As we are talking about money and finance, Annie has drawn back the curtains on how she – a young university graduate trying to make her way as an actor and writer – manages her finances. She has a nifty little trick for knowing how much money she has to spend at any given time that I plan to adopt. Now over to Annie…
Everyone’s terrible with money.
People who aren’t, quite frankly, frighten me with their super-human abilities.
I’m not going to launch into this and tell you I’m wonderful with money, because I’m certainly not. However, I pride myself in being a little more financially sensible than some (most) people my age, or certainly most people on my Facebook feed. Where do these people get the money to go out drinking every weekend, and still be wearing nice clothes and (seemingly) eating nice food and drinking nice drinks? And don’t get me started on the ones who just ‘pop over’ to Barcelona for the weekend.
All my jealousies and fear of inadequacy behind, I’m simply going to give you a few notes on how I manage my money on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Hopefully it’ll give you a few pointers, or the spark of inspiration you need to get your butt into gear regarding your finances.
Far be it from me to deprave my readers from a lovely freebie, so I’ve included a lovely spreadsheet for you [here]. Download, print, do with it what you will. I hope it helps! For my own monthly money management, I use one very similar that I keep up to date regularly. I’m quite young, so don’t have many/any repayments or things like child support or X, Y and Z to pay, so it’s fairly basic – but I’ve left gaps for you to fill in what you need.
This way, I can see precisely what’s going in versus what needs to come out – and the NET figure at the end is what I usually call “screw you money” – money I can spend on whatever I like, which usually ends up being a packet of nice sushi on my lunch break or a fancy fruity smoothie or something. Food, basically.
I’ll be honest and say I don’t tend to look at my weekly spending limits so much. I tend to work around my “screw you” money daily, because I’ve already factored in direct debits, payments that *need* to come out, and so on and so forth. I suppose all the magic comes down to the Daily system I’ve got going on, because like my Grandma always says, “look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves”.
Now, here’s where it gets specific.
Remember that NET figure I told you about? Divide it by 31. Now, you’ve got a figure for each day of the month, that’s already accounted for your travel, food and whatever else you need for the day. That’s your “screw you” money for today, and you can spend it however you want.
Say you’ve got £200 “screw you money” for the month, and you divide that by 31.
200 / 31 = £6.45
Now, I’d make a little note somewhere (on my phone, or on an empty page in my diary).
1st – £6.45
2nd – £6.45
3rd – 6.45
Say I didn’t spend anything on the 1st. When I lie in bed at night, I’ll add that £6.45 I didn’t spend to the 2nd.
2nd – £12.90
3rd – £6.45
Alternatively, say I spend £3.40 on a packet of sushi for my lunch on the 1st.
1st – £3.05
2nd – £6.45
3rd – £6.45
2nd – £9.50
3rd – £6.45
You get the gist. It sounds extensive, but it actually feels like quite a bit of money when you see it there like that. Nine whole pounds and fifty whole pennies to spend WHATEVER I like on. Cool, isn’t it? …Well, I think so. Plus, this way of closely monitoring your spends makes it all a little easier on the bigger things, because they’re already set aside and paid for. Guilt-free short-term spending – as long as you stick to your allowance!
If anything’s not clear, then feel free to leave me a question (or even a suggestion for how I might improve my system!) in the comment box below. I always love to receive notes, messages, suggestions and friendly hello’s from around the globe!
Annie is a 23-year-old actor and writer based in West London.
After spending the first 18 years of her life in South Wales, Annie graduated from the London College of Music in 2011 with a 2:1 in Musical Theatre.
In the last year, Annie has been part of a team focusing on the social presence of Equity’s West and South West London Branch, has guest blogged for the mental health awareness charity ‘Mind’, and has recently dipped her toe into the world of vlogging.
Thanks to Annie for another great post!