By concentrating on improving and making 1% marginal gains on your financial situation, you can have much greater success than going for the big wins.
Making the decision to take control of your finances is a relatively easy thing to do. Putting it into actual practice is a whole new ball game. Whether you’ve fallen behind on a few credit card payments, overspent one month or are in complete financial meltdown; changing and making the situation better will not happen with a click of the fingers or even all the will in the world.
Also, although there are ways and means of sorting out a financial mess relatively quickly, whether it be a loan from friends or family; selling possessions or declaring yourself bankrupt. This will only make things better in the short term. In the long term, unless bad financial habits are broken, a change of lifestyle is sought and your mind set is changed to positive, this financial mess is more than likely to repeat itself down the line.
Now what if I told you that by making extremely small changes in your life can make the biggest impact of all. You need to stay with me on this why I try to explain.
If I said to you, tomorrow I want you to go to your employer and ask for a 25% pay rise, you’d probably think I was mad. Then on top of this, I said I want you to write every outgoing down on a piece of paper and one by one go down the list and reduce them by 25% each, you’d think I was absolutely bonkers and you would be right.
So what if I said to you, tomorrow I want you to go to your employer and ask for a 1% pay rise? Would you feel comfortable doing this? What do you think the outcome would be? If they say yes, then great. But even if they say no, think to yourself how you could increase your income by 1%. After all, it’s only 1%.
Back to that list of outgoings. What about reducing them by 1% each? Sounds achievable doesn’t it. And trust me when I say this, if you do this in every aspect of your life, the overall power of these 1% marginal gains compounding can produce incredible results.
If you don’t believe me, you only have to look at the success David Brailsford had with coaching the Great British cycling team.
He also implemented the concept of taking everything the team did and improving it by 1%. From improving the teams nutrition, optimising their training plans, finding the best massage gel and even discovering the pillow that offered them the best sleep; within three years they had won the Tour de France twice and dominated the cycling events at the 2012 Olympic Games by winning 70 of the gold medals available – all by implementing 1% marginal gains.
Making one big change to your life will make an impact on your finances in the short term but, by making lots of small marginal improvements, they can add up, snowball, and have an everlasting effect.
Penny for your thoughts: What small changes could you make today without little effort?
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.