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Created on 06.05.2019 | Updated on 18.11.2020

How to be better disciplined with finances

Good intentions are quickly forgotten when it comes to money. That’s not usually down to a lack of knowledge, but instead not enough discipline. Our tips help you develop better self-discipline so you can get on top of your finances.

Many people have never learned how to manage money properly. “Don’t discuss money” is something you hear a lot in Switzerland where it’s seen as a private matter. As a result, we often have to learn how to manage money properly by ourselves. You can also achieve  your goal in small steps:

Knowledge is power: fill your knowledge gaps

make up lost ground by finding out what you need to know. This can be the starting point for getting your own finances in order, saving rigorously and adopting a wiser attitude towards money. You’ll find plenty of information and content online about learning how to manage money. This website and many others can help you too: The link will open in a new window Pro Juventute provides lots of information for young people. The link will open in a new window The Swiss Budget Advice Association is also a good source for anyone looking to learn how to budget.

Stop spending money senselessly: gain an insight into your purchasing behaviour

Analyse your purchasing behaviour. Ask yourself why you’re spending money each time you buy something. Do you buy coffee in the morning out of habit? Maybe you do it to put off getting to work? Perhaps the aroma of fresh coffee makes you feel good? Or maybe it’s a little treat? Shopping can be a way of putting things off. Instead of writing tedious reports at work or paying our bills when we’re at home, we’d rather do a bit of online shopping. Once you  realize you’re doing this, you’ll be able to shift your focus back to the task at hand instead of buying things you don’t really need.

An app instead of a housekeeping book: record hard facts

Note down everything you buy and look at what you’ve spent at the end of the day. Then you’ll see exactly how much money you’re spending each day and on what. In the long term, this will also help you to shop more thoughtfully. Nowadays, there is also a wide range of apps you can use to check your expenditure. Find out more in the article “Five apps to help you keep your budget better under control”.

Enforce self-restraint: set up standing orders

Set up standing orders for regular payments, such as rent, phone bills and health insurance, or make these payments via direct debit. If you do this, you won’t be tempted to spend this money on other things. Ideally, you should also transfer a fixed sum of money from your private account to your savings and pillar 3a accounts every month.  Draw up a savings plan to work out exactly how much you’d like to pay into your savings account each month.

Getting payment day sorted: plan your payments

Set a fixed date for paying any bills that have to be settled manually. PostFinance offers an e-bill service which enables you to pay your bills with ease in e-finance and prevents letters from piling up. Paying all your bills at once is an efficient approach and means you won’t forget any payment requests. It also allows you to see exactly how much money is leaving your account and for what. 

Control is the key to success: use your smartphone

In the PostFinance App you can check your balance at any time and always keep track of what’s in your account. Take advantage of the option to set budgets in online banking to ensure you’re disciplined about only putting as much money in your payment account as you can afford to spend.

Keep track of things: appreciate what you’ve got

Get a clear picture of what you already own. Clear out your cupboards and sort your things out or keep a list of items of clothing, games, shoes or beauty products that you’ve accumulated. If you know exactly what you’ve already got, you’ll suddenly find the willpower to resist the next purchase.

Ensure self-discipline: avoid temptations

Try to avoid everyday situations and activities where you might waste money. Instead of strolling through a shopping center, why not stroll through the woods? Reach for a book rather than browsing online shops. Have friends over for dinner instead of going out to restaurants and bars. Developing new habits also helps to shift the focus in your life away from spending money and towards other things that are more beneficial to you.

In need of motivation? Set yourself a savings target

Setting specific targets is the easiest way to banish the inner demons that want to splash the cash. In the beginning, emotional goals are the most helpful, i.e. saving up for a fixed amount of time for things you really want, such as a holiday, a day at the zoo with all the family or a spa weekend with your partner. Saving up just a little bit each month for these sorts of goals is a small achievement in its own right. However, set yourself realistic goals that you can achieve with a little discipline, and make a plan of how much you can or want to save regularly.

Get on top of your finances with mobile banking

Mobile banking allows you to check your account transactions at any time, pay bills quickly and easily, or even track account activity by using push notifications. After all, the better informed you are about your own finances, the better you’ll be able to manage them. PostFinance customers can learn how to use mobile banking by taking free courses at PostFinance branches. In the first part of the course, they get hands-on experience with the PostFinance App by learning how to check their account balance and account activity. In the second course, “Applying knowledge”, they learn how to manage their accounts, pay (e-)bills and set up standing orders. The “Consolidation” course gives customers an overview of free additional functions such as push messages, and the opportunity to familiarize themselves with mobile payment solutions like the PostFinance TWINT App. Find out more by reading “Go Digital – free courses on digital banking”.

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