Letting go of my (in)security blanket | Cutting up your credit card

I recently started working in the same office as the Sydney Wealth Enhancers team.

I love being a part of their positive buzz and seeing them help members work towards their financial goals.

But….. sharing an office with the WE gang has been a little scary! Let me explain.

To begin with, I was careful about revealing details of the weekend, since going out lots = spending lots of cashola = likely exceeding my weekly allowance!

When I bought a necessary cable for my laptop, I smuggled that Myer bag back to my office. Wouldn’t want the team to think I had been shopping!

Completely by my own account I had become paranoid of judgment, but of course, the WE team aren’t here to judge, but rather guide us.

It’s just that I never wanted to see that ‘I’m not angry, just disappointed’ face looking at me!

One day I was chatting to Sarah about fun stuff, and then, boom: “When are we cutting up your credit card?

Lulled into a false sense of security, on the spot, with nowhere to hide. Well played.

Clearly, it hadn’t gone unnoticed that I had been slightly overspending.

I tried every excuse to justify why I needed a credit card for emergencies. For example, the time my green smoothie spilled all over my outfit when storing them both on the back of my motorbike, and I need a new outfit pronto. This actually happened!

Despite this, I realised Sarah had a valid point.

I had been using my credit card as a security blanket, which is quite ironic since it makes my overall financial situation more insecure.

Having this security blanket is keeping me in a holding pattern of debt and preventing me from moving forward with my goals.

I am sick of feeling financial stress.

I need to truly believe I have the ability to move past my debt and be accountable for my path to financial freedom. So, time for a new mindset a new game plan to create a positive habit.

Time to do the (previously) unthinkable: cutting up your credit card.

The reason I often run out of my weekly allowance and use my security blanket is that I misjudge my weekly expenses and sometimes overcommit to social functions. I hate saying “I can’t afford it” to my friends, so I rarely say no to social dates.

By taking away my security blanket, I need to be more careful and realistic with my weekly planning and creative in the type of social events I organise.

I have been using the productivity tool, Todo list, for a little while. I’ve started capturing a weekly mini-budget here as it syncs to my phone. Each Thursday before I get my allowance, I look at my calendar for the next week and assign a dollar cost to each event, then add reoccurring costs and give myself a small buffer.

If I have too many expenses when I do this budget, then I look at what I can postpone or until next week or downsize. As I go through the week, I mark the actual cost next to the estimate.

It has become a game to stick within the estimates and get creative with my expenses so I have an overflow for mini emergencies like the green smoothie incident or to save up for bigger ticket items. Although my weekly personal spending is officially $350, I have been trying to stick to $250 a week to build up this overflow.

It might seem over the top to be budgeting to this level of detail, but it helps me close the gap between what I think I will need vs what I realistically spend. And it really holds me accountable.

I now think twice about buying unnecessary groceries or getting carried away on the vino with friends as this will mean I run out of cash before Thursday. As it becomes a habit it will require less planning and thought!

Last week I got lucky:

I negotiated with my naturopath, my friend shouted me brunch, my date cooked me dinner, and my local cafe had a 50c coffee promo when you pay with PayPal. Must have been my reward for committing to my new game plan!

Having money left over keeps me motivated to stay on track and proves it is possible to live on $250 a week and still have a life! So I am making my membership to the $250 club official.

Grace is a Sydney WE member, Event Manager, and founder of Appreciation Station (http://appreciationstation.com.au/).

Wanna join the #250club? Our Financial Coaches LOVE helping members with their goals and the personal spending to get there. If you want to chat goals with one of the WE team, book in a time for a Free Strategy Session

 


Disclaimer: Information contained within this article is of a general nature. Do not be rely upon it when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.