Even though you probably know that how to take care of your personal finances is a vital life skill, you may feel your money-management talents are somewhat lacking. Don’t worry – you’re certainly not alone in that area!
Fortunately, you can take steps immediately to improve your financial insight and gain confidence. And once you start taking some positive steps you’ll feel a lot happier and more motivated.
When managing your finances, focus on savings first. Approximately ten percent of your pre-tax income should go into a savings account each time you get paid. While this is difficult to do in the short run, in the long-term, you’ll be glad you did it. Savings prevent you from having to use credit for unexpected large expenses. I call this concept ‘paying yourself first’. Essentially, a portion of all your earn should be saved for your future. And if you pay yourself first, it’ll actually happen. If you wait and try and save whatever is left over once all your other expenses are paid, there won’t be much left over. That’s just human nature.
So pay yourself first and be disciplined!
If you’re looking to save money on your fresh food, then consider shopping at markets. Here in Adelaide there’s the Central Market which is in the Adelaide CBD. On weekends there’s the Gepps Cross market which operates on a Sunday morning and has a huge range of fresh fruit and vegetables at low prices.
A lot of supermarkets will advertise big markdowns on certain items. In a lot of cases this is a trick to get you into their store where you’re more likely to buy other items that aren’t reduced in price. There’s nothing wrong with this, as long as you’re buying things you actually need!
Also, make sure that you don’t have to travel too far to take advantage of these specials. Sometimes the cost of the extra petrol will actually outweigh any benefits you gain in the price reductions.
And speaking of petrol, try to only buy when the fuel cycle is at a low point. Here in Adelaide it’s usually at the low point mid-week, but recently that’s been changing and it looks like some Adelaide petrol retailers are moving into a two-week petrol cycle. So make sure you fill up when prices are low. If you buy 70 litres of petrol and save 10 cents a litre, you’ll save $7.00 by buying low. But don’t spend your savings inside the petrol station on over-priced food!
There are opportunities to save money – you just need to look. What are some of your favourites? Leave a comment below.