Our friends at ME Bank take a look at five common money mistruths we often tell ourselves – with ideas to get back on track with guilt-free money management.
1. I deserve a treat. You only live once, right?
Research by ME shows almost half of us make impulse buys because…well, you only live once (YOLO!). It’s fine to treat yourself occasionally, but be sure to budget for the cost. One in ten YOLO spenders have racked up debt as a result of YOLO purchases, so if you do indulge in the occasional impulse buy, ensure you incorporate it into your budget.
2. I’ll pay off my credit card in full…next month.
Why not this month? We often have good intentions, but chances are something will crop up that sabotages the best laid plans to clear credit card debt. The thing is, every month you continue to have an outstanding card balance, you’re accumulating interest charges that make it harder to clear the slate next month.
The best approach is to knuckle down and pay as much as you can off the card each month, and skip the urge to reload the card with fresh purchases until you have a zero balance. Check the rate you’re paying too. It’s a lot harder to pay off a card charging a super high interest rate.
3. I can’t follow a budget – it’s too hard!
Okay so a budget’s not working. Time for a different strategy. Try the ‘pay yourself first’ technique. You only have to make one decision: what proportion of your income can you save? If you feel you can save 5% of each pay packet, set up an online transfer to shift this amount out of your everyday account and into a separate savings account. The remaining 95% is yours to spend, just don’t touch the 5%. Before long you’ll build up healthy savings without feeling the pinch.
4. Things would be better if I earned a bit more.
As human beings, we have a tendency to increase our spending in line with a pay rise. So it’s not about how much you earn, but what you do with your money that shapes your financial wellbeing. A useful first step in taking control of your money is to know where it goes. There are plenty of apps available like the free TrackMySpend app on the MoneySmart website that make it easy to see just how much you spend each day. It’s a great starting point to understanding how to make the money you have work harder.
5. I’ll never be rich.
Sadly, most of us will never be billionaires, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be financially secure.
Straightforward strategies like spending less than you earn, making a commitment to growing your savings, and aiming to pay off debt are the cornerstones of achieving financial security. It means having control of your money today without worrying about any curveballs that you may encounter in the future.
This article was provided by ME Bank, a bank that is 100% owned by industry super funds, including Vision Super.
Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 Australian Credit Licence 229500.