Guilty of ignoring your bank balance? Here's how to be more mindful with money

Written by Stylist Team

Don’t let your financial fears or ambivalence stop you from reaching your goals. SmartPurse’s Olga Miler answers your most common money questions ahead of our Money Rally event this weekend.

As our lifestyles have shifted over the past year, so have our financial needs. And, while money can be a very stressful part of our lives, growing your financial confidence can improve your money mindset and alleviate this stress and financial anxiety. On Saturday 10 April 2021, together with SmartPurse we are hosting Money Rally to help you build healthy money habits and teach you how to manage your money more effectively.

Join us for a morning of discussion and an afternoon of practical workshops where you will hear from Gemma Cairney, Ruby Wax and a selection of financial experts as we explore the meaning of financial freedom, the relationship between money and success, and help you banish financial fears so you can stop worrying about money.

Ahead of the Money Rally this weekend, we asked SmartPurse’s Olga Miler for her money-saving tips and pointers. If you have any more questions for Olga, or about our upcoming event, please email [email protected]

Is there a certain percentage of my salary I should be trying to save?

How much you save depends very much on your saving goals, what you’re saving up for and when you want to reach your goal. For things you want in the longer term, for example if you are saving to buy a property or saving for your retirement, it might be better to invest your money, so it has more of a chance to grow.

Every woman should have an emergency fund at hand, ideally this is around three months’ salary, but if you plan to start a business or go freelance, then it’s wise to have more saved, just in case. 

How can I easily track what I’m spending?

Whether it’s keeping a spending diary, using a simple Excel spreadsheet, downloading a budgeting app or having a debit card that comes with a budget planner – there are a variety of ways to track what you’re spending.

Equally important when tracking your income and outgoings is to have a budget plan or template that helps you to plan your spending for the near and not-so-near future. 

What toxic money habits should I avoid?

There are a number of dangerous money habits to be aware of, ranging from credit card debt to impulse shopping, but these things are thought to have the most negative effect on your finances over a lifetime:

  • Not asking for what you are worth and not negotiating pay
  • Simply saving and not giving your money the chance to grow through investment
  • Not having an emergency pot to fall back on
  • Never discussing money with your partner and eventually facing unpleasant surprises
  • Only starting to take care of your retirement funds when you are older
  • Believing that you are not worthy or smart enough to be ‘good with money’. This includes not asking any questions out of fear of being put down or labelled as ‘stupid’ 

Dedicate time to plan your spending and create a plan of action to reach your financial goals

What’s your best tip around being more mindful with your money?

Start exploring the ways money can support you and your life. View money as a tool that can provide security and a lifestyle, and as something that can do a lot of good in the world if you invest it sustainably. 

Get educated on how to manage your money – by taking an investing for beginners course, for example. Another tip is to make a money date with your partner and set up a regular amount you invest each month. 

Saving for big things like a house deposit can seem so overwhelming. How can I change my mindset?

Take small, but regular steps and celebrate when you have reached a milestone. Help form positive habits with the various available digital tools and look for alternatives to make your money grow, such as investing.

Are there any quick wins when it comes to money mindfulness?

Many of us feel overwhelmed when it comes to money. We also tend to have a variety of money worries and, as women, we can take on huge financial burdens. Our society largely defines value based on how much people earn, so this means the amount of free labour provided by women reinforces the idea that we don’t need or deserve as much money as men, or that we are not good with money management.

The biggest quick win is to free yourself from these beliefs. It’s not true that women are too indifferent or too risk-averse to be good with our finances. In fact, multiple research studies reveal that when women learn how to manage their money, we make more mindful and successful investors than men.

Should I be investing my money?

At a minimum you should invest the money that serves you for the long term. That means your retirement and the amounts you save for anything you might want or need in the next 10 years. 

Join us on Saturday 10 April 2021 at the Money Rally to find out more. Tickets are £9 and include access to all live panels, a workshop of your choice, one month’s free access to SmartPurse’s Digital Money School and a digital goody bag to support your learning. Plus, content will be available to watch for three weeks following the event, so you don’t need to worry about missing any of the action.

Speak to a Financial Conduct Authority registered financial adviser before taking financial advice, and think carefully before making any decision.

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