A big part of achieving your goals will be finding ways to reduce your expenses, and there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to make that happen. “People come into our office expecting us to pull out a book and say, ‘Right. If you pay us some money will give you this instruction manual,’ but that’s not how things work,” Tim says.
In the same sense, the oft-repeated advice of cutting back on small luxuries (AKA: brunch) isn’t necessarily the best strategy for establishing some savings. “If something feels like a punishment, then you’re not going to get far with it. I have one client who loves wine, so me telling him not to spend $40 on a bottle that he really enjoys isn’t going to be helpful.”
Instead, Tim suggests auditing your expenses and then writing them down in a column from most important (rent, food, bills) to least. Then, it’s a matter of comparing your goals against the ‘least important’ items on your list to identify where you can cut back.
Look for a gym membership that’s gathering dust, or a subscription that you’re not making full use of. This way you’re making a conscious decision about your actions, rather than trying to follow someone else’s directive. The emphasis here is on small sustainable changes, rather than dramatic shifts, that will help you to gain momentum. “Once you start saving $100 a week, it’s amazing how quickly you can turn that into $150.”