Published on October 28, 2015 1:26 pm, by Jen Bakker
Step 5 – turning insights in to action
Congratulations for coming this far. I would be surprised to hear that you don’t have lots of ideas and thoughts on what you can do differently by now. Today is about acting. No more committing for the future. This is the future. You will take what you’ve learnt about your money and start negotiating changes, making changes and committing to changes. Today is doing the hard yards, making the tough decisions and locking it in before we automate in Step 7.
If you haven’t already set aside a few hours, you might need to complete this step in 2 stages.
For today ignore your debts. Today is about your day-to-day spending, your bills and expenses. To start with, write down the easy things – what I mean here is what can you change with very little work? Your discretionary spending would fit in to this category. Some of them you may be able to tick off as you go.
Some examples –
Insight – My online shopping bill is huge. I often buy from promotional emails, it seems like a good idea at the time, but I wouldn’t have gone looking for the item I purchased.
Action – Go through my inbox and unsubscribe to all promotional emails.
Insight – I am paying $30 per week for my gym membership and I’ve only been once in the last 3 weeks.
Action – Send an email to the gym and cancel my membership OR
Action – Google a more local/cheaper gym membership and make an appointment to check it out OR
Action – See what the rate is for a casual visit at the gym
Insight – Buying my lunch at work every day is costing me $75 per week (which is $3,900 per year).
Action – Sit down and write a plan (or just think about it) for what to take for lunch 4 days a week, because I really need one day to be easy.
Once you’ve gone through the easy stuff take a break and read through the following tips in case you’ve missed something that you could do.
We’re going to continue with the things that might take a bit more work now. Here I suggest you go from the highest value to the lowest. If you need some help go in to your MoneyBrilliant service and use your last 30 days spending report, or 90 days (and divide it by 3).
Make sure you convert to cover the same period; in the example below we have worked out the monthly amount –
Health care $345
Mobile phone $135
Fitness First $92
Public transport $80
Next grab a highlighter or pen & mark the ones that you are willing and able to get rid of, the ones that you can ring your service provider and negotiate (after comparing prices online), and the ones that really need to stay.
Between now and step 6 you need to work your way through all the actions you have committed to and make sure your spending, bills and expenses are streamlined and how you want them.
A couple of extra things before you finish this step. It’s a great idea to take away temptation. So what tempts you? Think about that and see what can be done about it. Make sure you write it down as an action. Additionally pull out your insights from Step 2 and make sure you have included them all in one of the lists above.
Related Articles –
Step 1 – just think about it
Step 2 – be honest about what you do
Step 3 – where does your money really go?
Step 4 – dreams & goals
Step 6 – getting rid of bad debt
Step 7 – review, commit & automate
Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.