Do you feel like your finances are out of control? Do you spend your pay cheque almost as soon as you get paid, or want to save up for a car, a holiday, or even a house deposit but it seems impossible? Never fear – anyone can learn to have better money management habits and take control of their personal finance. Here are some easy ways to build good habits, and over time become a master money manager!
Don’t overcomplicate your budget
Managing your personal finances can seem like a mind-field, with so many factors to consider, as well as savings goals, priorities, and budget categories. However, it doesn’t have to be this way – it can be as simple as tracking how much money is coming in, going out, and how much you are putting aside.
A super simple way to track your savings is to have a separate, dedicated savings account to put your savings into and physically keep these aside from the rest of your money. That way, you’ll not only know at a glance how much savings you have but you won’t be as tempted to spend it. Have more than one savings goal? Create multiple savings accounts!
Be more frugal in your lifestyle
Consider where you spend your money. Are you regularly draining your finances by buying things you don’t need? How much ‘stuff’ to you own that is not useful or necessary?
One way to build a more budget-friendly habit is to think about experiences rather than possessions. If you spend your time on positive experiences with friends and family, rather than thinking about the next thing you want to buy, you’ll probably find money will come rolling in without you having to think about it.
Big savings can also be found in cooking at home rather than eating out. Making delicious food at home is much cheaper than going out to eat or ordering take away, as is preparing your own lunch at home compared with grabbing something to eat on your lunch break. You can take further control of your food budget by planning your weekly meals in advance with a set budget, and then using this to do a shop for the week. Bonus – cook for yourself is usually healthier too!
Put money into your super
With so many competing demands on your wallet, saving for retirement may seem like the least of your concerns, but starting with this early can make a huge difference later! Be on top of how much your employer is contributing to your super. Some employers, such as government and universities, make higher than the minimum payment to your super, so this may be something to consider when looking for a new job or career change.
Another good money management habit is to put extra money into your super yourself in the form of voluntary contributions whenever possible. Just received a nice tax refund from the ATO? Skip the new TV or handbag and make a voluntary contribution to your super instead. A little now can go a long way in years to come!