The one consistent complaint I hear from my generation (the 30-somethings… yes, I’m THAT old) is how they didn’t have much financial planning knowledge. Today, there exist groups that help people get out of debt (either good debt or bad debt…); and financial planners are being called upon to help those who can’t manage their finances alone.
I’m no expert, but I can give you a few starter tips. Many of you are either still in school, living at home, and haven’t even started a RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). Chances are, if you can get your money smarts on sooner in the game, you’ll have more financial freedom as an adult (especially with all our added expenses of purchasing hearing aids/CIs, batteries, accessories!) Some of these tips are also from fellow HoHs who are in the finance field.
- Tip #1: Avoid using credit cards like it’s cash! If you don’t have it in the bank before the end of the month, don’t spend or use a credit card to buy.
- Tip #2: Do as much as you can yourself! If you can avoid sourcing out, learn how to fix something, cook a fancy meal (saves you money on tipping at the restaurant). Take up the mindset that if something is broken, can I fix it?
- Tip #3: Figure out what are needs and what are wants. Before purchasing, do you really NEED this, or do you WANT this? How much will your life change if you don’t have it? I mean, hearing aid batteries are pretty much NEEDS as you can’t hear without them.
- Tip #4: Read money blogs/books. There are several. Mr. Money Mustache. Dave Ramsey. Cait Flanders’ The Year of Less. Find your fit! (Mine is personally Mr. Money Mustache – and I even call myself a Mustachian)
- Tip #5: Live at home for as long as humanly possible. I get it. A number of you are still living at home and itching to get your own places of your own. But seriously, if you can live at home for as long as you’re able to, it’ll make it so much easier in the long run. Why? Because you’re not going to have to deal with a malady of extra expenses – utilities, cable/internet, and ridiculous rent to contend with.
- Tip #6: If you like expensive coffee, make it yourself at home. Yes, I had to put this in a category of its own. Stop spending $5 a day at starbucks when you can probably make it at home for a fraction of the cost.
- Tip #7: Take transit or bike whenever you can! True story. I got my first full-time car at the age of 32 years old – all the while managing 2 small kids! (most of the time I would borrow my parents’ car or wait for my husband to get home) You can easily save 20K a year just by doing that.
Lastly, a good rule of thumb provided by one of the finance guys is to allocate 30% of income to housing needs, depending on where you live.
Happy Saving! (Or, I much prefer the term: Happy Finding your Frugal Self!)