5 Day Fast Money Challenge – Day Two is Budgets, Books & Mindset

How to Get Your Budget Sorted and Money Mindset Things I do

Ok, today might be a little different for some people but I know some of what I might share will see different to others. Firstly, I’ll share my annual financial review/budget review and how to do it. Then I’ll share some of the behind the scenes mindset things I do for money and life in general.

This post does contain affiliate links for products and services I use. The disclosure is here

Annual Financial Review

At the end of the financial year or when I have a big life change, I do a financial review. It is essentially going over all my expenses to ensure I am getting the best deal, cancelling any unnecessary subscriptions etc.

Here is one from 2 years ago where I saved almost $5,000 and below is my recent budget update.

My 2020 Annual Financial Review

This year, I’ll spend a lot of time travelling so need to review my budget. Rent, car expenses, water, gas, electricity, home wifi and similar are no longer bills I have. Most of our travel is paid for or I pay and make an income after anyway. We now have travel insurance but that is it for insurance. The main thing I have changed recently is my banking.

My Banking

I’ve switched to Up Banking (get an instant $5 if you want to join in minutes here). This has forced me to review all my subscriptions and banking to see what I actually use because I have cancelled other cards too.

Travel Expenses and a new Budget

Honestly, I don’t know for sure what my expenses will be in the coming months as I can’t base it off previous months. So I’ll stick to my percentages option. 10% goes straight to investments (shares), 10% minimum into savings, 10% on splurge, 70% for everything else. While our accommodation, transport and food expenses will be low, the internet is shockingly expensive in the islands.

However, my real aim is to be saving and investing 50% asap. I’ll track everything closely to see where I can cut back as we travel. If you’re interested in free and super cheap travel, I have this article. Or check out how to get paid to travel, even as a family.

How to Create and Stick to a Budget

For more budgeting help, read how to create and stick to a budget. If you need help reducing debt, there is a post about how one couple cleared $90,000 and this post about dealing with debt collectors.

Books I Love

I’m an avid reader, usually finance, business, personal development, psychology and similar books. When I read regularly, I am more focused and pick up things to implement in my life. Without reading regularly, it is too easy to get caught up in other things and I lose focus. Here are my favourite books for finances and life.

Unleash Your Inner Money Babe – Kathrin Zenkina

A 21 day process to manifest $1,000 or more. Each time I do, I get more. Some of the practices I do daily and it has drastically changed my life. I’ve recommended Unleash Your Inner Money Babe so much. The eBook version and a notebook work for me, others prefer a hardcopy.

The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clayson

At 13, The Richest Man in Babylon was one of the first finance books I read. Being so young and from a religious background, it was an easy read for me and made total sense. It’s slim, so you can read it quickly.

The Barefoot Investor – Scott Pape or The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

Both The Barefoot Investor and The Total Money Makeover are good books. The first is Australian, the second American. Do not treat these books as if they are the be-all and end-all. They’re a great guide but tweak to suit you if necessary. Just because someone recommends a specific bank or pillow, doesn’t mean you have to buy those ones. Do your own research.

Personally, I read Dave Ramsey as a teen and preferred it.

The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks

Possibly my favourite book ever. Not just for finances but life in general. Get outside your comfort zone, push yourself further and have a better life. Find what is stopping you from achieving what you want. The Big Leap has a terrible cover but is a wonderful book.

Other Books

13 books every mum must-read is a list of more of my favourites, including the ones above. Read as often as you can. Your mind, life and finances will thank you for it.

Money Mindset Matters

Getting your head in the game when it comes to finances is so important. I shared 7 tips to manage finances when you have mental health issues. However, this is more than that. There are some specific things I do which help significantly. I can see in my finances when I do this and when I don’t.

Mantras, Affirmations, Quotes

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” by Carl Jung kept me going through my darkest times. When I was broke, homeless, a single mother and felt completely lost. I would repeat this over and over.

I’ve used money mantras/quotes at times to get focused. Find ones that work for you. When we lived in a house, I wrote them in permanent marker on my mirrors. My phone has alerts and apps with notifications relating to money mindset which go off throughout the day. They’re usually spot-on for what I need.

Get Healthy

Drink plenty of water and exercise. Whenever I do this, I save so much money and am more focused. When my diet and health is sluggish, I don’t maintain my budget as well and sneaky expenses creep in. Also, when I am properly hydrated with water, I snack less, have fewer cravings, can think clearly and save money as a result.


In a nutshell, it is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Think and write down moments, people, anything that has caused upset, grudges you are holding onto, moments that were traumatic about money, things like that. Go through the process of feeling them all, apologising, asking for forgiveness, thanking them and loving them. There are a few different methods online. Whenever I actively do this, my life is so much better, money flows easily, my mindset and vibe are higher, life goes well and I handle upsets better. I’ve also found it works really well with overdue invoices.

I learnt about it from Unleash Your Inner Money Babe and try to do it daily. At least 3 or apply it whenever something is difficult.

Gratitude or Appreciation

Whenever something bad happens we can either dwell on it and let it become our focus or look for opportunities, lessons and positive outcomes. In my younger years, I spent a lot of time dwelling on it. Now, I prefer to let it go.

Each night at dinner we say 3 things we are grateful for or appreciate. of an evening, I write at least 3 things I am grateful for in my journal. Whenever something bad happens, I ask myself 3 questions.

1. What is the lesson I can learn from this?
2. What can I be grateful for in this situation?
3. What are the opportunities that can come from this?

It can be hard at first but cultivating an attitude of gratitude and appreciation truly makes a difference. In my finances, I can see when I have a good mindset and when I don’t. A negative mindset impacts my finances in a huge way.

What do you think about budgeting, books and mindset?

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