as a workaholic or have grappled with sex addiction and simply thought this was a part of life, not something that they were obsessively taking part in. How can you navigate past those blind spots and try to find some normality, when the term ‘norm’ is so effusive in the first place? These are great questions to ask, and they can certainly make a real difference as to how we plan and manage our lives.

We think we may have some solutions in the following advice:

Assess Your Life

Assess how your life runs, and the things you take for granted. For example, it’s often in the little things that we find our flaws. If you find that a grocery trip does not feel complete to you unless you walk out with at least one or two bottles of wine, then that might signify somewhat of a dependance. If you find that you purchase the latest video games and leave them unplayed, leading to a large backlog of titles you have yet to dip into, it might be that you have impulse control issues. Working on your blind spots like this is often best found when looking at the minute practices you keep.

See What You Can Do Without

Conversely, seeing just what you can do without will help you figure out what you are dependant on. A week without coffee, to some people, can seem like blasphemy. But while caffeine is a real addiction, withdrawals amount to a small headache and nothing more. When you do without measures like this, just to test yourself, you can see what you may draw back from. Perhaps you can do without that desert in the working cafeteria. It’s worth testing, even if you take no action from there, as this will give you further insight.

Experiment With New Things

Experiment with new things in life. Try something new. Meet new people. Go out of your comfort zone. When you do this, you’ll be made aware of your personality, because it’s very easy to get stuck in a thorough rut or daily flow of life without ever attending to the parts of yourself that need fixing. When in a new environment, with new people, you start to realize just what those things are, because they stick out further. Perhaps you’ve been too dismissive of people, and meeting new people shows that. Perhaps you’ve not been paying attention to the details of a new hobby and that has been your downfall. When working on your blind spots, it’s always best to try and test them in real life situations.

With this advice, we hope you can further work on your blind spots, and through this process, realise just how amazing you can actually be.


11 November 2019

Five money habits everyone should learn

Most of us would like to not think much about money and instead put our efforts into things that bring us more joy. To be able to not worry about money, you’ll need to learn some good money habits to get your finances in good, healthy order. If you can do that, you can let your money look after itself, and get on with more important things. 
                                                             Image by Charles Thompson from Pixabay

Plan And Budget
To achieve any kind of financial goal, you need a clear plan to get there, and a budget to help you on your way. Create a financial plan that includes short and long term goals, and goals for different kinds of purchases. For example, you could aim to save for a deposit for a house as a long-term, serious goal, but a short-term goal to save for a new dress for the office Christmas party. I am currently doing BOTH of these!

Your budget covers the money you spend day to day, and how that spending fits your larger goals. Set a budget to help you decide what you’re spending day to day, and use it to track, review and adjust your spending. I set up a spreadsheet to show what was coming in and going out and then set myself a weekly budget! Take cash out as it's harder to spend when you can see the money leaving your own hands rather than your contactless card!

Be Smart With Credit
Credit and debt are often seen as bad financial habits, but actually, they can be used very wisely to boost your finances. Good debt, which includes things like mortgages, are very common and don’t need to be steered away from. You do need to be savvy about credit, though, especially high-interest credit like a credit card. If you fail to pay this off, this can really impact your credit score and getting out of debt with bad credit can be challenging. If you have debt, pay off the highest interest first, and avoid using credit for day to day expenses. A good way to boost your credit score and show you are good with credit is to use your card for small purchases and to pay the balance off every month.

Find Additional Sources Of Income
A great money habit is to find an additional source of income, instead of just relying on one way to earn money. This protects you from financial disaster if your main income stream is stopped for whatever reason and helps you to bolster your savings. Think about taking on something new like an e-commerce project, renting out your spare room to a lodger, or taking on some freelance work in your spare time. If you have the means too, if not, budgeting is your best friend - you could save so much money this way.

