I’ve been taking steps to empower myself to get out of debt and also save a fund so that if I do need to take time off again for my health, I have at least a month’s worth of money set aside to do so.
First, let me say, a lot of the financial advice out there is for the wealthy and financially educated, so don’t get overwhelmed or feel guilty if you’re not making heaps of money, or the info doesn’t apply to you. Even though the individuals and companies I’ve listed below are great, sometimes I feel like even those guys have forgotten what it’s like to really struggle.
There are loads of resources out there, but I’m going to start with what’s been working for me.
‘You Are a Badass at Making Money’
By Jen Sincero, this is one of my favorite books to go to when I’m freaking out about money. It’s based on practicality, psychology, and universal energy — so there’s something for everyone.
I bought it when I first went freelance. I was terrified because even though I wanted to run my own show, I basically was forced to because I could no longer work a “normal” job with my levels of anxiety and fatigue. So, I had to quickly get on top of my fears and limiting beliefs regarding money.
I see it in myself time and time again. I block opportunities to welcome money in my life because of learned behaviors and beliefs, and I think the most important work that Jen’s book does is help you identify the relationship between money and your self-imposed limitations.
There are exercises in every part of the book, and I have to admit, every time I work on these, I see progress — often in the form of new clients or a new opportunity. It’s integral to taking my headspace out of scarcity and into a mindset of abundance and gratitude — and that’s a much better place to operate from.
If you need a bit more support than a book, Jen has an online course you can access here.
You Need A Budget
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a computer and mobile app that helps you manage your money, get out of debt, and save more. To me, it’s not just about the credit card debt, it’s about really understanding how to manage money and getting financially savvy.
YNAB’s app is mainly made for U.S. and Canadian users, as you can sync up your app with U.S. and Canadian banks and the currency is in dollars. If you’re using the software for a PC or Mac rather than the mobile app, there is a way to import your bank details. I haven’t tried this yet because it’s actually a new discovery for me, but what I do use is their podcast.
The YNAB podcast has single-handedly helped me create a budget plan for my debt and has helped me prioritize what to spend money on and what to save for. It’s not always easy and I’m still tweaking, but that’s one of YANB’s four rules: “Roll with the punches,” meaning, your budget is adaptable so sometimes you need to change it when “life happens.” Each episode is short and digestible, so it’s a nice way to learn without getting overwhelmed.
I’ve always wanted to see my money in segregated sections while also seeing what’s happening to it in real time. I found that most of the standard banks in the United Kingdom don’t do this, but now Starling has come along.
Starling is an online-only bank you access through an app. I see what I’m spending on a daily basis, I can set goals, and I can separate my money.
There are a few glitches with the system as it’s still new, so my direct debits and payments go in and out via my main bank account. I use my Starling card for groceries and day-to-day expenses.
Strictly speaking, the goal section is for savings, but I like to create areas for each week and to divide my money up according to my budget. That way I can see how much I have left to spend every week in real time and I’m less likely to go over. It also means I don’t have to do the math every time I log in!
These types of banks and apps are popping up the world over, so see what’s available in your country!
- Girlboss: A media site tailored for women that includes money-related articles.
- “The Richest Man in Babylon“: A book of parables that relay financial advice.
- Mint: A budgeting app that also checks credit score and allows users to pay bills.
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