Thinking about starting the 5:2 diet? Well did you know that it’s now possible to 5:2 your finances as well? This innovative approach to spending takes the principles of the popular diet and can help you get your finances fit for 2019. Read our quick guide to how you can start 5:2ing your money today.
Lots of people have had success with the 5:2 diet. Unlike the alternatives which encourage weeks of no carbs or reduced calories, the benefit of 5:2 is that you get some days off and have something to look forward to during the tougher moments. So, it’s not surprising that people have started to apply this approach to their finances as well. Let’s face it, weeks of budgeting can seem like a drag so having some days of the week where spending is allowed (albeit in moderation) can make budgeting seem that little bit easier. In addition to this, there are also a number of ways to approach 5:2 so you can pick the method that suits you best.
Go hard or go home
One method, suggested by the author of ‘5:2 your life’, Kate Harrison is to save 5 days a week and spend for 2 an approach is likely to drastically cut your spending. This approach requires you to cut down what you spend for 5 days i.e. bringing your lunch to work, taking the bus instead of an Uber or even cycling to work. However, some people have chosen to take it a step further, adopting the no spending approach for 5 days a week. That means no coffees from Pret, no mid-afternoon snacks from the corner shop and certainly no online shopping – but for most people that might seem a step too far.
A softer approach
A less intense version may be to do it the other way around and completely cut spending for just 2 days a week. If you choose this approach you might want to think about scheduling your no spend days for the times that you’re most likely to splurge, i.e. a Saturday shopping spree or Thursday night drinks. One way to get on track is to treat your spending like a diet, if you’re thinking about having a splurge, do everything you can to put it off. Say to yourself ‘I’ll buy it tomorrow’, chances are that you’ll realise you don’t need it or forget about it altogether.
Alternatively, if no spending on a particular day feels too hard then simply reducing your expenditure by around 25% can be a good alternative. Putting your money into a separate savings account or into an investment at the beginning of the month can be a great way to ensure you don’t dip back into it when times get tough.
Use apps to help
Over the last couple of years’, we’ve seen plenty of apps appear that can help you track your spending and make it easier to save or invest your money. Many banks, especially neo-banks, offer in-app features that allow you to see what you’ve spent and when. But if your bank doesn’t, then don’t worry, interactive services like Cleo, Wally and Mint all allow you to track what you’ve spent on your phone and set goals for your money. Alternatively, if you’re looking to squirrel away your cash then why not try an app that allows you to invest your spare change or make monthly deposits into an ISA? However you choose to use them, apps can be a simple and hassle-free way to keep an eye on your spending.
Why not start today?
Whether you’re sticking to your resolutions or you’ve broken them all already, employing a different approach to your financial planning can be a great way to kick-start your money goals for 2019.