Tag Archives: financial goals

The 5 reasons why you don’t have more money in your bank account

It doesn’t make sense, does it? You spend your days trying so hard to be frugal, you plan your food shopping meticulously and you never … well rarely …. go out.  And yet, you find you get to a point each month where your bank balance is still far lower than you need it to be. Far lower than you feel it should be.

I am going to explain over the course of the next 200 or so words why this is the case. Why you don’t have more money than you do. But don’t worry, this isn’t all doom and gloom. There’s help on the way too!

You don’t have a clear target

We’re only human. We all need incentives to do hard work. That’s what wages are, after all. So you need to be really honest with yourself about what you need to save more money for.  The reason you’re not left with more money at the end of each month is because the end goal is not clear enough. Why do you want more money? Because life will be easier? WRONG. Not a good enough answer. Can you measure “easier”? Can you touch it? No? So try again. Set an end goal, define what having more money means to you.

Solution:

Once you’ve thought about why you need more money – and it’s something significant like paying off a debt, buying a car, being able to work less so you can spend more time with your kids or even buying five new pairs of shoes, once you’ve decided on your target, get obsessed with it.

Yup. Obsessed.

Imagine you’re 15 again, and your target is the person you have a huge HUGE crush on. Its photo is your screen saver on your phone and computer. You’ve photoshopped images of you with that “crush” and posted them up in your house. Every night, you go to bed thinking about what you’re going to do the next day to get one step closer to your “crush”.  Do that. Do all of that. (Or do the screen saver thing at least). It will keep you focussed and help you prioritise not spending over spending.

You don’t have a set deadline

To achieve a task is not just to do it. It’s also about doing it within a certain timeframe. If bills didn’t have payment deadlines, would we ever pay them? Er….probably not. Well, paying a bill is just like not spending money. It’s an unpleasant task that none of us wants to do. However, we do it because there’s a deadline. To miss that deadline means failing, getting in trouble and paying a fine. And paying a fine would take us further away from our saving goal, would it not?

Solution:

So let’s keep that fine in mind.

Don’t just set a deadline and keep it to yourself. I need you to publicise the deadline you’re setting yourself to save this money. Use Facebook, twitter, whatever. But set a deadline and make people aware of it. Then, as part of that promise, agree to face the consequences if your deadline is not met. And what are the consequences? You have to pay £100 of your precious cash on a challenge of your best mate’s choosing. And if your mate is a good friend, they’ll make it something you really  don’t want to do. (That’s the fine I was talking about.)

You’re aiming too high

Let’s be realistic. Unless you win the lottery or had shares in Snapchat, you’re not going to become a millionaire overnight. Also, if your savings target wildly exceeds your disposable income each month then you’re not going to meet your target either are you?

A really common mistake people make when trying to achieve a goal is they make that goal impossible. They set themselves up for failure before they’ve even started.

Solution:

To set a realistic goal, start by looking at how much money you have each month after your bills. What you can save each month will be a proportion of that. Then look at your bank balances and credit card statements and total up how much you spend each month on absolute non-essential you-don’t-even-think-you’ll-miss-them items. This could be 4 of the 5 coffees you buy each day. This could be your weekly trip to Primark where you come back with two full bags of clothes you never wear. This could be the after work wine which you don’t need because you’re trying to lose weight anyway….. Whatever it is, total up  the cost and make that your money savings goal for month one.

Be realistic about what you’re prepared to do and once you notice the difference a few small changes makes to your bank balance, implementing bigger changes will become a whole lot easier. You’ll have a lot more money before you know it!

You haven’t set yourself allowable cheats

You know why fad diets don’t work? They’re far too restricting. They ask you to cut out all the things that taste nice, and make you feel good, and they stop you from eating them forever and ever and ever again. Well that’s hardly a sustainable diet, is it?

Diets that work, and are sustainable for life, are the ones that allow you to treat yourself. To have something which is semi-naughty without the guilt so afterwards you can keep on with the food plan and don’t feel like you’ve failed and need to binge on crisps.

Well, think of money saving in the same way. If you can never buy yourself rewards for good behaviour, then you’re never going to stick to an effective money saving programme, are you?

Solution:

When deciding upon your end goal, and your deadline to achieve this goal, also set yourself some landmark dates. Perhaps they’re every fortnight. Keep them small but make sure they’re incentives. They simply need to be little treats you can spend money on but you only get them if you’re on track for your end of month target.

Treats could be £20 put aside for another of your spending goals or a massive slice of chocolate cake. Whatever floats your boat.

You’re not having to report your progress to anyone

Diet clubs’ most effective slimming tool is the weekly public weigh-in. You have to turn up and have your weight read out to a room full of strangers. It’s terrifying. And you feel awful when you haven’t lost weight.

On the other hand, when you have, you’re applauded. Your achievements are celebrated. It’s amazing.

But without that public display of your progress, you wouldn’t be incentivised to lose weight.  And that’s about pride and shame.

