The Financial MOT Challenge

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The Financial MOT Challenge

By Ebony Escalona

Join the challenge

A daily tip or action to do to help you take control of your financial future

So, we commence our second lockdown… a little wiser, a little more tired maybe, perhaps a little more peeved. But, WE have got this. The Coronacoaster loop number 2.

Join us on our daily challenge to help you take control of your finances. One small action at a time. We are now one week in and thought we would summarise our tips into a one stop shop and share the findings from our social media polls.

Day 1 - Do a subscription cull

Let’s start with something achievable. One simple action at time

And today one unnecessary subscription at a time

Let us know what you are ditching and what you are keeping!

Today we culled 3 subscriptions and £20 pounds back in our account EACH month.

Want help with more than a subscription cull? Drop us a message – we have your back


Day 2 - Check your monthly outgoings

It’s day 2, so let’s gain some clarity on all our outgoings

  • Take a few deep breaths before starting this task, get centred and present on the task at hand
  • Print out your bank statements for the last three months
  • Grab your highlighters and categorise your outgoings as fixed (the rent or mortgage, insurances, direct debits) and discretionary (food, trips away, holidays etc) Get clarity on what is coming out each month and draw up that monthly average total

Now ask yourself

  • Can I reduce any of my outgoings?
  • Can I get rid of any of my outgoings?
  • Are any of my outgoings a surprise?

We realised that a yoga membership we thought we have cancelled in May was still being charged to our account! We have just got back over £400.

Here is a great article to help you with today’s challenge too

(Survive Today to Prosper Tomorrow Article)

Day 3 - Get clarity on your income for the month

What do you know is coming in this month and where can you add to it?

We have assessed and minimised our outgoings but now it’s time to enhance what comes in to that bank

  • Can you pick up some OOH cover?
  • Any locum shifts you could do
  • Can you help an organisation with article writing or social media
  • What assets can you leverage? Is Air b n b possible?

We would love to hear how you have beefed up that income. Your experience may really help a fellow veterinary professional.

Day 4 - Create a budget for lockdown

You now have clarity on your outgoings and your income so it’s time to create a budget for the month

This allows us to get laser focused on what will and will not spend. It’s time to take the reins on our finances and a budget is a great tool to use.

You can download our Financial Health Check Support Sheet here

The Money Saving Expert takes us through all the steps we need to consider when conducting our budget see here

  • Gather all your statements and receipts (hopefully you will have a better understanding of your outgoings from day two of our challenge)
  • Decide who your budget is for. Just you? Or perhaps your family or work?
  • Be as accurate as possible with your figures
  • Distinguish between credit and “debt” and “spending”
  • Check your pension details
  • Consider the money you’d also SAVE while on holiday

If all of this feels like too much then get in contact with VetYou and our awesome financial advisor like Andrew can walk you through it too

We had this lovely note sent to us yesterday

“Just wanted to say thanks- due to you posting Re VetYou recently, I have been in touch with Andrew Snowball and got my finances in order. It’s something I’ve been putting off for years, but Andrew made it super simple!”

Day 5 - Review your work contract

Day 5 and the start of #TalkMoneyWeek let’s start having some important conversations with your employers!

If we don’t ask, we don’t get and if you are thinking a review is in order then I bet your colleagues are thinking the same too.

We know employer budgets are tight in the wake of the pandemic but there are many “currencies” that you can pop on the table, not all are about salary.

How about starting with the following

🗒 Take some time to fish out your contract and understand the benefits you have through work

✅ Identify any gaps, concerns and address them. These might be around Income Protection, Life insurance, Critical Illness Cover, Private Medical Insurance, Holiday Allowance, Time off in Lieu and more

💰 Pensions – Have you registered with your workplace pension provider, they have valuable tools to project your future pension based on current contributions? It is always worth sorting out your own personal pension too – something that moves with you wherever you go.

💷 Salary – think about the value you are bringing to the party here and start to view it from your managers point of view. E.g. has your recent qualifications in advanced dentistry increased dental revenue in practice or perhaps you have a plan to do so. Check out this excellent talk on “Negotiation Scares The Hell Out of Me” below

🎓 If you are a new grad then take a look at our top tips for your first year in practice when it comes to your contract. You can watch back our ace session with The Association of Veterinary Students (UK & Ireland) in link below 

Fancy some help reviewing your contract then drop VetYou a line

(Your First 100 Days in Your New Job Link)

Day 6 - Start Paying Yourself First

Whether it’s your emergency fund or savings account. Make sure you pay yourself first

  • Automate what you can – can you pop 10% of any income to your savings or rainy day fund?
  • Get familiar with your banking app, lots of bank now help you budget and understand your spending habits

We love Monzo for tracking our spending habits and Plum for popping a % of our income into savings.

Share which banking apps help you

Check out our article “Lockdown learning and compound interest” (see link below)

It’s a way of earning ‘interest-on-interest’ on your savings. Put simply, that means the interest you earn on your savings, starts earning interest too.

Want help figuring out what to save and how to build your emergency fund? Then drop us a line. We are here to help

Day 7 - Set up or bulk out your rainy day fund

Here is our 7th instalment of our Financial MOT Challenge

Set up or bulk out that emergency or rainy day fund

Why bother?

Well we all know what it’s like when sh*t hits the fan and this fund comes into play here. What if you can not work for a period of time? What if the car needs a big repair? What if the boiler decides to pack up. You name it, this is what this emergency fund is for.

