Why it’s important to raise your financial awareness
In today’s changing world we now have time to reflect on our behaviours and start gaining financial awareness and understanding our actions.
Life is about choices, and our future lifestyle and security is about the choices we make today.
I would like to share my observations of peoples past and current spending, along with the threats of the modern world, that in turn can lead to actions to put you on the path of financial awareness and ultimately financial freedom.
Recently, I heard a young couple on a train commuting into work.
As they were drinking their take-away high-end coffee, they were discussing either lunch at Leons or take-out from the burrito boys, while she was deciding:
He turned to his girlfriend and said he had to collect his new shoes from Loakes, and that once he’d purchased 11 pairs for the year he would get his 12th pair for free.
“only 3 more pairs to go” – he smiled
And she continued to talk about stuff she needed to buy.
In my head, I was calculating the cost of every transaction, and not including the supermarket trap convenience purchase on the way home.
It was thousands per year on stuff and nonsense.
As we approached London Bridge he turned to his girlfriend, and the words that came out of his mouth left me in shock:
“I wish we didn’t rent and could afford to buy our own home”
I wanted to tap them on the shoulder and shout STOP, let me simply show you a way you can.
The sad truth is that this is not an uncommon story.
Many of you might be thinking “I need more money to be financially secure”.
But no amount of money matters if you’re spending it all.
A person earning £120,000 per year and spending £120,000 per year, doesn’t have money.
The Harsh Truth
The truth is, people are really bad with money, and the story on the train may resonate with you.
We have choices:
Do you invest in the future, that you cannot justify or spend £1,000 on the latest Apple iPhone release, as “its a necessity”?
Do you take lunch to work, but as you haven’t made time, you are happy to spend £300 a month on grabbing food on the go.
And if you want to be financially secure, you need to change that behaviour.
Change Your Environment
In this changing world, we should now be forced to change our behaviours.
The shops are not open, restaurants closed, social distancing means working from home, no cost of commuting, or spending time down the pub or coffee shop with friends.
So are we changing behaviours?
For some we are, but for most the ease of shopping on your phone has overtaken.
Food delivery apps have seen orders increases by over 54%.
With Amazon you can still order everything you require.
Online sales of wine have hit all-time highs.
There is a belief, as I am spending less on what I used to, I can now spend more on things I never did before.
Become a Saver, not a Spender
Your bank account is a lagging measure of your financial habits.
And so you think the thing that needs to change is the bank account.
But actually the thing that needs to change are your habits.
Every action you take is kind of like a vote for the type of person you want to become.
Saving £1 per day isn’t going to give you financial freedom…
But, it does cast a vote for being the type of person that saves.
In other words, it gets you into the habit of saving.
Often, the biggest barrier to our goals is getting started.
If we want financial freedom, it’s going to take more than saving £1 per day.
But the goal is to begin saving. Make saving a habit.
That way it acts as a gateway to a bigger routine.
I’m guilty myself of focusing on the finish line. Instead, if you can optimise for the starting line and make it as easy as possible to get started, the outcome will come as a natural result.