The same kind of applies for people that commit to achieving huge physical and sporting achievements for charity. Of course, 95% of the incentive for going through with the training and the challenge itself is to raise money for a good cause, but the remaining 5% is down to the fact that a lot of people know they’re doing that challenge and they don’t want to be seen to fail.

So when you start a money saving goal and you don’t report your progress to anyone, how can you expect to stick to it?

Solution:

Don’t just tell your mum or your mate what you plan to save. They love you. They’ll understand if you fail. Strangers on the other hand….they’re judgemental. They can be really cruel.

You need to commit to a group of strangers to save money and meet your financial goal. Where do you find these strangers? On Feast Style Thrive’s Facebook page, of course. From Monday 6th March 2017, the page will run a weekly money saving weigh-in where anyone looking to achieve a financial goal can report their target and their progress. We’re nice, we won’t be cruel but we will give a hell of a lot of praise to those  who are succeeding (and a lot of support and encouragement to those who aren’t).

So what are you waiting for?  Stick to those goals and come join us on Facebook to share your progress! The pathway to more money is here!

Why life begins at 30 – and how to achieve the goals you’ve set yourself

Today, I’m writing about myself. Because, even if you follow me on all my social media channels, and subscribe to this blog, and have read the About section of this site, you’ve probably discovered that you still don’t know very much about Hannah Brice.

In fact, the grand total of what you’ve learned about me so far amounts to this:

  • I like chocolate and cake and chips and cheese. I’m basically a dietician’s worst nightmare.
  • I am sensible with my money day to day so that I can frequently treat myself (HOPEFULLY that has come across because if it hasn’t then this blog has been a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME thus far!)
  • I have a very cute baby (see my instagram feed)
  • I’m Scottish and I live in Berkshire.
  • As well as maintaining this blog, I’m also a PR director.

Not a whole lot of detail there, huh?

Well, the purpose of this post is not to fill in the gaps by giving you details like my height and my shoe size (although if you work with a leading women’s shoe brand, I’d happily give you my details over email 😉 ). Instead I want to talk about myself from a emotional and mental point of view. And put to bed a horrible myth about women.

You see, I think there is an attitude out there that sucks. No it’s not political or racial although it is absolutely frightening what is happening to the UK at the moment and I truly hope the madness will end soon. No, what I’m referring to is this mentality that when a woman gets to 30, she’s pretty much past it.

How many of these have you heard about women over 30?

  • She’s now on a race against time to have kids.
  • That’s it, she can say goodbye to decent boobs now.
  • A 30 year old in a club? Ha! Move over grandma!
  • Once you hit 30, hangovers last at least 3 days.
  • If you haven’t established a career by the time you’re in your 30s, you’ve got no chance.
  • Over 30s cannot and should not wear mini skirts, crop tops, hot pants, braids.
  • If you haven’t met the man/woman of my dreams by now, it’s probably never going to happen.
  • Once you hit 30, it’s so much harder to lose weight. You might as well make friends with your cellulite because it’s sticking around forever.

Life begins at 30

I think this mentality is disgusting. None of that’s true. And I’m about to present my case why, in fact, life actually BEGINS at 30 and any goal you set yourself is achievable. [bctt tweet=”Life BEGINS at 30 and any goal you set yourself is achievable” username=”hannahlisabrice”].

life-begins-at-30

Career goals

I went to uni when I was 17 and graduated at age 20. I then skipped the travelling part (except for a few trips to China and Thailand) and started work. For the next decade, I changed jobs 6 times. Yup. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. My career goal amounted to a salary target. I hadn’t considered the role I wanted to get or the job satisfaction, so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that it wasn’t until I reached 29 that my situation at work finally clicked. I was leading a team at a PR agency, thriving and loving my job. And despite the fact that I’ve been on maternity leave for a while, I’m excited about starting back next week because I know that my career is just beginning. At 31, I’ve discovered what I’m good at, what’s important to me and where I want to end up which means I can set a path to get myself there. I also have 10 years of experience of handling issues and mistakes which makes me wiser!

At 30, you have another 35+ years of your working life to go. You’ve only experienced 1/4 of your career time so far which is nothing!

My advice to you, whether you think you are in the right career or not, is to take a step back and imagine yourself at 55 and on your way to work. What is that job you’re heading to? For me, it’s one of two: MD/CEO of a comms agency or the CMO of a consumer finance company. What do you want to be? Then, think about what you need to get there and take into consideration the fact that you have 25-ish years to do it. What experience do you need? What would the typical career path look like to get there? Start planning now and believe in yourself that you’ll make it happen.   A complete career change is possible in 30 years!

[bctt tweet=”At 30, you have another 35+ years or 3/4 of your working life to go.” username=”hannahlisabrice”]

Financial goals

Hands up if you spent (or are spending) your 20s skint. Well it’s not entirely surprising. When you’re starting out at work, you don’t earn a lot but you have to pay big city rent prices and it’s likely you spend 30% of your time in the office, 30% of your time in bed and the remaining 40% of your time in the pub!

