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BSB 806 015
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Budgeting for millennials

Millennials are often targeted in the news for wasting money on things like takeaway coffees instead of saving for the big things in life.

How do you go about saving for the big goals? If you're saving for a house, for example, that can be tens of thousands of dollars.

You'll generally hear this: "Make a plan. Stick to it."

It sounds overly simplified, but it's good advice. You may not be saving for a house; it could be a holiday, a car, a wedding. We've put together our top tips to show you how to budget for your goals without getting overwhelmed or living in misery while you save.

Decide exactly what you want

What are you actually saving for? Not just the big picture ("a house", "a holiday"), but the actual details.

  • A trip: How long are you going for and what are the must-sees?
  • A house: Is it a townhouse? A house in the suburbs? An inner city apartment? How many bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces?
  • Your wedding: The options can be a little too endless (and they add up quickly!) for any blushing bride-to-be, so be realistic about your wants.
  • Anything else: The same idea applies - write down what your goal is, and all the little features that are important to you.

Research

When you've got a picture in your head, find out how much it's going to cost or at least estimate a range.

If you're looking at houses, research those kinds of houses in your area. For a house around $400,000, that usually means aiming for a deposit of $40,000 to avoid expensive mortgage insurance. You'll also need to consider the additional costs like stamp duty and other fees on top of your deposit.

If it's a holiday, research the cost of flights, accommodation, tours, activities and add spending money, then work out how much of that you can cover yourself, and how much you will need to borrow (if any).

Once you know how much you want to spend, decide what your timeline is. This will determine how much you need to put away regularly to meet your goal.

Draw up your budget.

If you want to save, a budget is the best way to do it. From an excel spreadsheet to support from a professional, it helps to have a written plan how to divvy up your earnings on payday. We even have a budget calculator you can use.

Allocate funds for your bills and rent, living expenses, and then the amount you need to put aside for your saving. Be realistic here. If you've got $11 left over each payday and you can't afford food, you might need to consider extending your timeline a little.

If you like socialising, give yourself an allowance to do so, and find some other areas to shave back a little. Pick what's important to you and allocate your money accordingly.

Make your dream a priority and it'll make saving seem worth the small sacrifices.

Execution

This is the "stick to it" part. Know your savings strengths and weaknesses. If you're a skilled saver, this might be easy for you. If you know you're a spender and money burns a hole in your pocket, think about using things like payroll splits or locked down accounts to make it harder to get access to it, and look for higher interest accounts to maximise your return on your savings to get you there faster.

For a little boost to your savings, P&N's Pay&Save might be just the thing to help you on your way.

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