Saving money isn’t a very exciting prospect. Spending it, for example, is a lot more fun. But you only get to spend money after you’ve saved it, so how do you start? Well, we’ve got some simple but effective tips to help get your finances in order and figure out how to get the most fun out of your money.
This is a really important question to ask yourself, before you even get started with the savings thing. Do you want to go travelling next year? Are you trying to get yourself a car? Do you want to own a house one day? Or are you just starting a “rainy day fund” and putting money away until you decide what you really want to do with it? It’s important to have a goal in mind, ideally with a specific date or deadline, because it will help motivate you to start banking that cash. If there’s no fun reward at the end, saving can become infinitely harder. So set yourself a fun reward.
There are so many different styles of saving money. Some people might set up a direct debit that transfers a portion of money into their savings account each time they get paid. Others will pay their rent in advance, which makes that money impossible to spend. When saving up to go travelling, people often start by knocking out the big expenses before leaving, such as paying for flights, travel insurance and accommodation months in advance, just to get these costs out of the way. There are plenty of ways to do it, you just need to figure out which method suits your behaviour or savings goal, and then get yourself organised enough to actually do it.
It’s been said by Baby Boomers that kids today can’t afford houses because they waste all their money on smashed avo. It might be a bit of a generalisation that doesn’t really take into account the current conditions of the housing market, but the point the older generations are trying to make is that in order to save money, you need to make some adjustments to your spending. Whether it’s café breakfasts, an online shopping addiction or expensive nights out, there are changes you can make to save a little bit here and there. Just ask yourself- what do I buy regularly that I don’t really need? You might start taking lunch to work, making coffee at home, shopping at Vinnies or riding your bike instead of driving – all good options.
This is something a lot of financial planners recommend when they offer advice on saving. You need to get yourself a buffer of money, just in case something happens. You could crash your car, break your leg or get robbed. If that or something equally crappy happens, you’re going to need some cash to get you out of the hole.
Smashing out your debts tastes even better than smashed avocado. It goes without saying that before you can save for that fun holiday or car, you need to clear that credit card or personal loan. That’s when the real fun starts.
If you want to get super pro about saving, you’ll want to write up a budget
. This means accounting for every dollar that you’re earning and every dollar that you’re spending. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be surprised by the result. We tend to waste a lot of dosh on stuff before we’ve even noticed that we’re spending it. Once you calculate all your bare costs of living (eg, rent, bills, food, phone, etc.) you can decide how much you have to put away in savings, or spend on treating yourself with smashed avocado, weekend drinks and fresh outfits.
This information is intended to be general in nature only and might not apply to your personal circumstances. When in doubt always seek professional guidance.