You look back and think WHY didn’t I save so that I could build a deposit and get on the property ladder??! Well, even if you had saved a little when you were younger, your 30s is the time to save properly. After all, you’re likely to be earning more and you have licence to be a little more sensible with your spending.

I’ll admit, I’ve always been good at saving. Why? Well I used to be cheap. I didn’t like spending money and when I did I’d buy cheap things. Then, I met my husband and he changed me. I now love expensive food and wine, I’ve realised that quality costs money, and I’ve finally discovered the thrill you get from buying something nice that you’ve earned by working so hard.

It does mean that I’ve had to get even better at saving money and thanks to buying a flat in London in 2007 just before property prices crashed, I feel I have debt everywhere. I want to clear that debt. So, I’ve set myself a target – an amount I need to have saved to pay off a significant amount of my debt by 2020. I’ve broken that down into a monthly figure and I’ve changed the way I spend completely. I’m a girl who needs to treat herself so I’ve established a system whereby I can still buy what’s important to me, I just buy it in a way that means I spend less.  I really recommend that you adopt this plan too and you can follow the guide for free by popping your email address below.

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[bctt tweet=”Life’s too short to be skint and in debt. Start thinking about your financial future.” username=”hannahlisabrice”]

Beauty and weight goals

I’ve been overweight my entire life. I wouldn’t say I’ve been fat but the charts would say I was overweight.

In an effort to change that I spent every day of my 20s on a diet. No, actually, that’s not true. I spent every MONDAY of my 20s on a diet. And I tried every diet. I also got into swimming and did a bit of running. I joined a gym. I bought clothes too small for me as an incentive. I hid money so that I could financially reward myself for weight loss. But nothing worked.

Perhaps there were too many temptations in my 20s. Because, once I reached my 30s, something changed. Maybe with age, I’m better at committing to things? Maybe, I am more health conscious? Or maybe it was because I signed myself up to a challenge that I couldn’t let myself fail.

In July last year, I had a baby and tipped the scales at 11 and half stone. At 5ft 4, that’s a lot of weight for my frame to be carrying around. My focus was sleep so I continued to eat whatever I wanted and then one day my brother, who was visiting us, told me about a half marathon he was doing 8 months later and asked me to sign up. Running was not my thing – I hadn’t run further than 5km before that point – but I knew that by committing to some sort of goal which would result in public humiliation for me if I failed, I would train as much as I needed to get there.

And so I signed up and for the next 8 months, I ran when I could and tracked it all on Under Armor’s Map my Fitness app. The good thing about running is that it becomes easier the more you do so I quickly saw a significant improvement in my fitness and I got a teeny bit addicted to the buzz it gave me. Intrigued as to how many calories this exercise was burning, I synced the Map my fitness app to the MyFitnessPal app and that encouraged me to start tracking the calories I consumed.

While I didn’t become obsessed with calorie counting, I did learn masses about my calorie intake and by making a few tiny changes to what I ate each day, the weight began to fall off. (Basically I was eating too much butter. Wayyyyy too much.)

Needless to say, in March this year, I nailed the half marathon, running it in 2 hours. I also lost my baby weight and a lot more and am now the slimmest I’ve ever been. Age has nothing to do with it.

If you want to lose weight or get fit, sign up to some sort of exercise challenge which is out of your comfort zone, tell everyone you care about that you’re doing it (so that you’ll be humiliated if you pull out!) and then get started with the training. Yes it will seem a challenge a first but will get easier and you have the incentive of showing people and yourself what you can do!

Set yourself a goal today and download those two apps I mentioned!

Life goals

I’m going to finish with the very generic term of Life goals which are whatever you want them to be. As with all of the other goals above, take some time out to think about what you want to achieve. If it helps, imagine yourself in your 70s looking back. What would you want to have achieved? Think about the time you have to achieve that (up to 40 years!) and then set yourself some realistic goals and a plan to get there. Anything is possible.

Want to write a book? Set an end date, work out how much time you need to spend on it each week and if that’s do-able, then arm yourself with the help you need to make it happen (i.e. story writing lessons, a laptop, a quiet distraction-free place to work) and do it.

Want to swim with sharks? Work out where you need to go to do it and how much it would cost. Using my free money saving course, find out how much you can save per month and then book that trip.

Want to find happiness? Well, that’s a big one but you can take action and try this little exercise. Take a huge sheet of paper, write happiness in the middle and then around it write down the things that you THINK make you happy (or would make you happy). Then for each of those things, write down why those things make you happy. Then write how you’d do them. Pick a few of the things that you’ve written down and set yourself short term deadlines to complete them. If they are indeed important to you, you’ll make them happen and if you don’t, then go back to the sheet and do some re-working.  This obviously does not solve the huge issue of happiness but might help you gather your thoughts about what you want and need.

My point is, life begins at 30. I’m 31 now,  I have big dreams and I’m going achieve them.

I hope this has helped inspire you! What are your goals? If you’re in your 40s or above, the same applies! What are you working towards?