The real cost of independence

5 tips to go from Woe to Woooooooo!

Years of following other people’s rules – it’s the last school day and finally- you are free to make your own decisions.

And you do.

New life – new rules, often new spending habits- energised by this voice in your head shouting FREEEEDDOOOOOMMMMM from the top of the world you’ve just created for yourself. Only to, maybe, soon realise that being independent – being free to do whatever you like, requires work, commitment and has a price tag.

The cost is determined by the choices you make in life.

Alina Burlacu
Personal Money Mentor (Healthy Money Mind)

Making decisions can be difficult

We leave school equipped with knowledge and skills, but with limited practical ability and confidence to decide our future. Particularly what to do to earn, spend, save and protect money. Money decisions is the number one cause for chronic stress. And people who suffer from it are three time more likely to struggle with bad debt. It’s a vicious cycle.

Would you like to feel in control and confident in your ability to make financial decisions?

Then, you may want to consider these 5 tips

Be brave to live true to yourself

Too often, we manage money like we think it’s expected of us: to get noticed, respected or fit in. The ‘Shoulds’ rule; I should have that car, I should wear that brand, buy that house…costly for your self-confidence, and finances.
Managing money is easier when you’re happy, when you feel empowered and guided by what’s important for you – your values. Define who you need to be to have a good life.

And how you’ll use money to achieve that? You may need less money than you think…

Keep it simple- Progress not perfection

Follow your dreams. Making good decisions comes with practice – break things down into easier to tackle steps, make small decisions often and celebrate progress to gain confidence. Such as staying on top of your phone bills by automating payments, before you spend it; or saving little and often. Result! What steps can you take today to make progress?

Keep it real – the truth sets you free

Be honest with yourself and others. Stay actively involved in managing your finances – avoiding potential issues may cost you more – debt can easily snowball out of control. And, speak openly with trusted family, an experienced friend, or a professional about your concerns, fears and challenges. Don’t leave it until too late – get help when need it the most. Who can you speak with today?

Prepare for the winter- Allow yourself to have options

Life is never linear and money is not a certainty.
Plus, we live longer. You’re more likely to live to 100 years and, statistically, likely to change your career around 5 times- due to progress and innovation. Often, it’s not the setbacks that cost us more, but the inability to bounce back, adapt and persevere. Invest time, energy and money to grow your value and agility, and give you the freedom of choice- at home, at work, at play – keep learning, surround yourself with inspiring people and use money with purpose – to access further training, develop a business, acquire assets, or save for the winter. What options do you have now and how can you create more choice?

Consider the opportunity cost

Managing money well can often be about trade-offs- giving up or missing out. But it can also be about working smart and taking calculated risks.
Take advantage of the power of compounding and put money at work through investments. Starting early, maximising work retirement savings can earn you a healthy retirement pot. But remember, whilst investments might sound ‘cool’ and on trend, do not be fooled by some of the riskier types that are advertised acros social media.

Imagine you didn’t take any action today, how would that work for you?

A blog post by Alina Burlacu

Alina Burlacu is a specialist Personal Money Mentor for Healthy Money Mind, coaching and educating both financial advisers and individuals to enrich money conversations by factoring in the psychology of money. This is about unpacking how we make decisions and shape behaviours to get the results we’re after, at any stage in life.

Alina believes that financial education contributes to developing a healthy money mindset and accessing that earlier in life can make things much easier in the future. Alina regularly delivers financial education workshops online and across South East and London areas.

For more on the above and other money subjects, check out the Your Money Matters here.

Blog content contains financial guidance. Guidance is for information only and should not be taken as a recommendation for your individual circumstances. Only regulated financial advice can provide you with a specific course of financial action to take based on your individual circumstances and goals.