There are a lot of links when it comes to confidence and money, and a survey mentioned in the Independent suggested that being in control of your money can be a huge help with your confidence.

Here at Smart Money Cymru, we want to help educate our members about money management, and money confidence. We’re here to empower all of our members to have a good relationship with money, and to not let it affect your confidence.

Money management is key to financial confidence – is this something you actively do already? If not, we’ve got some first steps you can take to start improving your financial confidence, and your wellbeing.

  1. Track your spending – do you always feel like you don’t quite have enough money? Or you aren’t sure where it goes? Tracking your spending (a bit like tracking calories!) will make you really aware of what you spend on. Could it be that quick sandwich lunch from the local Spar every day of the week, eating into your budget?
  2. Adopt the 72-hour rule – do you fall for an impulse buy? The 72 hour rule means that if you want to buy something online, you have to instead place it on a list for 72 hours. If after 72 hours you still want it, then go ahead. However, you may find that this buffer time allows you to recognise you might not *need* that item or product as much as you thought you did, and saving you money over the course of a year.
  3. Automate your savings – this is really easy to do if you save with Smart Money Cymru, you can set up a direct debit straight to SMC a day after payday. By letting the money move to your savings account automatically, means you are less likely to feel tempted to spend it.
  4. Budgeting – you can be as strict as you want with this to be honest, but we do find that by creating a monthly budget, you feel more financially confident. One of our team members does this:
    • On the very first day of the month, I write down exactly what money I have in my account (payday is the last Friday of the month). I then detail all of the expenses that I can’t avoid (bills, subscriptions and so on) for the month. By writing these down every month, it makes me super aware of the outgoing responsibilities that I have.
    • From those two, I can then remove the money I have to keep aside for my bills, leaving me with a total left for the month.
    • I give myself a weekly ‘allocation’ of money to live off – I’ve decided on £100 a week, this includes my food shop, any enjoyments (eating out, drinking with friends, cinema tickets) and any purchases.
    • Some months I know I have more commitments, for example it might be a posh dinner with friends that will take more than visiting the local chippy – for these ‘bigger’ events, I write a list and add that to my weekly allowance.
    • If possible, I also add an extra £100 to that, as a buffer for any surprise costs, so that I don’t get to 0p in my account.
    • The remaining money I put into a Savings account, which does mean it’s different every month and I have to be strict with myself to email Smart Money Cymru for a payment link. However, by writing all of this down in the same format every month, it’s quickly become a habit.
  5. Prepare for an emergency – put aside money each money for an emergency, so that when that happens (broken down car, boiler service, broken window), you have some money aside to help with the surprise bill. This will help you feel less stressed about your money, even if it’s just a small amount a month.

We would love to know how you feel about money, and if you feel financially confident or not. We’re here to help, and want to make all of our members feel safe and empowered.