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How to feel in control of your finances

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Apart from a couple of failed attempts with boyfriends in my 20's I've lived on my own for about 23 years.

Liberating, reassuringly comforting although occasionally scary, I loved it!

Money was tricky from time to time, like it is for all of us & I learned a valuable life skill, honed over the years because let's face it, when you've got one income & a truck load of bills to pay you have to get good at this stuff a bit quick!

What does the word Budgeting mean to you?

Suffering, lack, depravation?

Something the government keeps screwing up?

Or "Quick hide" "Don't even know where to start my head's a mess" "My partner does all that"

For me, it's a magical mix, the alchemy of your organisation & planning ahead, with today's reality & tomorrow's vision.

It is the embodiment of your values and a quality budget will move with you throughout every season of life.

It will always be a work in progress - it invites freedom & independence because you're always at the helm, even if the waters are seriously choppy!

Meg Roundell Green is an incredible coach & female empowerment advocate, we had a brilliant conversation that I will link below where she started off by saying that my take on budgeting is very refreshing!

My take on it, philosophy if you will, is to use a business cashflow style so you have a longer term view. This enables you to not hit a roadblock, you will see it coming waaaay ahead of time.

When you finish a month, be your own book keeper & do your reccy - see here for 5 simple steps how to do this before viewing your new month & adjusting accordingly. Do the adjustments into the future too so when you know your car insurance is now £40 instead of £28 a month, then change your future budget to reflect this.

Meg asked me, what gives people the most control, what creates the biggest feeling of relief?

Let's look at it this way, we've experienced recessions & economic difficulties before, it's not new & it's probable they will reoccur in the coming years & decades.

So how to learn to manage these times?

A bit like driving your car on a motorway, you look ahead 20 cars to ensure you can see what's going on up ahead because your stopping distance at that speed is very different to being on a country lane pootling along & the danger is far greater.

If you're the passenger you don't have much control & it's likely you're looking at the fields as they go by or your phone. So if you're the passenger of your finances then you're not going to be or feel in control it's that simple really.

Not so simple in some relationships where one partner is in charge of the money & the other doesn't choose to get involved, or worse, they're not allowed to... But that's for another time.

Feeling good about your money is based on your values and that's how to create YOUR budget that makes sense to you, so that it's not based on someone else's values.

I don't believe you need to understand or shoehorn yourself into a method, a style, a dry financial document that makes you groan & reach for the gin.

You shouldn't need a maths lesson to manage your money.

Your values will recognise that money underpins your life & runs deeper than just a bank statement, a calculator & a pen.

Creating that massive shift for you comes from these and gets to the root of your current lifestyle. Are you living the one you wanted or the one you created years ago that has run it's course?

When you are living intentionally, not letting every day just go by like Ernold Same (Blur) you'll be able to notice when there's a mismatch between your behaviour vs your intention.

Unconscious spending perpetuates your leaky money bucket.

Enjoy your money with conscious intention - if you've nothing to show for your money & you don't know where it's gone then you need to do some housekeeping, a repair job on your leaky bucket.

Ask yourself;

Do you want the thing you're about to order online, or is it chipping away at the thing you said you really wanted?

How long did it take you to earn that money? Does your salary arrive every month with zero effort on your part or have you had to get up while it's still dark, commute somewhere, work hard all day & come home knackered praying for your days off?

Then you're frittering away another tenner another twenty with no thought - how much effort did it take you to earn it in the first place?

Is what you're about to buy going to light you up? Brilliant!

If you've barely remembered it the following week then maybe not so much.

Try waiting 24 hours before buying it and if you're still hankering after it then fine!

Our brains love that we don't have to wait, amazon, netflix, just eat, we've become hard wired to expect things right now!

Remember the days of having to wait a whole week to see the Ross & Rachel post kiss episode?

And how about this?

Feelings of shame. And Guilt.

Mum's having to say no to their teenagers on repeat because of not being able to afford the good stuff.

But you're not alone, don't think that all other mums are able to still give expensive gifts & buy all the latest everything, because it's highly unlikely that's true.

How are you feeling right now?

Are you having conversations with other parents about your kids & money?

Tip: Reframe this to be a learning experience

This will release some of your inner pressure, after all, we all know that money management wasn't part of our school education so how about you start or continue this with your kids?

Teach them about the economy, the ebbs & flow of earning & spending powers & how to look after their money. Turn this into a pragmatic life lesson that matches the experience they see & hear which will lessen their stress about it.

What a great gift of a life skill to impart.

The business owners they go on to become, or work for, will thank you for it also.

Meg & I were bemused whilst reflecting how until the late 1980's women pursuing business investment needed a man / husband to be there with her! *

Many women now are looking very excitedly at investing. We tend to be natural nurturers & the act of looking after ourselves & family in the future is very appealing. Watch this space as there will be huge dialogue around women investors before too long in mainstream media and it's likely your daughters will be curious how to create their own wealth & not rely on a man!

The pension gender pay gap is still alive & kicking, let's give our girls a good education so they can carry on bringing about this essential change so they don't HAVE to work into their 70's unless they WANT to.

So my last tip to share with you today:

Creating "white space" in your money. Meg & I talk about this towards the end of the video.

Using diary & time management as the inspiration here, if you stuff your diary with too many things to do you're setting yourself up to fail.

The phone will ring, you'll be needed somewhere, the dog will vomit on the carpet, something takes longer than you realised, so before you know it, your to do list is barely even half completed leaving you feeling frustrated & exasperated. I'm my own worst enemy here 😁

Creating white space literally speaking between appointments in your diary, allows you to react to life.

If you do the same with your budget, as in you expect it to deliver to the penny, you're going to throw your budget up in the air in 2 months exclaiming "budgets don't work!"

They really do, but you have to build in your own flexibility within the structure or you'll set yourself up to fail.

As Meg says, you choose to live your life & base your spending on the values that mean the most to you.

Catch our lovely chat here and please don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel it's only tiny at the moment so your likes & subscribes make a huge difference.

Thank you

Love from

Lucy x

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