3 Simple Money Hacks for Financial Success
I recently did a guest post for the amazing House_143 over in the US. I love her articles around personal finance, and if you haven't checked out her Instagram, it's full of simple (and beautiful) wealth hacking tips to start your day.
Below is the full article; the introduction (which I have put in italics) is obviously information on me which most people will be aware of. Feel free to jump over it to the meat of the article.
As an introduction, across the pond in sunny (?!) London, I write a personal finance blog called Wee Scot Finance. I am originally from Aberdeen, Scotland (I know the Americans also have an Aberdeen), hence the "Scot", and Wee is a Scottish word for "little". I'm not necessarily short, but Cara Delevingne would definitely look down on me...by background I am the chief financial controller (CFO) of a technology company in London, and write my personal finance blog for individuals as my "side hustle".
I write about personal finance from two angles; firstly, I interview a lot of high profile CFOs in the London technology scene to understand how they manage their money. Secondly, I write about finance from the perspective of changing your thought patterns and mental beliefs around money.
When I discussed the idea of guest blogging with House_143, she asked if I would write something for her website around how you can mentally change your thought patterns around money.
As a society we spend a lot of time concentrating on our bodies, from the neck down. How can our bodies move faster, stronger, leaner, sharper, to achieve our goals. Rarely, do we stop, and think, what happens from the neck up. What actually happens inside our minds.
Your mind is one of the most powerful assets you own.
It has been repeatedly proven in science that changing your beliefs, your thoughts, your perspectives and your internal narrative can greatly shift your success, your outcomes, your wellbeing, your body and in this instance, how much money you have.
Think about it for a second in your own life. When you have actively pushed yourself to think about something in a positive perspective, rather than a negative perspective, it has a profound effect on the body. Not only do you say or do something different, but you feel an overall calming effect through your body. Maybe your shoulders drop, or your facial muscles relax, or your breathing slows. Whatever the effect, you can already see that having positive thoughts can have positive outcomes.
Little Life Hacks for Financial Success
In this article I want to go through my top 3 favourite hacks for feeling richer in your life.
FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THING
You have probably heard this before, but what you focus on is what you get. Have a money mindset. Despite claiming to want to be rich, or have huge bank accounts, most of us subconsciously, and consciously focus on our fear of loosing money. An easy way to determine how you feel about money, is to think about the phrases "Money Corrupts" or "Money is at the root of all evil". Do you agree with these sentences? If yes, it suggests you have a poor perception of money. If you find yourself thinking "Money is used for good" or "Money can create incredible new advancements" then you probably have a more positive perception of money.
Either way, spend time enhancing your positive perception of money. Visualise yourself living an incredibly rich life, full of everything you want, and using it for good. Focus on how money can help you and others and build up those feelings in your body and mind.
An easy way to be rich is to earn more. I know what you are thinking, "that is not possible". It's true though in that most people cannot imagine themselves earning more than they currently do. They don't believe their services are worth much more money, so they don't ask for a raise. This applies to both individuals that are employed through a company, and contractors that charge per hour. Most individuals feel scared or concerned asking for a raise.
Imagine yourself earning double your hourly amount. Now double that again, and again, and again. Really imagine what it would be like to earn this amount. Now go back to the amount you earn per hour at the moment, and add 10% to it. It doesn't feel like such a big pay increase now, does it? Ask your boss for a rise of this amount.
A prime example of this was with my friend, a well know and followed London food blogger. She was asked recently to cater for a financial services company, supply the lunch at the board meeting and provide them with a price. She diligently costed all the ingredients, the transport to the venue, the cutlery she would buy etc. She came out at a price for the client that wasn't bad, but wasn't great either. When we spoke about it she did not know how to price the lunch; the number she had was low, but she did not feel she could ask for more.
When we discussed it, the client was asking her to the provide the board meeting lunch over a high street brand or name. He wanted her to provide a really great lunch experience. He wanted to impress the board with the food, flavours and experience, and he wanted my friend to do that through the experience she was providing in that lunch. At my (and other friends) encouragement, she added 20% more to the price, sent over the menu and quote. She got the job and they paid her the money without blinking. She definitely could have charged even more as the customer was valuing the experience she was bringing.
Value yourself; everyone has limiting thoughts about something in their lives. Sometimes we build up these thoughts until they prevent us from asking for something (such as a pay rise, or more money from our client).
UNDERSTAND YOUR INTERPRETATION OF MONEY
A lot of the personal finance blogs out there state that you should cut back how much you spend on coffees or dinners out. To me that sounds really really boring! What I noticed in my personal finances is that I spend a lot on transport in London (tubes, buses, trains etc), and a lot on gym memberships (I love Barry's Bootcamp).
Instead, I decided to take up commuting to work by bike; I only do it during the summer but cycling saves money on the tube / bus AND on my gym memberships as I have a workout on my bike to work. Sit down and think about ways you can cut your costs, that have a positive or fun impact on your life. Another example is "Dry January"; in the UK it's a month that most people set aside to challenge themselves to go without drinking. It's a great way save money and your health; I set aside the money I save on not drinking to use for my summer holiday.
Alternatively, instead of thinking about cutting costs, think about increasing how much you earn. Ask for a pay rise (as above), start a side hustle (I've seen a lot of tips and tricks on House_143's website) or start an extra part time role. If you're working as well, you can't spend that money...
Your money should not scare you; if it does then you need to overcome that mindset. You need to consider why you feel like that. Maybe it is routed from childhood watching your parents with their money, or maybe it stems from a bad experience with a partner. Whatever it relates to, overcoming a poor money mindset using these simple money hacks can really enhance your earning and savings capability.
As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, I interview a lot of CFOs about their financial habits and I write a lot about changing your mindset around money; two of my favourite books that have helped my mindset include:
- Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Rich, and
- Eric Barker’s Barking Up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Why Everything You Know About Success Is Wrong