Mange your own money

6 ways to manage your own money

1. Budget properly and spend less than you earn

This one should be a slam-dunk… the world’s most obvious point.

But it really does start & finish here.

Unless you’re spending less than you earn, you will not enjoy a successful financial future. It really is that simple.

You have two options. Either:

  • increase what comes in – ask for a pay-rise, change role, get another job, a second job, a “side hustle” (first and last time I’ll use that phrase I promise…)
  • decrease what goes out – control your spending, delay that gratification, check your utility bills, cancel old defunct direct debits, be honest about that gym membership, choose one of Netflix or Prime…

The point is – spending less than you earn doesn’t happen by osmosis, or chance. You spend less than you earn by making a plan and sticking to it.

Budgeting is the keystone of sound financial planning.

Failing to plan = planning to fail. Wherever you are in your financial life.

2. Make a plan for your spare cash & be deliberate

Once you’ve designed your expenditure and mapped it out, and stuck to it, the next step is to make a plan for where the spare cash goes.

This comes down to goals – or ‘objectives’ if you prefer.

At Spiritus Wealth, we do goal-led financial planning. We do this in 4 steps:

  • find out where you want to get to (what & who you’re investing for)
  • calculate how much money you’ll need to fulfil your objectives
  • find out how far along the road you already are
  • put a plan in place to get you from here to there in the most efficient way

Without a plan, you’re rudderless. You drift. You can’t be deliberate, because you don’t know where you’re going.

So planning with the destination in mind is the key to success. It informs which tax wrapper you’ll use, how much risk you think you can take, & it’ll make you think about how realistic your hopes and aspirations are.

A plan puts you in control of your future. You can grab the bull by the horns.

3. Think about your appetite for risk & be honest with yourself

Risk is a funny one. It has all sorts of negative connotations, and some people fear it.

But there is a relationship between risk and reward. It’s how you balance the two that matters most.

If you spend any time online you’ll be exposed to the latest investment crazes and you might start developing FOMO… we call this Herding Bias. Just because everyone seems to be doing something doesn’t mean it’s the right course of action for you.

Managing risk is something we do every day, from crossing the road (shall I push the button, or can I nip between these two cars?) to taking something out of the oven (can I do it with the tea towel or do I need to put the gloves on?).

There is no such thing as no risk, so taking the right risks for you is the key to a successful financial future. And it’s an extremely personal thing.

In my view, the key to risk lies in the following statement:

Time is your friend. The longer you can leave something invested, the better your chances of a positive outcome.

I don’t think there is such thing as ‘one attitude towards risk’ for each person. Your attitude towards it, and appetite for it, will change depending on how long you can leave your money untouched.

4. Invest sensibly

I could write War & Peace on this. I won’t.

Whatever you choose to do – Active or Passive, sector-focused or market-wide, Factor, self-built or off-the-shelf – you need to be deliberate.

Do your research, commit to your strategy, and buckle up for the ride.

Nobody controls the market, you are a passenger on a rollercoaster, and you subject yourself to its swings and its roundabouts, and you have no influence over its direction.

Your attitude towards risk determines which ride is right for you – how up and down, how quickly, how much of a thrill you’re willing to accept.

You can choose to get off the ride and not participate – but if you do that you also need to decide when to get back on. And that’s a killer.

Investing is what you make it. But you need to be deliberate, and patient, and you need to be aware of your biases.

You control only two things – cost, and your behaviour. Everything else is outside of your control.

We have a very firm view on investing, and our approach is based on evidence. We’re always happy to discuss this with anyone who’s interested. So feel free to drop us a message on the contact form.

5. Put a safety net in place

Life is unpredictable. It’s how we prepare for the unexpected that matters most.

People lose their jobs, they get ill, they die. It’s a fact of life.

If one of those things happened to you, what would be the impact on your finances, and your longer-term financial plan? Who is dependent on your income?

An age-old sales tactic for Insurance Salesmen was the following:

“If you had a magic box in your living room that spat out £x thousand pounds per month, would you insure it against breakage or theft?”

It’s a tacky concept and it’s very leading. So forgive me for that. But it’s also absolutely bang on.

Brits are three times more likely to insure their pets than they are themselves. It’s crazy.

So making sure you have a contingency plan in place, should the worst happen, is absolutely essential. Most of us have some cover at work, but have a think about the levels you’ll need and sort it out properly.

6. Review the plan regularly

Financial Planning comes down to three things:

  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

In fact that’s the name of our podcast.

Make a plan, execute it, then review what you’ve done. Then update the plan, execute that… and so on.

Life changes quickly, so does the legislation, so do investment markets. Keep on top of things – be deliberate about your finances – and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.

And remember – perfection is the enemy of progress. There is no ‘best’ investment, or ‘perfect’ product. What’s ‘best’ for you is whatever you choose now, as long as that choice is made after careful consideration.


Building a successful financial future is possible for anyone. In truth, it only requires a little bit of knowledge.

So where do people fall down? It takes a whole lot of effort, dedication, patience, experience… and people tend to lack the time (or the inclination) to do it properly.

Hence why we’re here!

If this article has stirred something in you, feel free to get in touch via the contact form, we’d be delighted to speak to you.

And for those of you who are happy to self-manage, we doff our caps and we wish you all the luck in the world. Good luck! Let us know how you get on.