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financially healthy – We have had a financially difficult year. Maybe that’s why you want to be smarter with your money in 2023. But where do you start when drawing up a financial plan for the new year? financially healthy
Dealing with money differently is difficult for many people, but certainly not impossible. It all has to do with a clear goal, says budget coach Carolien Vos of BudgetBuddy.
“You have to clarify for yourself what more money has left than exactly, or what financially healthy means for you. Then, of course, that goal must be achievable. Having a million in the bank at the end of the year while you’ve barely saved is not realistic.”
1. Create a financial statement
If the goal is clear, grab the numbers. What’s coming in this year? What went out last year? What do you expect from this year? “I notice that a financial overview is often quite an eye-opener, people. You often forget certain items,” says Vos.
This is also the opinion of Farida El Azouzi, budget coach at ABN AMRO. “Your fixed costs are usually easy to look up. But there are also many variable costs or amounts that are written off quarterly or once a year.”
People often forget to look at what they are entitled to.
El Azouzi sees that many Dutch people do not always have a good overview in terms of income. “People often forget to look at what they are entitled to. I always refer them to CalculateUwRecht, where you can calculate exactly which allowances you are entitled to. That changes every year, so it really pays to look at this annually.” (financially healthy)
“The same applies to the energy surcharge of 1,300 euros. It may be that you can’t use it at first, but you can use it this year.”
2. Make small expenses big
If you see in your expense overview that you spend a lot of money on an expense item, see why. It helps to make small expenses big, vos says. “Getting coffee or going into town for a sandwich seem like small expenses, but if you do that every week, that adds up.”
Groceries are also a (too) large cost item for many people. Vos: “If you go to the store every day, it ticks. Or maybe you order a lot of food. Take a closer look at what you still have in the freezer or pantry.”
Many of my clients sponsor the gym instead of going there. Be honest with yourself.
Can’t resist throwing those luxury products in your basket while shopping? Then work with a shopping budget, el Azouzi advises. “Pin groceries every week or create an account with a separate bank card for groceries. If the money runs out before the end of the month, you have to adjust your behavior. A weekly menu often wants to help, then you see exactly what you need per dish.” (financially healthy)
3. Take a critical look at your subscriptions
Also take a critical look at all your subscriptions. El Azouzi: “Many of my clients sponsor the gym instead of going there. Be honest with yourself: what are the chances that you will pick it up again in the coming months? You can also take out the subscription again if you are serious about it again.”
Now that there are subscriptions for all kinds of things – bicycles, coffee, underpants – it has become much more difficult to keep a good overview. All in all, you spend a lot of money on that every month.
I also have Disney+, for the kids. But I only turn on the subscription for the Christmas holidays. Then it immediately feels like something extra.
The same goes for streaming services, vos says. “People are often subscribed to multiple services, while they don’t even look at everything. I also have Disney+, for the kids. But I only turn on the subscription for the Christmas holidays. Then it immediately feels like something extra. Make sure that you do indeed cancel the subscription on time.”
4. If you suddenly don’t like something, resistance arises
But whether you will indeed succeed in achieving your financial goals this year also has to do with how you view saving. Vos: “Saving or saving is often translated into ‘then I can no longer do certain things’.
If you suddenly no longer like something, resistance arises and your motivation plummets. That is why I am not in favour of no buy challenges – a longer period in which you are not allowed to buy anything. Because when that period is over, people are going to treat themselves to a purchase.”
Therefore, keep buying tasty things or doing nice things, if the wallet allows it. There are plenty of cheap alternatives, or see if you can find a discount code online. El Azouzi: “There is always some discount to get.”
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