3 tips for millennials to curb bad spending habits in 2018

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3 min readNo. This isn’t another rant about how millennials are narcissistic, self-entitled and don’t know how to hold a job down. Yes. You can still enjoy an overpriced smashed avo at brunch every once in a while. We understand being a millennial is no picnic, now that you’re emerging out of the cocoon of the family home and trying to make a life of your own.

Sometimes, if not often, you can find your finances having an existential crisis because of your bad spending habits. Here are three tips to help you ‘adult better’ in the new year, instead of beating yourself up by the end of 2018 saying things like ‘why can’t I be a better human being?!’ and be no closer to your financial goals.

Put more money away

Flee from the spirit of being perpetually broke by starting to save. You need to sit down and plan what you’re intending to save for in the coming 12 months. How much do you want to save? Think short-term goals like upgrading your laptop or long-term like a car or maybe your first home. Now it’s time to break down the costs.

If numbers and budgeting tend to make you sweat, then you can enlist the service of a financial advisor who can help you crunch the numbers, find a car insurer that best suits your budget, and maybe even share your dislike of a character from Love Child. They will help you see how much you can take out from your salary to save, without leaving you unable to pay for living expenses.

Plastic not so fantastic

Depending on how you use it, credit cards can be a great help or your worst nightmare. If you find that you’re digging yourself deeper into debt, then it’s time to minimise your use of it. Too many bad listings can turn your good credit card rating into a bad credit card rating on your credit report.

‘A bad credit history can follow you around everywhere, even when you’re buying something relatively small like a new mobile phone,’ says Savvy CEO Bill Tsouvalas.

The emphasis is on minimising use because you still want to build a solid credit report to help you buy that house you’ve been dreaming about or getting a personal loan to finance your next holiday in Bali.

The bonus is that if you keep your credit current and revolving it won’t hurt your FICO score which basically proves that you are a trustworthy adult who financial institutions can lend money to.

Reevaluate career objectives

You might have been thinking of leaving your miserable job, and after an enlightening chat with your Uber driver on the weekend you realised it’s time for a change. Yay, that you found your purpose in life instead of ending up in a dead-end job just to pay bills. But nay, if you’re planning on leaving today.

Before quitting make sure you have an alternative way of making an income lined up in the meantime to pay your bills, so you won’t be kicked out on the streets. Plan how you want to get to your dream job, then build a network of people that will help you get there. Attend classes or even industry seminars that will keep you stepping forward.

Even if you’re a person who enjoys living life on the edge, don’t let your finances do so too. Invest in yourself financially by opening a savings account that gains interest.

You can take time to speak to a financial advisor who gets you and will help show you where you can make effective cuts. Building the life you want takes time. Making financially uninformed decisions to live like a baller now, can cost you in the long run.

For more ways to get money savvy take a read of our guide to save for a house deposit, tips to increase your savings while renting, 9 ways to save money around the house and how to turn over a new financial leaf.

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Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the founder and CEO of Savvy, one of Australia's leading financial institution. Established in 2010, Bill turned Savvy into one of BRW's fastest-growing companies in 2015. He frequently shares his knowledge and ideas on cars, mortgage, money and investment in the media.

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