My monthly reset routine for finishing the year strong
How to get your life together and prepare for a new month
Hey It-Girls! Can you believe it's October already?! With just three months left of this year I'm feeling super motivated and excited to work towards the goals I set back in January. We all love that fresh start feeling that comes with the new year, where the possibilities feel endless and everything feels optimistic. But somewhere along the way, that feeling tends to wear off and we can start to lose focus. One thing that has been so important for helping me stay on track and motivated this year has been creating my own 'fresh starts'. I've realised that when you look at every day, week, month, moon cycle etc, as a chance to try again, that 'fresh start feeling' tends to stick around for longer, keeping you going. So in today's blog I thought I'd share how I reset and prepare for the month ahead and hopefully give you some inspo to help you create your very own fresh starts!
1. Log finances and set budget plan
So the first thing I do at the start of a new month is reset my finances. This is quite a lengthy process but is so important especially if you have financial goals to reach by the end of the year. My financial reset typically includes the following:
Log all transactions into my financial planner - There's something about writing it all out that really highlights just how much you are actually spending (and perhaps wasting) every month. Whether it's one too many takeaways or a 'buy now, pay later' purchase finally catching up to you, I guarantee you'll think about your spending differently when it's all written out in front of you. Once you've logged all your transactions, you can begin to highlight your areas of overspend and set an alternative plan to help you spend differently.
Set a new budget plan - Once you identify where you've been overdoing it, you can set a new plan but it's important to be realistic. If you know you spend a lot of money on food (like I do), there is no point in saying you just won't order a takeaway or eat out at all in order to spend less. I've tried it and unless you are crazy disciplined - it won't work. What has worked better for me is reducing my spend in areas which are less important to me, in order to free up funds for the things I want to do. Now this doesn't include savings, debts or essentials like paying your rent, bills and taxes. But it does mean that instead of cutting my food budget in half, I can cancel some subscriptions or choose a cheaper mode of transport to get to work in order to make up for a higher spend on eating out. One thing that is also important when budgeting for the month is to make sure you include every single payment you know you have to make for the month. Don't forget about that £2 you spend on phone storage or the £18 annual app subscription payment you have coming up. It all adds up so ensure everything is accounted for to reduce the risk of surprises.
Check your credit score - If you don't know what your credit score is, you definitely need to find out, especially if your future includes wanting to buy a house, get a financed car or be approved for any sort of payment plan. For more on how to build your credit score and make smart money moves - check out this post!
2. Create a monthly grocery list
Is it weird that grocery shopping is one of my favourite things to do? As someone who loves cooking (and baking more recently), I love my monthly trip to the supermarket because it means trying a whole new range of recipes along with some 'old but gold' faves. Not only does creating a monthly grocery list allow you to save money and budget more accurately but it can also make meal prepping much easier. While I no longer have a monthly menu like I did back at university, it helps to have a few ideas of recipes I'd like to try - Pinterest is great for this. It is also the best opportunity to reset my healthy habits, keeping me motivated to cook more and eat better. Now of course depending on how much space and storage you have, a monthly shop may not always be an option but even just planning for the next two weeks ahead can help you stay more organised. My top tip: always ensure you check your fridge, cupboard and pantry before making your list to ensure you aren't buying things you already have.
3. Update Your Vision Board
Finally I like to set the tone of the new month by updating my Pinterest vision board. I love having a digital vision board as it means your board can grow and change as you do. Have you ever made a vision board at the start of the year and found that your goals and priorities are completely different by the end? I think with the way last year went, we can all relate to the feeling of having to readjust your plans and goals in an instant. Whether you've just started a new job or you're planning the ultimate birthday bash, every month looks different and your vision board should reflect that, helping you focus on the goals most relevant at the time.