Live within your means

Jan 31, 2017

 It’s tempting to go wild with your very first salary cheque – in fact, you’ve probably been anticipating earning your own money for several years already. However, resist the temptation to splurge! You won’t be on a trainee’s salary forever, but while you are, it’s important that you live within your means and don’t fall into the debt trap. Here are some tips to help you along …

Have a positive attitude to money and don’t allow anybody to reinforce negative beliefs about money. Now is a good time to start laying the foundations for a wealth mind set: it’s about setting short, medium and long term goals and then devising a plan to achieve these goals.
Set a budget for yourself – and then live within that budget. Start off as you mean to go on with good financial habits. Avoid falling into debt – there is reason it’s called a trap and it’s a hard one to climb out of.

Resist the allure of tempting retail offers and don’t be tempted to splurge just because something is on sale. Shop with a list and then stick to the list. If it’s not on the list it doesn’t go in the basket.

Keep track of your expenses and fix your weekly cash withdrawals. Avoid costly bad habits like smoking, gambling and junk food. Budget for treats like eating out – when the budget is used up for the month, stop eating out.

Don’t be drawn into the image trap – you will be a whole lot better off ultimately if you don’t feel compelled at this stage of your life to keep up with the Jones’.

Be ruthless and disciplined about saving from your very first salary cheque. Don’t be tempted to dip into these savings unless it really is unavoidable. Invest your savings wisely. We’re going to be living longer than any previous generation which means we need to be able to fund our lifestyles for much longer.

Watch out for scams designed to part you with your hard-earned money: phishing, card skimming and card switching – amongst others – are very real threats. Beware of emails from your bank asking you to click through to a URL. Don’t ever enter your pin and password. When in doubt contact your bank.

Don’t allow your credit card to leave your sight particularly in restaurants and retail outlets and look out for credit card switchers while you are using ATMs.

Epic Discussion

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