Save A Fixed Percentage Of Your Income
Everybody knows that they should have some savings set aside, but the smartest way to boost your savings account is to get disciplined about them. Put a set amount of your income each month straight into your savings. Set up a standing order to make this happen automatically as soon as you get paid, which means the money goes into your savings without you having to think about it but make sure it's affordable for you. Only put in what you know you wont need to take out. It will get harder to keep dipping into it once it grows into a big savings pot.

Know When And Where To Ask For Advice
Never be too proud to ask for advice. Approach a tax expert, an accountant or a financial planner to help you if you have questions about anything money related, such as organising your taxes or sorting out your pension plan. If you don’t understand, invest the money in getting proper advice. Google budgets and read other peoples budgeting tips if you need some free advice - you never know what good habits you'll pick up!


07 November 2019

Simple ways to get to grips with your money

We all have lots of stressful priorities in this life. As fully-fledged adult human beings, we have loads of different things going on that whirl around our heads. It’s sort of unfair at times, but it comes with the territory of having a productive and fulfilling life. Work, personal issues, plans – they all require thought, and they can all get on top of us if we don’t work at them at least a little. Another huge aspect of life is the money we make, spend, and save. Money rules everything in this life – whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate, but it’s true for ninety-nine percent of the population. There is a small percentage of people that absolutely do not value the coins in their pocket whatsoever (and that’s kind of beautiful), but most of us live in a society that needs to.

Handling money is a skill, whether you like it or not. Sure, some people are in terrible positions and will struggle no matter what steps they take or moves they make. It’s still something that you can improve on with training and experience, however. Traditionally, those that do okay financially are the people that sit down and actually figure out things. Those that struggle are the impulsive types that act now and think about the repercussions later on. It’s not the most popular thing to say, but it’s proven to be the case for centuries. 

How can you keep your money in your pocket, and how can you really behave yourself with it? Well, fortunately, you don’t have to have a masters in economics to be smart with money. You don’t need to be a genius to adopt simple mannerisms. A lot of this is just down to being sensible. Here are a few ways you can get a firmer grip on your finances and remove spots of doubt piece by piece. 

Budget Properly

Sit down one evening and literally analyze your money. If you’re not in a dire situation, and you have lots of errands to run, then taking time out when you’re relaxing and looking at your finances might not be the most fun thing to do. You should do it, though, because it’s the right thing. Having a plan in front of you makes everything so much easier. When it’s in your head, it’s then easy to ignore it – the idea becomes real and alive when it’s written down.

Stop Making Impulsive Decisions 

We can’t help being impulsive at times – we’re flawed and emotional, after all. Some are better at controlling their impulsive feelings than others, but we all do it from time to time. If you want to save money and have a healthier bank account in the long-term, then you’re going to have to stop throwing money away at short-term relief. It’s easier said than done, but if you can train your brain, then you’re golden. Small items on the counter at stores are little devils that make us impulsive. Items, services, and offers that might run out or expire also catch us out. Take a step back and realize that the scarcity isn’t a problem ninety-nine percent of the time. 

Bargain Hunt

There are also things that are available for a lower price – you just have to look hard enough. Yes, we just talked about not giving in to things on offer, but that’s in regards to one-off products and services. When you’re on a budget, you always need to look for cheap alternatives. Now, this sounds like a bad thing, but, at the end of the day, things at a lower price are ever as much of a step-down as people initially think. Look for smaller numbers – it’ll do you some good!

Get A Little Loan

This obviously isn’t going to be your first port of call, but it’s definitely something you could do if you’re confident enough to fulfill your end of the deal. Sometimes, the situation you’re in needs a little boost in order to get back on track. Places like Buddy Loans can solve such an instance and get you out of a hole in the short term. 

Walk More

It costs nothing to walk to the store, or walk to someone’s house. We’re in the position now where driving to nearby areas is completely normal. While you’re not causing any problems by doing so, you’re technically wasted gas and money. The petrol runs out slowly over time; if you walked, your monthly outgoings would fall fairly significantly. 
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