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5 money saving tips for millennials

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Like most habits, learning to be money-savvy is most beneficial when you start young. You don’t need to dive straight into the deep end and start investing on the ASX, but simply being more conscious of your money is a great place to start. Here are five easy ways to start saving money that your future self will thank you for.

Keep up your student money habits

If there’s one thing students do well, it’s thrifty living. When you get your first full-time job and start earning a semi-decent salary, it can be easy to start living beyond your means. Just because you earn more, doesn’t mean you need to spend more. If you do, you’re basically cancelling out that extra income.

By maintaining that frugal mentality well into your working life, you’re guaranteed to save money. This doesn’t mean living off two-minute noodles seven nights a week, but instead of moving into that fancy 2-bedroom apartment, stay in a studio. Instead of buying designer labels, keep shopping at thrift stores and markets. Instead of getting Ubers everywhere you go, keep taking the bus. You get the idea.

Learn to say no

Social events, weekend road trips and mid-week cocktails. We millennials can find it hard to turn down an invitation and often feel obligated to say yes, but this is only going to hurt your savings. The sooner you learn to say no (politely, of course), the sooner you’ll see the financial benefit.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you need to become a hermit that never leaves the house. You can still enjoy your smashed avo and coffee. Just choose your social outings wisely. If you really want to go, then go, but if you’re only going because you feel like you should, give it a miss. And if you’re still struggling to say no, consider offering alternatives. For example, instead of dinner and a trip to the cinema, suggest homemade pizzas and Netflix.

Don’t be a brand snob

Try not to be precious about what brand your clothes and household items are. Throughout school and university, we’re often judged by our peers on what kind of phone we have or if our handbag is a designer label. But for life after university, not so many people care, and you shouldn’t either.

This isn’t just the case for clothes and technology, but everyday items too. For example, groceries at Aldi are much cheaper than the brand name alternatives you get elsewhere, and despite what you may have heard from your label-conscious friends, they’re the same quality. The same applies for prescription medications, supplements and even household staples like cleaning products. There is always a no-name, cheaper option available.

Track your spending for one month

For one month, use your mobile banking app to track your spending and write down every single dollar you spend and what you spend it on. After the month, reading over your list will highlight where you are spending unnecessarily and where you have the capacity to save. Did you spend $300 on restaurant meals and takeaway when you thought it was more like $100? Are you spending more on Uber trips than you initially thought? Being aware of where you’re spending recklessly will make it much easier to avoid those expenses going forward.

Don’t take your debit card on a night out

Contactless payment technology can be a blessing and a curse. It makes it easier than ever to pay for things on the go with a simple tap of your debit card, but it can also make it harder to realise just how much you’re spending. Try to avoid taking your debit card or credit card with you to social events. You may tell yourself it’s for emergencies, but let’s face it, it usually ends up being used for a few extra rounds at the bar that you don’t need. Instead, bring the amount of cash that you want to spend and use it wisely. Your bank balance will thank you for it the next day.

By teaching yourself to be more conscious of your finances now, it will soon become second nature and you’ll reap the benefits later down the track.

This is a guest blog from Alison Banney who is a Banking and Investment Writer for comparison website, finder.com.au

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