The things you do and buy on a daily and monthly basis, you probably don’t really think about: it’s hard wired into what you do and it’s probably largely similar to what your friends and colleagues are doing and buying. But, have you really sat down and thought how much your lifestyle is actually costing you? And the amount you could save by simplifying your life? We are all creatures of habit. We buy the same things over and over as it is too much brain power for us to, say, read every label every time we go to the supermarket. So, the same brands go in, week after week. Manufacturers and retailers love it when buying their product become habitual. All that promotion and advertising is not designed for us to just try it once. They want to hook us in as customers
Like most things in life, there’s both an easy way and a hard way to do things. Let’s take earning and saving money. Most people weren’t taught about money management, so, though no fault of their own, they are opting for the hard way. Many people, whilst earning a decent living, burn through their income so that there is none left at the end of each month. And, when emergencies come up, they have no choice but to pay for them by credit card, and then they have a growing debt to nurse as well. This is the reason why most people struggle with money and why money worries are the biggest contributor to depression in America, Australia and the UK, to name just three. There is an easier way, though. It’s all about being conscious of what you are doing when it comes
(Source: istock) When I began my first career in Market Research and studied for my Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, the way we were taught about the art of marketing was to create a need and then sell people products that fulfil that need. That was the general description and people didn’t question that definition, or even comment on it. That was how it was. But, thinking about that definition now, with my financial wellbeing hat on, it feels pretty outrageous to me. What marketers do is effectively look for new ways for you to spend your hard-earned money, conjuring “needs” out of thin air. Then, once you have fallen for their trap, they then haul you in with their newly-created product that will meet your new need perfectly! So, in other words, one day you were blissfully unaware you even needed
On first glance, how you spend your money and how you eat seem completely different things. But, if you look at it a different way, your Spending Habits are very much like your Eating Habits. Here’s what I mean. Each little cake that you eat won’t show any effect at all, so many people have a little treat now and then, or maybe they have numerous treats, each and every day. But it is not the individual treat that is important; it is the cumulative effect of all the treats added together over months, years and decades that truly counts. And that is compounding. So too with your finances. People that have healthy finances know that it is simply a set of habits and beliefs that, done consistently over time, will lead to amazing results. Each time you spend, you move a micro-meter away
Everyone should save and invest a percentage of their earnings. Why? Because if you don’t, you are not maximising as much value as you can from life. (I know that’s a big statement, but it’s true.) Say you receive a total of 10k in your account every month, and you simply spend the whole lot each month. Then, you would end the month with no profit. The same for the year. Nothing to show for it. Zilch. Except for the ‘stuff’ you accumulated, which is now worth a fraction of what you paid for it. However, instead of spending all of it, if you saved 10% of it (1k), then for starters you would be pocketing 12k per year. But, to get even more value from it, by investing it, you could make even more. At 5% annual return, after 10 years, you would
Vegan London: A personal tour of London's Plant-Based scene When I first decided to stop eating animal products back in 2006, I was hard pressed to find anything decent to eat in London’s restaurants. Pure plant-based restaurants were few and far between, and mainstream restaurants’ vegan offerings were very limited. Looking back, it would have been so much easier to have just gone back to eating ‘normally’ as, though eating a plant-based diet made sense from a health and ethical perspective, it was just too difficult to sustain in mainstream Britain. But I was determined to stick the course, driven by a belief that plant-based living was a healthier way to live, and over time my nutritional knowledge increased which drove a whole range of new eating and shopping habits that, looking back, seemed strange to others, but became very normal for me. In truth, in
HOW IS YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW? This very minute. Are you living the life you always hoped you would? Give that some thought. What did you dream you'd do as an adult, while you were growing up? Did you even know? - When you wake up in the morning, do you feel glad to be there, in that bed, in that building? - Are you lying beside the love of your life, in a mutually-fulfilling relationship? - Do you spring out of bed with lots of energy and vitality? - Do you have a spiritual connection and a great social network? - Do you have a career that fills you? - Does your bank balance make you feel abundant? - Do you regularly feel joy and gratitude? If the answer to all of these is Yes - then well done! That is awesome.