I bet a fair few of you have used your fund over Covid… or wish you had had it…

What do you suggest is a good amount to consider?

Well, this is up to you. It can help to go off at least 3 months of funds to cover your fixed outgoings for that period. Some like to have 2-3 months worth of salary tucked away. Earlier in the week you worked on your budget. Revisit the financial health check support sheet again if you need here:

How do you achieve that amount?

It can seem like a daunting task to get to that amount but small regular contributions to your fund will be more achievable than waiting till you you bulk amounts of cash to pop in.

  • Where can you automate this – pop 10% of income into the fund
  • Can you select an achievable set amount a month that can be debited into an easy to reach savings account?

We love this from Money Advice Service

“For example, saving just £3 a day adds up to £1,095 over a year. As long as you’re getting into the savings habit, you’re making progress, and small sums quickly add up.”

If you do have a lot of debt then it may be worth you working towards paying that off first – so get clear on the debts in your name and the agreements and terms you have in place to pay them off. This will provide clarity on when you can start working on your rainy day fund.

Remember, all this talk of debt can be depressing and daunting. You do not have to come up with a plan on your own. We are here to help.

Day 8 - Check in with your Money Mindset

“Your money mindset is your unique set of beliefs and your attitude about money. It drives the decisions you make about saving, spending and handling money” Dave Ramsey

It has a HUGE influence over us So today let’s check in with our money mindset 

MONEY IS…. What are the first three things that come into your mind when you think about money?

What would your three words be?

Listen to this fab Borborgymi podcast with vets and coaches Libby Kemkaran & Jenny Guyat on just this.

Read more

Day 9 - Review the Week

We have covered a lot of ground over the first week of Lockdown 2 and Talk Money Week So today we suggest reviewing the tips and resources so far and making a plan for the week ahead.

What has been your biggest takeaway?

If you need an ear then we are here:

Day 10 - Embrace your career & cash flow options

Sunday’s are all about the reset for us. A chance to let our thoughts percolate and to come up with some plans. 2020 has had us ALL questioning our careers and whether we are “safe” in our roles.

The beauty of the veterinary and nursing degree is it’s a passport for so many options. The world needs more empathetic, scientific change makers! Problem solvers with emotional intelligence. That is YOUTake a look at this insightful talk by one of VetYou founders Dr Ebony Escalona on why now is a great time to be embracing liminality when it comes to our careers.

Take a piece of paper and write down

All the things you are good at that you enjoy

The types of things people ask your advice on

What you are doing when you feel in flow (that feeling of being in the zone!)There are no wrong or whacky answers, they will start to reveal avenues you could pursue for extra cash flow too.

If you want help turning that page of answers into business ideas then check out the TAME your Brain course with Libby Kemkaran too.

Day 11 - Leave things in your online shopping basket for 24 hours

Rein in our online spending. It can be sooooo easy to window shop and with one click oops a package arrives at your door in less than 48 hours.

So how about leaving things in your online basket for 24 hours before parting with your hard-earned cash. We have just left over £90 in an online cart and will review it tomorrow.

We would love to know if you employ this trick too?

Day 12 - Speak to your Bank

Lots of banks are now offering support to their customers, primarily due to COVID. But there could be mortgage breaks, interest-free overdrafts to name a couple of things. Start with reviewing the information and support available on the bank’s website. If you don’t ask you don’t get peeps

Day 13 - Set yourself some financial goals

When it comes to our finances we work well if we have goals. Something for us to work towards that matters to us. Here are our top tips

Our goals have to mean something to us. To be rich is not a goal – why do you want to be rich? What will it help you be, do or have?

We are more likely to achieve goals that are written down, whether this is life goals, career goals, finances, health, wellbeing

Share your goal! Saying it out loud and having an accountability buddy makes us way more likely to achieve them. Break the goal down into achievable chunks.

A goal is a dream with a deadline – let’s get our financial milestones mapped out!

Day 14 - Reward yourself for staying on track

Your financial MOT is not all about cuts, restrictions, and the word No. It’s also about reward and fun and working towards what matters to you.

Just like yesterday’s challenge was to write goals and chunk them down, today is all about rewarding ourselves when we achieve our mini-milestones. You have been working on this challenge for two weeks now. What have you achieved? Let’s celebrate your successes.

How do you like to reward yourself when you hit the milestones of your goals?

Day 15 - Get in touch with a financial advisor

Never feel like you have to make decisions alone. A financial advisor can not only be a sounding board but can help you get your finances in check and support you in planning for your future.

Here at VetYou, our community of Independent Financial Advisors are on hand to provide a free exploratory call to see what you need. We love our IFA squad because they always signpost to other resources and professionals if they can not solve your challenges.

Remember you wouldn’t ask a hairdresser for plumbing advice, so remember who you take advice from when it comes to your finances. Drop us a line with IFA Hook Up Please in subject line

Day 16 - Feast on some financial podcasts!

Sometimes educating ourselves on lifemin duties and best practices for our cash can be left at the bottom of the to-do list… How about using your “dead time” and pop on a podcast to help you sort out those all-important bank balances When do you listen to podcasts? Let us know

Dog walk

On the commute

When washing up

Whilst doing your tax returns.

Check our collation of super sounds “Are you all ears? Sound financial support “

We would love to add to it so let us know what you have been listening to, to keep your finances on track during this challenge

AND don’t forget to check out your financial stories that you have been sharing via the Borborgymi podcast 


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