We’ve all read the articles on how important it is to put some extra dosh away for a rainy day or for your retirement.

But, just the idea of clicking yet another article that’ll magically tell me how to feather my nest for the future makes me feel anxious.

So, here is my 2 cents:

I am really bad at saving money but I am getting better at it.

Instead of offering you some useless advice though, I’m pulling these real-life tips from my life right now, straight from my bank account:

Get good advice

You’ve heard this one before, I know, but I mean it a little differently.

Find financial advisors who you resonate with. They need to take an interest in your life and understand how you work.

I can ask my insurance advisor and accountant a million stupid questions; they offer advice that’s applicable to my particular life situation and they never pressure me into taking up some sort of plan or product.

Replace the hobby of shopping

Half the fun of going shopping is in the explorative aspect of it. “What bargains will you find?” and “How will those new shoes look on me?,” pummel through your mind.

Remove shopping from your list of hobbies and replace it with something else. I used to ‘pop out to the shops’ on a Friday afternoon for a wander around, and I’d always end up spending money.

Nowadays, I take a trip to the library instead.

Challenge yourself

Instead of pretending that I’ve made this awesome budget and I’m going to stick to it (I always feel guilty when I fail at this – don't you?), I challenge myself.

They’re little challenges but they have a big impact on my bottom line.

Before, I’d head off to the shops with an idea of how much I was able to spend, and always overshoot it.

Nowadays, I get a kick out of coming in under the projected amount, without sacrificing the essentials.

About those essentials

Decide what your life essentials are.

Are you keen to cut down on shelling out for your expensive skincare products – then start looking for good alternatives (they do exist, promise!)

After you’ve taken a long, hard look at what’s important to you, ditch any guilt you have about it.

Break the guilt cycle

My friend Kerry wrote about this a while ago. You shop, you feel guilty and then you shop again.

Guilt is the one emotion we create entirely on our own – so stop it.

It’s a cyclical thing that feeds itself, so actively look to replace that guilt with congratulating yourself for NOT buying something stupid, or NOT splurging.

Move that focus from feeling guilty to feeling a sense of achievement – yes, I’m talking about those little personal challenges I mentioned.

What are your top tips for saving cash? Email us

For more on financial and career planning:

6 apps that can help you manage your money

How to keep going when you’re not working

How to make a good first impression when applying for a new job

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