I was asked if I would like to be part of a group called the Institute of Inertia. What? I hear you ask. The Institute of Inertia is a network of experts and academics (and me) working together to understand why we often don’t take quick and easy steps to make our finances healthier. The long-term aim is to help us all save wasted time and money.
I am sure you have been there. You know you could get a better deal by changing your energy provider, but you just can’t be bothered, or you feel that the hassle of changing outweighs the benefit you will receive in savings. I used to be that person. Honestly I did. Back when I had money to spare, before we had children and we had two full time incomes coming in to our home.
I have also been in the position of not knowing if my credit card would bounce when I was trying to buy nappies after I had my mastectomy and MadDad had to take unpaid leave, which left us in a financial pickle. I was too scared to open the envelopes and check the bank statement. I lived with a permanent feeling of anxiety.
I am not going to pretend that I am totally reformed, but it was having children that made me realise that I needed to take our finances in hand and deal with using the money we had wisely.
I started by making four pouches, one for food, one for fuel, one for dinner money and the other for fun, and at the beginning of the month I drew out the minimum money needed and popped it in each envelope. I arranged for our bills to all be taken as direct debits at the beginning of the month and stopped burying my head in the sand.
Now I can tell you which months the car insurance, house insurance and even the pet insurance is due. I have a spreadsheet that tells me when our mobile phones are due for renewal and even our broadband. I decided that information is power and took some time to produce a list of all our bills and when they go out.
We are no way financially perfect, we still go into our arranged overdraft now and then and have debts that we are paying off, but I am realistic and try to live within my means.
I have learned that the small luxuries enable me to make big savings. So I shop at Aldi and Lidl, but still buy great tea and coffee. I have learned about value, rather than just cost and am not against buying something that is more expensive but will last longer. Hey, just look at the boys high chairs, which are Stokke Tripp Trapps, bought when they were 6 months old and still being used as chairs at the table and they are nine and ten!
I am really excited to be part of the Institute of Inertia and hope to bring some down to earth knowledge and understanding to the panel.
Why not find out what type of person you are when it comes to managing household bills and general finances. Is your head in the game or buried in the sand?
Take the Institute of Inertias Where’s Your Head At? quiz and then leave me a comment and let me know.
Disclosure: I am a paid member of the Institute of Inertia Panel