The year 2020 is almost over. Even if you didn’t want to, you probably know a little bit more about your money life by now. The pandemic has forced us all to take a closer look at our wealth and our health.
Well, now that the process has begun, try not to stop. Continue this journey of being money aware and you’ll realise your own personal, professional and emotional potential even further.
Sometimes, to move further, we need a nudge. This nudge can come from others or even from ourselves if we are willing to take that step.
Create your own nudge
Nudge to check spending
One way to nudge yourself to be more money aware is having weekly or monthly spending budgets. Collect all your spending receipts in a week or month, be it virtual receipts or physical. Keep a copy in either a digital folder on your computer or make a note in a book. Put an alarm at the end of the chosen period which reminds you to check your spending. Snooze the alarm when it rings, don’t turn it off.
When you sit down to do this final calculation, it will give you a clear picture of how much of your income you spend in the defined time period. At first the findings may just come as a surprise and you may not be motivated to change anything. However, when you keep seeing the same thing happen, week on week or month on month you will realise that unless you change your behaviour towards your spending habits, the outcome will also not change.
This works well for over spenders to rein in the excess, but it also works for those who focus on too much saving to remind them they can pamper themselves just that little bit more.
Nudge to invest
The best way to build an investment nudge is to automate your investments. Don’t wait for the next month to come for you to decide how much to invest, just put in place an automatic investment system. You can do this through systematic investment plans in mutual funds and equity shares, in fixed income investments you can do this by creating a recurring deposit.
The step before you invest is to save. Here too, try and automate the process. If you are just starting out, try putting aside Rs 100 or Rs 500 or Rs 1000, whatever your amount may be, either physically in a piggy bank at the end of each day or you can leave a standing instruction with your bank to transfer the amount every day to another account which is then linked to your investments.
Automating the process not only ensures that it happens, but also when you see it work, you are nudged to do more of it. A successful action begs a repeat, that’s a positive loop that will benefit you further.
Write it down and stick it up
While doing the above is great, don’t forget to write down why you are doing it and then take that piece of paper and stick it prominently. Ideally, it should be stuck in a place where you are likely to see it on a daily basis, reading and reading something makes an indelible impact in our brain and tends to push you towards it. Nothing better than writing down your goals and reminding yourself what they are on a daily basis by reading and re-reading those goals.
These three nudges are just the beginning of a healthy money journey. One in which you will benefit from your actions in the long run. Being aware and conscious of your money choices can eventually help you become more confident about the outcomes. Building in the nudges makes the process smooth and consistent.
Don’t shy away from your money duty in 2021 and rely more on the automated nudges than just your own memory to enjoy the ride even more!