A weekend to change your finances
4 min | 29 August 2023
What if you could change the course of your finances in a weekend? With planning, dedicated bank accounts and a new view of your spending, we show you how.
When it comes to money, it can be easy to overlook financial habits. So if you're looking to reach your financial goals, it has to begin with self-awareness, planning, a few banking tools and copious cups of tea.
We've put together some useful tips to help you hyperfocus on your finances and commit to real change in just one weekend.
70% of respondents in a Chase survey carried out by Maru (Opens in new window) said they need to rein in their spending on non-essentials. With the cost of living and inflation largely trending upwards, we expect this reframing of spending to continue.
The term 'non-essentials' is broad, but it sheds light on how people are increasingly rethinking their money management.
One way to frame your outgoings is to put them into three categories:
- Savings or goal
If you include rent and bills in these categories, they'd be a 'priority' spend. But you can also omit them from this exercise to concentrate on the harder to pinpoint expenses. Just ensure you're reviewing your outgoings from the income you have left, once your priority spends are accounted for.
Before you begin
Money management can be an uncomfortable topic. Ahead of your chosen weekend, consider talking to a friend about your goals. Perhaps agree to exchange a message whenever you make a budgeting breakthrough.
Be sure to take regular breaks and, if you feel overwhelmed, head out for a walk for a change of scenery.
Saturday morning: Gain a clear picture of your spending
When you're ready, start by writing down your expenses. Try consulting your banking app for a snapshot of your finances.
Instead of writing down each individual spend, group your expenses into themes, like 'takeaway coffees', 'travel' or 'meals out' – essentially, however you're habitually spending money. Then put those themes into the three categories above: priority, non-priority and savings or goal.
Once that's done, you can step back and start analysing. Do things look stable, or are you spending more on non-priorities than you thought?
Practising neutral non-attachment when carrying out the ‘expenses’ exercise is key: if difficult feelings arise, remind yourself that while it feels uncomfortable, these shouldn't be taken personally.
Saturday afternoon: Understand your bare necessities
This morning gave you a clearer view of your spending – this afternoon’s task is to go through the list and consider if each is a priority for you and why.
As well as your rent and bills, if you're not sure what constitutes a 'priority' spend, think about what matters to you most – maybe it's travel, health, family or your new business? Choose one or two key goals and give those the priority slot.
Sunday morning: Resetting non-priorities
After yesterday’s number crunching, you’ve had a snooze and time to take in what you’ve achieved so far.
You might want to recategorise your non-priority spending as your ‘weekend budget’. This is the weekend, after all. Whether it’s entry to an exhibition or a club, this is for things that would be ‘nice to have/do’, but you could live without.
Once that’s decided and you know your priority spend total, a healthy sum of what remains can go towards longer-term savings goals – whether it’s a house deposit, a rainy day fund or holiday savings.
Sunday afternoon: Seek out tools to support your goals
Taking it slow is a Sunday afternoon tradition. To keep your new approach to personal finance ticking along, we recommend automating elements of it where possible.
It’s helpful to keep these priority and non-priority budgets separate, so use different accounts where you can. Using a savings tool like spending round-ups on your priority spends could also be advantageous, and the savings could go either into your non-priority budget or into a savings account to support a longer-term goal.
That done, enjoy the rest of your weekend knowing that your finances and goals are heading in a better direction than they were just 48 hours ago.
Found this exercise helpful? Put a reminder in your diary to do it again in 3 months' time, so you can revisit your goals and stay on track.
18+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver or round-up account.
Disclaimer: The Hub is intended as a knowledge portal to provide information on a range of topics, including financial products and lifestyle management. These articles are not financial advice. Articles may reference products and services that Chase UK does not currently offer.