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“Yes, I made it. I just think handcrafted gifts are more special Mum…”

Christmas does two things for me every year:

  1. Draws my attention to the fact that I am broke and have terrible money management skills (but a lot of fun)
  2. Unleashes my inner creative as I craft my family’s presents out of macaroni noodles

 

Then, without fail, my New Years resolution is to create a budget, stick to it, and save money this year.

If any other creative types have found themselves in similar financial peril, here are some of my issues and the solutions that are going to help me on my quest for financial stability this year: 

 

  1. Problem: I don’t make enough money
    How do you know that you don’t make enough when you have absolutely no idea what your expenses are? You don’t. Have you ever bothered to calculate how much money you need to live.Solution: Make a list of monthly expenses, or better yet, make a budget map. Like a mind map, write down all of your expenses and colour code them by priority and necessity, make the life or death stuff bigger and the just for fun stuff smaller. This will draw your attention to areas where you can save a few bucks. I found it helpful to write down everything I spent money on for one month and then used that as a starting point ($30 a month on chewing gum… really!?).
  2. Problem: I don’t have a mansion with a helipad… yet
    It is much easier to work towards a goal, when you have a goal. Visualise what financial success looks like for you.Solution: Set realistic goals of financial success for you. For example, in 1 year I will have enough money to buy a Ferrari, in 5 years a mansion, in 10 years I will be retired with a Yacht that looks like a pirate ship. Not realistic for me now… but future me can refer back to this.
  3. Problem: Spread sheets are boring
    If you like colour and you like to be able to see the big picture… more than anything, if you need a reason to use glitter.Solution: Create a financial vision board. A place for your goals to hang out and mingle with one another in a picture. By putting this somewhere you see it regularly, it stays at the front of your mind and encourages you to reconsider small splurges or unnecessary spending. This will contribute to saving for something more meaningful.
  4. Problem: I can’t see my money growing
    If you’re one of those, “I need to see it to believe it” people, keep motivated by creating a visual of your money growing and getting closer to your goal.Solution:  Create a visual representation of your savings. You could draw a graph, use a computer program to make a graph for you, or create your own save by numbers picture. Yes, save by numbers is my personal paint by numbers/graph hybrid that I am sharing with you.
    Save by Numbers Directions: Draw a picture of what you are saving for with different saving amounts in each blank space and then fill them in with colour as you get there.
  5. Problem: I haven’t been invited to a pool party on a Yacht
     Please help me out with this one when you get rich.

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