I used to hate money. I felt like I was always careful with my spending. Yet, despite having travelled the world, somehow I didn’t seem to have anything tangible to show for my years of hard work. So this may sound like somewhat of an exaggeration. But, reading The Barefoot Investor has actually changed my life. If you too have a love-hate relationship with money keep reading for tips on How To Fix Your Finances and Save For Your Next Trip!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always struggled to save. Yet it wasn’t until I hit rock bottom financially (Read that story here!), that I decided to finally seek help!
I can honestly say I never thought I would become so interested in money. In fact, I’ve always thought that money is not something you discuss. As result, I’ve never felt comfortable about managing my personal finances, as I wasn’t really educated about how to save, spend or invest money.
Despite living out of home for nearly twenty years now, I’ve somehow always managed to stay on top of my rent and bills.
(Well apart from the time, I quit my corporate job to become a Flight Attendant. Read that story here! I naively resigned a little prematurely and ended up having to move in with my sister!). But the excuse, “I don’t have a husband to split bills with!” seemed to justify the fact that my rent and daily living expenses are quite high and I wasn’t really saving much of my monthly wage.
Thankfully, I don’t have any credit card debt, thanks to my parents who are very anti-credit cards!
I’ve always been strict about paying any charges off during the interest-free period, so that is a plus. Yet, I could not see that not having children or a mortgage actually means that I am actually in a prime position to be saving more of my discretionary income now before the extra expenses start taking a cut on my pay cheque. So thank you, Scott Pape, for giving me wake-up call I needed in order to get my finances in order now, so that I don’t have to stress during retirement!
A friend of mine had recommended his book, The Barefoot Investor, to me late last year. Ironically, at the time I immediately brushed off her advice, dejectedly declaring, “I don’t have any money!” But (thankfully) she persisted, insisting that is exactly why I needed to read the book! Several months later, a fellow Flight Attendant also recommended it. And I’d seen so many passengers reading it on board, that eventually I relented, as I figured they must be on to something.
To be completely honest, a lot of the recommendations in the book are just plain common sense. But that is what makes it such a great ‘Money 101’ guide!
My father is a farmer and he always managed our family finances. He taught me to work hard so that I would learn to value money. And he also encouraged me to make smart financial decisions to set myself up for the future. But I never really took an interest in learning HOW to manage my money. So it actually comes as somewhat of a relief to have finally gained the confidence I need to tackle this subject and it’s so empowering to finally take control of my financial future!
Do you too have a Love / Hate Relationship with money?
If you are struggling to save or looking for advice on how to set up your investment portfolio, superannuation and retirement strategy, I’d definitely recommend implementing The Barefoot Investor steps in order to get started on your path to financial freedom. However, I’d also highly recommend reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki – a book which absolutely blew my mind! This best-selling book taught me that creating wealth by managing money is much more about changing our mindset!
As soon as I made the decision to map out my financial future, I become excited to find new ways in which I could save!
It really is as simple as making a few small adjustments to the way you approach saving, spending and earning money. If you are in your late twenties or early thirties I’m not saying that you should stop travelling to settle down and start a family. Quite the opposite, in fact. But it does make sense to become a bit smarter with your money.
So to help you plan your own path to financial freedom, I’ve put together a handy BUDGET PLANNER, which you can DOWNLOAD HERE!
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Plus, here is another added bonus- 10 SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP!
1. Set Yourself a Savings Budget.
You’ll never reach your savings target if you don’t set yourself a goal. Decide how much you need to save in total and then determine how much you need to put aside each month in order to reach your end figure. And most importantly, pay yourself first. Put aside the sum of money you wish to save and don’t touch it!
2. Cut up your Credit Card!
Credit cards are handy for travel. But for everyday purchases, it is easier to stick to your budget if you use your own money. Eliminate bank fees by switching to an online bank that does not charge monthly account keeping fees. Open a high-interest savings account and benefit from compound interest. (I have just switched to ING – for my savings and ME Bank – for my bills and have already noticed a substantial increase in the amount of interest I earn each month!)
3. Use a Round-Up Feature.
This can be linked to your bank account, or a stock market investment app such as Raiz. Each time you make a purchase the app automatically rounds the purchase up to the nearest dollar and saves or invests the difference. This is a great way to save money without even noticing it coming out of account alongside your daily spending.
4. Review Your Utility Bills
Be sure you are getting the best rate. If you find a better offer, then take it- or ask your current supplier to match it.
5. Cut out your Morning Coffee! Or, bring your Lunch to Work.
Eating out is expensive. Even little charges really add up over time. So a few simple changes, such as meal prepping or getting your caffeine fix at home really do make a difference when you are trying to save.
6. Stop Splurging on Impulse Shopping!
It is not actually a crime to wear the same outfit twice. If you are serious about saving, this is one of the easiest ways for most of us girls to save big bucks! Sure, you want to look stylish, especially in your travel photos. But don’t forget you are also going to want spending money to take with you on your trip. So each time you are tempted to whip out the plastic, picture all of the things you could be spending that cash on during your vacation.
7. Cash in your Loyalty Program Points.
If you are a regular shopper at a retailer that has a loyalty program, join up and cash in your points for gift cards. I used to collect FlyBuys points and when I had a trip coming up I would claim a Coles gift card as a reward and use it to buy several weeks worth of groceries. (I’ve since swapped to shopping at Aldi though, so I no longer earn loyalty points on my groceries, but I make huge savings at the counter each week).
8. Sell Unwanted Items.
We’ve all made the mistake of purchasing things we don’t need or don’t use. So when you are trying to earn some extra cash, try to get some of your money back by listing these items for sale on second-hand trade sites such as Gumtree or eBay.
9. Organize a ‘Girls Night In’!
Of course, you still want to socialise with your friends. But watching The Bachelor with your girlfriends, or sharing a bottle of wine whilst watching a movie is much cheaper than going out. Get the girls together and think up a list of fun things that you can do that don’t cost much money!
10. Shop Around!
Make sure you do your research to be sure that are getting the best deal before booking flights or accommodation for your trip. You don’t want to spend months saving, only to blow it all by not shopping around for the best price. Early bird offers or last minute specials are up for grabs for travellers who are savvy with their savings. Just don’t fall into the trap of spending your trip stressing about your finances when you finally head off of the time of a lifetime! Splurge and enjoy the break – you can always save up again when you get home.