As a student, the future seems a long way off, but it’s possible to achieve financial independence while still in your 20s.
You’ll graduate soon and you’re excited to be starting a career for which you have great passion. Unfortunately, all those years of student living has left you in a pretty precarious financial situation.
It’s wise to start preparing for financial independence right now. Setting a goal to be financially independent before you kiss your 20s goodbye is one of the best decisions you can make. Here’s how to do it:
All about the budget
Create a realistic budget to ensure your money is being spent wisely. If you’re having trouble making ends meet each week, take a good long look at discretionary spending. Figuring out how much you spend each year on coffee, takeaway food and clothes can be an eye-opening experience. Factor in essentials such as rent, bills and transport. Set some long- and short-term savings goals and stick to them.
Get smart with your credit card
It’s all too common for new graduates to be living with maxed-out credit cards. When setting your budget, include paying off high-interest credit cards as soon as possible.
It’s easy (and dangerous) to lose track of credit card debt. Ask your credit card provider if you can get automated alerts that warn you when you’re reaching your spending limit, or spending over a certain amount.
Get into superannuation
While superannuation is part and parcel of being employed, it’s important your fund is working for you. Discuss options with a financial adviser and get those dollars multiplying. Correctly setting up your superannuation now could be the difference between retiring comfortably and just getting by.
Save save save
It’s all too easy to fritter away hard-earned money on ‘unnecessariness’. Work out what you can live without – because every little bit makes a difference.
Setting up an automatic system where part of your pay is transferred into an interest-earning savings account can help you reach your savings goal sooner. The key to setting a savings goal is to make it realistic. So, spend some time thinking about how much money you can realistically afford to put aside from your weekly budget.
If you’re living in one of the larger cities, this can seem an almost impossible task. However, the sooner you become a property owner, the sooner financial independence will be in your reach. Adding an investment property is a great way to improve your financial portfolio. Having someone else pay off your home loan through rent is an extremely favorable financial situation.
Share and care
The share market offers great returns in the long term. Consider taking professional advice and start building a solid portfolio.
Ask all the questions
Whether you’re managing debt, saving for a home or trying to achieve financial goals, speak to a finance professional. If you can find someone who specialises in dealing with clients in your profession, all the better.
No matter what you’re buying—a car, a computer, a mobile phone—shop around and find the best price. If you don’t ask for a discount, none will be given.
Regularly occurring bills, such as health insurance and phone bills, should be discussed each year. Simply paying them online will never see the price reduced. Ask the suppliers what they can do about reducing the cost and discuss cheaper options that competitors may be offering. It’s amazing how quickly the cost can come down.
Go out on your own
Planning to buy into a practice can be a scary prospect but is completely doable. However, finding sound financial advice before doing so, is an absolute necessity.
Talk to a financial adviser you trust and let them crunch the numbers. Take their advice seriously and work as a team to make your financial dreams a reality.
Start putting together a plan of action today to become financially independent and you will thank your 20 year old self in a few years’ time.
Want to learn more about your different options for managing money? Click on the link to see our range of transaction accounts. Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 131 141.
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Seven tips for saving for the future
If you're graduating soon, preparing for financial independence will help you to transition into the next stage of your life and your career. Setting goals, making a plan, and actively contributing to your savings account will help you to make better decisions about your finances now, and in the next stage of your life.
Put your money to work with a great interest rate and the added benefit of no establishment or account keeping fees.
BOQ Specialist - a division of Bank of Queensland Limited ABN 32 009 656 740 AFSL and Australian credit licence no. 244616 (“BOQ Specialist”).
The information contained in this article (Information) is general in nature and has been provided in good faith, without taking into account your personal circumstances. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and opinions fair and reasonable, no warranties in this regard are provided. We recommend that you obtain independent financial and tax advice before making any decisions.