Manage your credit card
When used responsibly, a credit card can be a great tool in your financial arsenal. If you’re a savvy shopper, you can take advantage of rewards and bonuses while still paying off your monthly balance.
To that end, check out the Australian Government’s TrackMySPEND app. It’s free, and it will help you to keep an eye on your credit account – so you don’t get caught short when your statement comes in.
When opening a new card, set yourself a reasonable limit and stick to it. Set up direct deposits each month to ensure you pay off your balance on time and avoid costly interest payments.
If you’re struggling to make repayments on existing cards, consider talking to a financial planner about the best way to tackle your debt. Coming up with a strategy is half the battle.
Start doing weekly meal prep
Nothing says ‘I have my life together’ more than home-cooked meals. If you’ve ever looked enviously over your takeaway wrapper at a co-worker’s ’gram-perfect poke bowl that they’ve brought from (their impossibly stylish) home, then you know what we mean.
Don’t despair. With a little bit of planning, you too can be one of these radiant beacons of lunchtime wholesomeness.
The trick is getting organised and making sure that you’ve got ingredients on hand to make it through the week (and to stop you from falling back on mid-week delivery orders).
A site like Budget Bytes is a great resource for lists of versatile ingredients that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Build a list and get acquainted with your local market and shop smart – choose seasonal fruit and vegetables for the most flavour and nutrients.
Once your pantry is stocked, all you have to do is dedicate an hour or two each Sunday to cooking. Chuck on Netflix in the background, download a podcast, or throw on some tunes – before you know it, you’ll be set up for a successful week of delicious, nutritious, meals. Look at you go!
Sort out some savings
Look, we know you don’t want to hear it, but we’re going to have to drop the ‘B’ word. That’s right, you need to make a budget.
When it comes to budgeting, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. While you’ll often hear the same tired advice about cutting back on brunch and takeaway coffees, these strategies aren’t going to work if they feel like a punishment.
What if you really love brunch and, for you, the price is well worth the flicker of joy that stirs in your cold heart every time you pierce the skin of a perfectly poached egg? Then brunch on, friend. We won’t forsake you your passion.
Instead, take the time to have an honest look at your finances – especially where you’re spending – and measure the value you’re getting from them. While avo-toast might get you fired up, maybe you’re subscribed to two streaming services (do you really need both?), or maybe you’re overpaying for petrol to drive to work when you could be getting the train for less.
Identify a few key areas where you could be diverting some money into your savings and before you know it, you’ll have a nice little nest egg stashed away (the money kind, not the brunch kind).