Sometimes we put an irrational amount of pressure on ourselves to achieve our financial goals. When we aren’t feeling at our best, we beat ourselves up, especially when we unconsciously compare ourselves to our ‘age mates’ which at times can feel like they are winning this invisible race society has created.
Make no mistake, I don’t question the happiness of those people who have posted their version of success on social media (which at times could be glitter not gold) however, what I question is our ability to asses whether we are allowing said news to contribute to the ridiculous amounts of pressure we put on ourselves, all because:
“I’m almost *insert age here* and I’m not married”
“I’ve been working my butt off, but can’t seem to save”
“I Should be further ahead in my career at my age”
“I should be buying my 1st home by now”
“I *insert negative self talk*
Social media has amongst other things created urgency to achieve things simply because everyone on our feeds are sharing their wins all at the same time.
Once upon a time in what we now call the dark ages (before facebook) we didn’t really have exposure to so many other ‘lanes’. Of course we would hear about other people’s successes, but it wouldn’t be so in your face.
What’s your point Joseph?! In short I’m pretty certain we as a society have become impatient. We are a generation that thrives of INSTANT gratification.
This is by no means a message to bash social media or encourage you to go off grid, but actually the key message I want you to take away from this is to stop. Take a breather. Stop putting yourself under the wrong kind of pressure. I guess it is a longer way of saying trust the process, and stay in your lane.
Task: Think about the thing that is distracting you from your lane, realign yourself and go at your pace.
P.S. the more time you spend worrying and beating yourself up the less time you are spending on achieving your dreams. You’ve got this!
This is a very popular topic and one that comes with a lot of questions requiring clarity.
A couple with a Joint Bank account will both be responsible for the behaviour and management of that account.
Because a joint account tends to play second fiddle to someones main sole account it is easy to go in to an unarranged overdraft without noticing.
Once the account goes in to an unarranged overdraft of say £7, months and then years pass and you are paying interest on interest with being none the wiser. This account balance in the *minus without an arranged overdraft will appear on both of your credit files. The same for any joint utility bills that are not managed well and fall under “missed payments” or the “returned direct debit” bracket.
*Solution= Check your accounts bi-weekly. All of them. Analyse your payments, be aware of when direct debits are due and make sure you have enough funds. Transfer funds between accounts if you need to.
Debt & your Credit Score Joint loan accounts, Mortgages and the like.
Any unpaid debt, missed payments or defaults will affect the both of you. Even if the payments for the commitment had a direct debit set up from a sole account (Mr), if a payment is missed, this will be attached to both parties as the account is in joint names and both are responsible for the upkeep of it. This will bring down both of your credit scores. Credit agencies like Experian also have a feature where it has an area that lists “linked/associated” accounts. This will bring up your husband, wife, partner etc that you currently or previously had a credit account with or simply have a marital connection to.
When is the right time to open a joint account?
Everyones situation and set up is different, however we found that the right time for us to open a joint account and merge our finances was when we got engaged. We knew that we were committed for the long run and were in the process of planning a wedding, buying a property and supporting one another where necessary so it was crucial that the finances were clear, accessible and shared.
If it wasn’t for marriage or saving for a property I wouldn’t be too keen on having a joint account or intertwining my credit.
Similarly, I know some married people that keep their finances separate. No joint account, no joint mortgage. One pays for the residential home, bills etc and it’s all in his name. One pays for and manages the buy to let property and it’s all in her name.
Do whatever works for you.
Expenses & Savings Goals
The key to staying on top of joint expenses, commitments and saving goals is a spreadsheet! I love me a good spreadsheet, especially one available in a shared Google drive as both you and your partner can edit, access it wherever and whenever you want. The latest version is also always being updated and saved.
We edit the spreadsheet on a monthly basis and are both able to see how much savings we have, the “free” income we have to play with and the bills that need to be paid.
We’re both very visual people so we colour code most of what we do and have regular breakdowns for as much as possible.
A key to us making this work is sharing the load, setting up standing orders and constantly updating the spreadsheet.
Since having this spreadsheet, we have saved more in 6 months than we were able to save in 1 year due to being disciplined and making sure every penny is accounted for.
We have no debts (except a Mortgage) and are enjoying the fruits of our hardwork.
Side Note: We use our credit cards for large purchases like holidays, electronics etc, but clear them within 24 hours. This is so that we can make use of purchase protection, fraud, returns, points and ultimately credit cards act as a level of insurance. I will dissect this topic further another day.
An example of a similar style of spreadsheet my husband and I use to stay on top of our finances can be found below:
I hope this helps.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch via the “Contact Me” tab.
When I was younger, something I’d avoid with all of my heart was checking my account balance.
I’d spend and spend until the card didn’t work anymore. My card being declined was the indicator that I had no more money. It was that simple. This went on for about 9months to a year before I got a handle of it.
I’m not sure what it was, but ultimately it was fear. I knew that the funds in my account would always be decreasing and didn’t believe that checking my balance was worth the heartache.
Fast forward to today, I can’t help but constantly check my accounts. I have a good old nose across all of my accounts to keep an eye on my spending, move money around if necessary to do so and be in the know of how much expendable cash I have.
It is essential to be aware of your Account balance at all times to ensure that you don’t go in to an unwarranted overdraft, you have enough money for your upcoming direct debits, you haven’t paid for a service you didn’t receive, you wasn’t overcharged for something and many more.
If managing your essential direct debits and overspending on luxuries is something you find difficult, then break the two up.
I have an account for all of my Direct Debits. I put money in to it every month and I don’t touch it. The role of that account is simply to pay all of my direct debits and standing orders.
My second account is what I call my expenses account, with this I pay for petrol, food shopping, unexpected life woes (house maintenance) etc.
Finally I have my luxury account. This is the account I use for all of my online shopping dreams and desires. I have a budget and once it’s up, no more shopping for me!
This way of working has really helped me to save aggressively and never miss a payment or come up short at the end of the month.
Did you know that most people who have a “missed” or “late” payment as a negative marker on their credit file have no idea that this behaviour is effecting them badly?
Next week we will dive in to this further.
If you have any other tips for someone that doesn’t like to check their Account balance, feel free to leave your comment below.