Monday, January 13, 2014

The Newcomer's Guide To Financial Stability



With more and more people leaving university and seeking employment the job market has never been so competitive. With such an uncertain job market the importance of saving has reached all new heights and as such I felt I would share a few pointers that I utilized when I was just starting out in my first job fresh out of University. The job market is ever changing and ever shifting due to the unstable global economy on a whole so it is important that we all take steps to secure our financial futures as best as possible. This advice is primarily for new job acquisitions but some aspects can be applied to those in school or still being supported by their parents or such. Some of this is from personal experience or discussions and the rest is primarily just common sense. So lets kick off today's random Monday blog.



So personally I rather like having money to do with as I please; the responsibilities not so much. So first and foremost; the most important tip to remember is:

1. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES MOVE OUT OF YOUR PARENTS HOUSE IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO:
The money you can save by living at home with your parents  instead of rushing to have your residential independence knows no bounds. By just staying at home and living by the same guidelines you grew up under you can save for a much better future; you also have the added benefit of a fail safe backup plan if your job goes south or something bad happens to your chosen career path. Chances are depending on your relationship with your folks that you wont have to pay rent; out of just common decency you pay maybe the utilities to show you contribute to the household and the rest of your money can be put towards saving and personal care. In this day and age its hard to find affordable places to live especially if you have to live in a city for your job or school, add to that the potential cost of furniture and tediousness of having utilities installed and put in your name. Granted you may have to concede slight inconveniences here and there but its all about the priorities which for the moment is mainly to save your money.


2. SPEND WHAT YOU NEED AND NOT WHAT YOU WANT:
When it comes to shopping, knowing the difference between a want and a need will help keep you out of
debt. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you really need it. If you don’t, wait before you buy it. I use the 48-hour rule. If I see something I want to buy but don’t think I absolutely need, I’ll wait 48 hours before I buy it. More often than not, I change my mind. I take this a step further buy only buying specific amounts of what I need, so i plan accordingly for the month the meals I plan to have for breakfast and potentially lunch or dinner depending on the day of the week. During the week i'm at work so don't need to eat dinner; just eat a late lunch and call that both lunch and dinner but if its the weekend then you gotta have a proper meal for dinner.


3. MAKE USE OF YOUR WORK/SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT:
This might seem extreme but its actually quite simple and basic. Take bathroom breaks at work to eliminate or minimize the need for these at home when avoidable. I currently buy a 4 pack of toilet tissue and because of this it typically lasts me about three to four months. If I could bathe at work I would but only people that work out at the gym can use their bathrooms and that costs money which defeats the purpose of us saving. Another smart thing to do is charge all possible electrical equipment at work/school so you minimize having to charge it at home and sending up your own light bill. You would be amazed to see just how much this can save you every month over time. Take overnight/leftover food to work/school for lunch and use the microwave their to minimize using your own and watch the money start piling up.


4. TRACK YOUR EXPENSES:
A spending plan, otherwise known as a budget, is the single best way to ensure you live within your means. A spending plan is exactly what the name implies: It lays out what you plan to spend. To keep tabs on your progress, or lack thereof, you’ll need to track your money as you spend it. This used to involve the laborious process of writing down everything you spent, dividing the expenditures into categories, adding them up, and comparing those totals with your plan. These days online budgeting services make the process easy. If you want to live within your means and reach your goals, you have to track where your money’s going. It’s the only way to nip problems in the bud. One personal example of this is the fact that for the first year that I had my job I walked to and from work to save on transportation costs and save my money. Happy to say that I now drive a car; every little decision helps in the long run.


5. KEEP AN EMERGENCY FUND ALONGSIDE YOUR PRIMARY SAVINGS ACCOUNT:
Life is unpredictable. In the last year my car has had a flat, has gotten brakes replaced, I had to take unexpected time off work for personal issues, and my PC died on me. Thankfully I haven’t taken on any real debt because I have an emergency fund to tap. If you don’t have at least your rent or utilities saved up, start saving now. When something goes wrong, and it will as per Murphy's Law, you won’t have to reach for your credit card or take out a loan to pay for it.





Well I think that is a fair start to help you on your way to financial well being. Hope my words and experiences can help some one out there that might need it cause god knows I didn't have anyone to tell me this shit. If all else fails you can maybe pick up a trick or two from this lady since she seems to have her finances well under control...

1 comment

January 23, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Cool tips, my absolute favourite and the one I agree with most

1. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES MOVE OUT OF YOUR PARENTS HOUSE IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO

EPIC :-)

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