“I wish I’d known this 10 years ago…” is something we’ve all told ourselves at least once. And while most of the time, we can easily brush off the frustration of discovering the learning later in life, when it comes to money, certain important pieces of information could really have made all the difference.
Following specific rules or learning certain secrets just might’ve led to you buying that house or helped you to build up enough savings to earn you long-term financial freedom.
So, to help put you on the correct path for your savings journey, we’ve asked financial advisor Canna Campbell to share the five things she wishes she’d known sooner.
Set Up a Separate Savings Account
First up, it’s essential that you set up a separate savings account dedicated to the successful achievement of your financial goals. This will help you quarantine your money, keeping it away from spending temptation, and, as you see the bank balance slowly growing, helping you to maintain focus.
Even better, nickname this account in alignment to your goal, such as ‘My Home Deposit Savings’ so that you are regularly reminded of the exciting goal that you are working towards and are therefore less likely to get distracted.
Get Specific About Your Goals
I always recommend breaking down any large or overwhelming financial goals into bite-size and, therefore, achievable goals, such as aiming to save $1000. This helps you feel empowered to focus on what you can achieve in the moment and then watch those little savings quickly add up over time.
Each goal should also have a deadline, with a stipulated date, such as September 1, rather than the generic “in three months time”. This’ll help you feel more accountable and kick you into action.
Brainstorm Ways to Earn Extra Cash
Financial situations are not bound by 9-5 jobs. There are plenty of opportunities to earn extra money on the side, which can then be contributed towards achieving your savings goal sooner or even achieving a larger goal.
Sit down and write out ideas that can help you earn extra cash. This may include selling unused items to the circular economy, taking on some extra freelancing work, participating in market research, working on the weekends, renting out any items you own or even starting a new side hustle. Any extra money that you earn takes you one step closer to achieving your goal and the feeling of pride and satisfaction only fuels your energy to keep going.
Start Contacting Mortgage Brokers Early on
If your goal is to buy a home, as you start to see your savings add up, getting you closer to your goal, reach out to a mortgage expert to see how much you can afford to borrow, what your repayments would look like, what the impact of interest rate rises would be, etc.
Digital mortgage broking platforms like True Savings can help connect you with an experienced mortgaged expert who can talk to you in detail about your mortgage and loan goals and help you to find the best option for your situation.
Don’t Be Afraid to Splurge Every Now and Again
There is no doubt that saving can be, at times, slow, frustrating and exhausting. Which is why you should allow yourself to have respites when you need them. Rewards don’t have to undo your hard work. In fact, the budget self-care ones can be the most valuable and effective, such as getting a massage, reading a new book, having a hot bath or even making a small but special purchase.
Just make sure you spend your time and money mindfully so that it correctly recharges your motivation and inspiration in the right way and you quickly find yourself getting back on the savings bandwagon again.
When you have a financial goal, it adds a new level of excitement to your life. It reduces the excess spending, you feel more focused and you realise how capable you really are. Saving up for something special isn’t about having to go without — instead, it’s adding more meaning, structure and growth to your life.