Points to Remember

Monica’s Motivation

Monica Hernandez

Age: 28
Occupation: Marketing Consultant

“During my first two years as a working woman, I pretty much ‘shopped till I dropped’. It was great having my own cash and the only expenses I had were of my own making since I still lived at home. Instead of putting aside some of that money to personal savings, I told myself that I worked hard and I would play hard. I guess I didn’t do anything in half measures. It was all spending and no saving…

I can’t remember exactly when I realised living completely in the moment without a thought for my future, was a bad idea. Definitely, a measly double digit balance on my account at the end of every month clued me in. So, fittingly enough, on Old Year’s Night in 2004, I decided to bring in the new year with a personal declaration. As hard as I work, and as hard as I’d played, I knew it was time to put some of that intensity into securing my financial well-being so that I could be assured of my continued ability to play hard ten, fifteen, twenty years down the road.

I like grand gestures, so I decided to write and read out something I called ‘Monica’s Way Forward’. Having my parents hear all these great plans for my future was a calculated move on my part. It grounded my New Year’s Resolution in reality because I’d shared it with the people most likely to remember all the details!

Everyone has different motivational methods but this one definitely worked for me.”

FIRSTLINE POINTS TO REMEMBER

MAKE BUDGET CUTBACKS

For most of us budgeting is a chore because we rarely find things to cut out of our expenses and our failed attempts at becoming lean, mean spending machines leave us frustrated. But the fact is, many of the things we call necessities are really luxuries.

A successful budget plan requires frankness. Recognise the areas where you are engaging in discretionary spending and from there, free up money to go towards your investments.

TRACK YOUR SPENDING OR WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN

Some people analyze their current spending habits and then identify areas where they can make reductions. Others prefer to start from scratch, discounting their previous habits and focusing on how much they would be willing to spend going forward.

Find the best budgeting method for you. You can download our expense tracking sheet or our general budget template to give you a kick-start, whatever your preferred method.

GET YOUR MIND RIGHT

Monica may like grand gestures but you don’t have to channel your inner thespian to get benefit out of writing down your own ‘way forward’. Seeing it there on paper – even if you share it with no one else – can concretise your goals. Use Monica’s Motivation as a launch-pad for your own declaration.