As a member of Generation X or Y, you might think you’re okay with money.
You might wait for your monthly income, segment off a portion of it for rent and bills and treat yourself to a little pay day treat, before returning back to the weekly budget which allows little room for leeway and even less for enjoyment.
But in fact, you’re doing things all wrong.
Speaking to FEMAIL as her new book, Unf*ck Your Finances, launches, award-winning entrepreneur and financial advisor, Melissa Browne, revealed why budgeting is a dirty word and how you can finally get on top of your finances.
Here, FEMAIL shares Melissa’s top tips – including the simple ‘bowl technique’ which could help you to amass thousands.
Speaking to FEMAIL as her new book, Unf*ck Your Finances, launches, award-winning entrepreneur, Melissa Browne (pictured), revealed why budgeting is a dirty word
According to Melissa, the first step to breaking up with money is to realise it’s a bad boyfriend and an uhealthy relationship (stock image)
According to the Sydney-based entrepreneur, if you’re a member of Gen X or Y who is looking to change your approach to your money, the first thing you need to do is take a long hard look at the figures:
Tips for getting on top of your finances
* Try a 30-day financial detox from whatever sucks the most from your salary and don’t allow yourself to buy it.
* Cut all ideas of a budget from your head as it’s too restrictive – like a diet, and instead start tracking your finances via an app. This way, you can figure out where most of your cash is going.
* Adopt the ‘bowl technique’ to your finances. When you have access to less, you automatically crave less. Do this by splitting your cash into four or five bank accounts – an everyday account, , a bills account, a holiday and fun account, a savings account and a f**k off fund.
* Don’t forget about your income as well as your expenses. Figure out if you can make more than just your salary, either via a business venture or taking on a second job if it’s right for you.
‘The first step to breaking up with money is realising it’s like a bad boyfriend, and it’s not a healthy relationship,’ Melissa said.
‘Then, when you’ve acknowledged this, then you should figure out what you want to be – you can have a good relationship with money, it’s all just about figuring out what you value.’
Next, Melissa recommends embarking on a 30-day ‘financial detox’ from whatever sucks the most from your salary:
‘Whether it’s going out and eating in restaurants and drinking, or shopping, figure out where you are spending your money and where you need to cut back,’ she said.
‘In February, I’m doing my own 30-day detox on online shopping, clothes, shoes and magazines. This basically means I can’t buy any of these things.
‘Before you start, figure out what you’re going to do instead – whether it’s meeting up with friends for a walk or trying a new hobby – and stay off social media as much as possible, which might tempt you to shop.
‘Work out what will trip you up – for me it’s shop newsletters – unsubscribe from them, and re-train your brain that you don’t need them.’
Next, Melissa (pictured) recommends embarking on a 30-day ‘financial detox’ from whatever sucks the most from your salary – this way, you can cut back on the less necessary things
Following this, Melissa recommends you cut all ideas of a ‘budget’ from your head:
‘I really don’t like that word,’ she laughed. ‘It’s like a diet. It’s too restrictive and might work for a short period of time, but inevitably you’ll trip up long term.’
Instead, the financial advisor prefers tracking her finances:
‘You can track your spending via countless free apps, and then monitor where you’re spending your money, before deciding whether it’s right for you.
‘Are you actually using your gym membership? Or could you do without it?’.
Once you’ve evaluated where your hard-earned cash is going, it might become easier to cut back.
Melissa recommends spreading your money across various accounts – in order to trick yourself into thinking you have less to spend (stock image)
When it comes to Melissa’s foolproof technique for saving more cash, she said it’s all about adopting a simple theory concerning bowls to your finances:
‘The idea is that when you have a large bowl or plate, the instinct is to fill it,’ she explained.
‘Whereas when you spread your money across various accounts – and therefore create smaller bowls – then you can trick yourself into thinking you have less and therefore amass more.’
Melissa recommends an everyday account, a bills account, a holiday and fun account, a savings account and a f**k off fund – which could contain, ideally, around three months of your salary:
‘Split your cash into these different accounts and make sure you don’t dip into them,’ she added.
The financial advisor also shared her last tips for saving more money – which include considering your income as well as your expenses (stock image)
Melissa Browne’s new book, Unf*ck Your Finances, is out now (pictured)
Lastly, Melissa shared the money-saving hacks she swears by for bringing in three and four-figure sums:
‘Apps like TrackmySPEND are fantastically useful for getting on top of your spending,’ she said.
‘Then, it can be as useful to look at your income as well as expenses. If you really want to save more, consider other outlets. Maybe that second job could work for you, or you could start your own small business.
‘It’s all about designing the life you want. We need to embrace financial wellness like we embrace general health and wellness. It’s important to realise you can have a good relationship.’
Melissa Browne’s book, Unf**k Your Finances, is published by Allen & Unwin, and available now. For more information, please click here.