At HyperJar we talk a lot about Spend Life Well. Because we believe that doing a few simple things well with your money will change not just your finances, but your whole outlook. Here are the three key things we believe in – and the secret to a happier relationship with your money.
When you plan your money with specific things in mind, two good things happen. One, you’ll be less likely to have trouble paying for things when you need to – always a win. And two, you’ll feel better. More in control, more positive and less stressed about money.
This is because, as the behavioural scientists say, ‘outer order creates inner calm’. It’s that same good vibe you get when you’ve had a de-clutter. You can see and find things, and you have a clearer sense of what the future holds.
And it doesn’t have to be just the necessities like groceries and bills. You can also try putting money aside specifically for the nice things in life, like days out, treats, and holidays.
We sometimes find it difficult to do this, for lots of reasons. We’re busy. It takes a bit of time and effort to get going. And our bank accounts really don’t help much: everything is jumbled up together so you might not have the tools for the task.
There are things that happen most years – either expected or unexpected – which are going to be expensive. That could be Christmas, a summer holiday, an insurance policy, or an emergency, like a broken freezer. But if you treat these pressure points as planned-for expenses, not nasty surprises, you’ll take a lot of stress out of the financial calendar.
Why do we find this hard? We tend to focus on the here and now. We’re programmed to think short-term. Psychologists call this ‘present bias’. But there’s a bigger prize out there, which is the confidence of being prepared.
Humans are social animals – doing stuff with others is what makes us tick. And we’re generally a good influence on each other. If you have a goal which you share with other people, you’re more likely to achieve it. We feel more motivated and accountable.
When it comes to money, planning and spending together with other people has been tricky till now. You might want to spend with a partner, or book club friends, people you’re travelling with or flatmates. Apart from the full-on commitment of joint accounts, which are clunky and irrelevant to lots of people, we just haven’t had the tools to spend well together.