I am a strong believer that you should put your money where your mouth. For all I preach here about saving, investing and educating oneself about money, some of you must wonder if I actually do any of those things myself. If I didn’t, why on earth would you listen to me in the first place?
Well, fear no longer friends as I am here to tell you that yes, I do follow my own advice and here is how I do it!
Advice number 1: Save 15% of your income every pay check
How I do it:
I do not earn a lot per month as a full time student, yet I always aim to build up my savings with each pay check. The vast majority of my income goes to bills, transport, cat food… and pizza. I know I would save a lot more if we cut back on spending a bit, but hey, what is life without pizza?
At the moment, I am saving for three things; our trip to Japan this year, an emergency fund and investment. Those are my top priorities financially right now, and in that order. Every time I put money away, I think about those three things. Everything I go out to buy something new, I think about those three things. Every month, I try to put something away, even if it is as little as $50.
However, I won’t lie to you, bad months do happen. Sometimes it is my own fault for being irresponsible and sometimes… life happens. This month for example, we had all our bills due in the same week, which put us back $700 that we did not have. So if something comes up and you’re not able to put anything away this month, don’t be too hard on yourself. Try, try and try again.
Advice number 2: Invest in seeds for the future, no matter how small
How I do it:
After reading about the stock market for two years, playing various simulation games and building up my nest egg, I’ve finally bit the bullet! I am proud to say that I am now the owner of 29 shares (yes, I know, big spender) of a Vangaurd Index Fund. Although small, an investment is still an investment and I am hoping to continue down the track later.
Since we’ve bought the shares, I feel safe. I feel comfortable because I know I have an asset, a real asset that continues to not only grow but even better, beat inflation! (I’m looking at you 2% pa interest saving account).
I don’t feel poor anymore. I know that if worse comes to worse, there is money that can get us out of trouble. Whenever my partner says we can’t afford something, I tell him to remember we have a net worth of $2000 and that he should smile. It’s not much, but it is something. It is real, it is ours and it is a start.
If I had to give anyone advice about what to do with their money, is it to invest early. Start now. Don’t underestimate the power of computing. Just make sure you know exactly where your money is going.
Advice number 3: Educate yourself and further your financial literacy
How I do it:
I stay away from financial media. I take advice given to me by others about money with a grain of salt. I always question the interest of those trying to offer something for gratis, because there’s no such thing as a free lunch. I stay away from get-rich-quick anything.
In my student life, I am learning more about economics, finance and accounting. In my private life, I am learning more about myself and my relationship with money and how I can improve it. I also like to read a lot about personal finance in my spare time, so my biggest recommendation is to start reading. My must reads include “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, “The Millionaire Next Door” and “The Boggleheads Guide To Investing”.
As an end note, I know it has been a while. Life has been absolutely hectic with trying to juggle university, work, relationships and looking after two cats, so I sincerely apologize for being gone. I am currently experimenting with video as a way to bring more engagement to the blog and will be keeping you posted. Let me know in the comments what topics you would like to know more about!
What is the one piece of advice that you always give and must follow?
Let me know below!
Remember, being broke is temporary, being rich is a journey.