Australians are by far one of the most internationally well-travelled people. And they just love hitting the beach and experiencing every conceivable new activity, leading to a lifestyle that’s full of spending and almost non-existent saving.
Having fun comes at a price, and it can be hefty – future-prickling hefty. You must have realised that you need a strategy to get more from your money.
Looking to live within your means, but still continue to have fun? Whether you’re a local looking for ways to be money savvy in order to save for a home down payment or a traveller looking to get the best bang for your buck, this article is for you.
Making do with what you have. The first step, as with most practical saving tips, is to obviously be able to save money by creating a budget. This is by examining your income and expenditures to know how much money you have coming in and where you spend the money.
After getting a clear understanding of your budget, the challenge it to find places and do activities that you can spend less or earn more to achieve your financial goals.
Separating your needs and wants. What you need and what you want, as you know are different things. Assess your financial situation. Get the big picture. Create a list and wants. As you make it, ask yourself what you really want in the long and short term, how would things be different if you had it, which things are really important to you? Does it match your values? Will it lead to a better you or a better future?
Track, cut and target. Once you consciously begin tracking, you might be surprised to find that you are spending hundreds of dollars monthly on eating out or other flexible expenses. Many of these can be quickly trimmed. Cutting back is typically a better place to begin than actually cutting out abruptly. Stay realistic. This will help you get better prepared for any unexpected costs.
Let’s use this eternally relevant technique to find ways to trim expenses and help you have a goal to save monthly.
SPECIFIC – Smart goals should be specific enough to crate action. For instance: save enough to afford my own home through fixed rate home loans option. Not just “save money.”
MEASURABLE – You have to know the end point or when you finally achieved your goal or how close you are. Example: A home down payment costs $20,000, and you have $15,000 saved.
ATTAINABLE – Of course, the steps leading to your goal has to be possible and attainable. Example: I know that I can save enough money each week to complete that home down payment.
RELEVANT – Your goal must make sense. It’s not wise to work toward a goal that will not fit your need. Example: I’ll eat pork and beans the entire year, so I’d be able to buy that mansion at the end of the year.
TIME-RELATED – Set a definite target date for your goal. Example: I want to be able to save enough down payment before the end of the year.
There you have it. All of us utilise different budgets based on our wants and needs. However, the idea is to understand how much you spend on different things and set your budget based on how much you have to spend and the things that are really important to you.