Being a uni student is tough, financially. I’ve been there. So how can you try to keep on top of things?
Saving money doesn’t get simpler as you earn more money. Surprisingly, it seems to get even harder. However, no matter if you’re a student or worker, the fundamental saving principles remain the same.
Now I’m no financial planner, but here are some things I do to keep my finances in check.
You must set yourself a goal
Whether your aim is to have a savings ratio of __%, to buy something that thing you’ve always wanted, or to have a holiday at the end of the year; you need to be motivated to save. Without a goal, you tend to lose sight of the bigger picture and forget about why it is you are saving.
Practical tip 1: make getting cash out hard
The harder it is to access your money, the more likely it is that you will think twice about spending it.
Practical tip 2: start a high interest saving account
This is linked in with my first point. Most people have high interest saving accounts just to earn some free money (interest). With interest rates here in Australia hovering around 5.5% for these accounts, why not?
Commonly, these accounts are not linked with a bank card, so you can’t access your money by going to an ATM. (Remember tip 1?)
Practical tip 3: plan and track your expenses
You roughly know how much money you spend on a regular basis, whether it’s transport costs, food, entertainment or other regular payments. Decide how you will pay for these – will it be with cash, bank card or credit card?
Knowing this will help you track your spending much more effectively.
Practical tip 4: credit is your frenemy
Only use credit when you have the same amount of cash in your savings. In other words, never see it as “free money”. Paying interest defeats the point of savings.
I treat credit as money that I have, but haven’t carried out with me onto the street. Better still, consider getting a debit credit card!
Best of luck in trying to save! Let me know how you go by writing in the comments below.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series coming soon.