Once you get a full-time job and you start collecting regular pay checks, it’s important you’re managing your money smartly! Not only does proper money management ensure you’re not spending more than you bring home, but it will also set you up financially for your future.
Consider these five smart money management techniques to help you maintain financial stability and build your savings:
1. Make a budget
When you first start earning money, it’s easy enough to feel like you can buy whatever you want, whenever you want it. But without a budget in place, you might quickly find yourself with a depleted bank account all too often.
Instead, create a budget with specific line items, and then follow that budget. Line items you should include are necessities like rent, utilities, clothing, food, and savings.
Add up all the necessities and make sure they don’t account for more than you’re bringing in each month. Once you have this calculated, you can add in some discretionary spending options for entertainment, hobbies, vacations or whatever else you’d like. Following this budget plan will help guarantee you’re spending your money smartly and don’t have to rely on credit to make ends meet. The most important thing is to ensure you’re not spending more than you earn!
2. Set up automatic transfers for your bills
As much as we might dislike it, paying bills will always be a regular part of life. On top of that, it’s important that we all pay our bills on time each month. This will ultimately help you maintain a healthy credit score. Being late or missing these payments will negatively affect your credit score, making it more difficult to obtain credit financing for things in the future, like buying a home.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to alleviate this burden. Setting up automatic bill payments or transfers not only lessens your responsibilities each month, but it guarantees you won’t be making late payments!
3. Put aside money for a “rainy day”
Whether it’s a job loss, an unexpected accident, or some other type of unfortunate event, a downturn can happen to anyone. When this happens, it’s good to have a “rainy day” fund set aside to help you manage these troublesome times.
In addition to simply setting aside some money, you should also look into what high interest savings accounts are out there, so you can make sure your money continues to grow! A high interest savings account will pay a higher-than-average interest compared to traditional savings accounts. The BOQ Fast Track Starter Account is a great option you might like to consider.
4. Consolidate your outstanding debts & look for better deals
If you have existing debt that you’re struggling to get on top of, consolidating your debt could be a good option. Consolidating involves rolling all your existing debts into the one loan, which makes it easier for you to meet and keep up with repayments.
If consolidating isn’t right for you, you should still look at getting a better deal that could save you money and get you back on top quicker. For example, if you have outstanding credit card debt, you might like to consider doing a ‘balance transfer’ where you move your debt to another lender. Banks often offer a lower rate of interest for a certain period of time for funds brought in from other financial institutions, and you could also grab yourself a better ongoing interest rate as well! Here at BOQ, our Visa Platinum Credit Card has a $0 annual fee in your first year, as well as a 12 month balance transfer offer.
5. Set financial goals
Once you have set your rainy day fund up, you should continue your good savings habits to achieve your other financial goals. Whether it’s saving for a new car, a holiday or your first home, having an end goal in mind will help keep you motivated.
Even if you’re not saving for anything in particular, it’s a good idea to keep the routine up as it will help make sure you’re being smart with your money. Moving a set amount into your savings each pay will mean you’re less likely to spend it on unnecessary purchases.
If you need help to get your finances in check why not pop into your local BOQ branch and chat to one of our friendly team members? Or, if you just need some help with your budget, check out the BOQ Budget Planner!