19th May 2016
The world may be your oyster, but money still makes the world go round. So, whilst there’s more to life than finances, getting to grips with saving cash is essential for all young adults. Whether you’re saving for a new car, trying to get the deposit for your first house, or simply want to grow your nest egg, explore our six money-saving tips for millennials.
Always Prioritise Debt
Regardless of why you’re trying to save money, it’s important to realise that paying off debt needs to come first. The reason for this is that debt accrues interest whilst it remains unpaid - quite often, you’re left paying off only the fees, and your debt sits unresolved as this interest piles up.
If you’re in a situation like this, consider moving your debt to a 0% balance transfer credit card. This could cut hundreds - or even thousands - of pounds off the cost of existing borrowing, making it easier for you to rid yourself of debt itself. Once you’ve done this, you can then start saving.
Make Saving Routine
It’s easy to say you’re going to put some money into a savings account each month, but how many of us really stick to this financial pledge? Rather than just adding small amounts to your nest egg, commit to saving a set percentage of your income every month.
The amount that you can afford to save will depend on your individual circumstances - including how much you earn, any debts you may have, and your living arrangements. Don’t aim to save so much that you’ll leave yourself short for the month. Instead, figure out your monthly essential spends - such as your rent and bills - and put aside a percentage of the money which remains. Again, don’t put all of this away: budgeting isn’t an exact science, so it’s useful to keep some additional money handy in case you’ve miscalculated things!
Stay On Track
An unchecked bank account after a month of unmonitored spending can lead to a very dangerous financial situation. From phone bills to the odd coffee out, all spends add up quickly. But that paralysing cocktail of anxiety and dread as you peer at your bank balance can be easily avoided. How? Simply by staying on track.
This involves budgeting, which is useful because it helps you to stay on track of your money before you burn through it! Make a note of all incoming and outgoing cash - no matter how small the amount - so that you are aware of how much money you’ve got to work with each and every day of the month.
The long awaited arrival of payday is an elating feeling, but don’t be lured into impulse spending immediately after your pay cheque lands in your bank account. Whether you’ve been eyeing up a new pair of shoes, or you’re tempted to book a weekend away, doing so on this ‘payday high’ could leave you in a financial crisis later on. Remember that this money has to last the month!
Before buying anything, make sure that you have budgeted for essential spends like food, bills and rent. Ideally, any additional cash will go into your savings account - with just the odd luxury buy here and there to reward your efforts!
Essential vs. Luxury
You work hard, so occasionally you deserve to treat yourself - nobody is disputing that. But the important thing here is to acknowledge the difference between essential spends and luxury spends. Many of us get into a routine of treating ourselves to pricey toiletries, clothes, and other goods a little too often.
When this happens, the luxury spends spill into your ‘essential buys’ - because you’ve come to expect them! The bottom line here is that, if you’re living on a budget and are trying to save money, it’s time limit your luxury buys! Indulge occasionally, but know the difference between luxury and essential buys. Likewise, be frugal with your money: you won’t save much otherwise.
Plan For The Unexpected
Saving money is financially proactive but, unless you’re saving it simply to grow your nest egg, the likelihood is that you’ll spend the money once you reach your predetermined goal. Whilst doing so is acceptable (after all, if you’ve saved hard for a new TV, you want that new TV!), it’s important to understand that leaving money saved in the bank is both sensible and essential.
The reason for this is that finances, like many things in life, are unpredictable. Whether you get hit with un unexpected bill in the post or are suddenly made redundant, being left in a vulnerable financial situation can be exceptionally worrying. To help safeguard yourself against such scenarios, consider setting up an emergency fund.
This saved money will come in useful should you ever fall on hard financial times! You can still save for other things - just make sure to leave your emergency savings as a backup rather than spending them on your next luxury buy.
This article was brought to you by MYJAR. We're an award-winning direct lender, committed to providing clear, simple and responsible loans when our customers need us. If you need some assistance to meet an urgent financial requirement on either a short or long term basis, APPLY NOW for one of our loans.