The first question I get asked when I say I bought an investment property at the age of 20 is how the fuck did you save that much money.
I wasn’t always good at saving. In fact, until I went overseas for three months, I was terrible at it.
When you have no choice but to budget you learn how unnecessary most of your daily spending is. You cut your costs to stretch your balances and at the end of it, you find yourself going without a lot of the things you thought you needed.
When I got back from my trip I was on the same wage but I was saving twice as much. I realised it was small things I was buying everyday that were making me broke so I made some changes.
I stopped wondering what the costs were and I added them up.
When I looked at the balances over a year, I was like holy shit Ali, that’s an entire holiday you just wasted – it’s a Mazda 3 you could have bought outright.
I’ve crunched some numbers to prove my point.
Don’t worry, mine were a hell of a lot worse than this too.
|EXPENSE||$ PER WEEK||$ PER YEAR|
Buying five take-aways a week means you spend over a thousand dollars on coffee a year.
I was demolishing two soy lattes a day. At $4.50 each, my bank account was taking a bigger coffee hit than my body was.
When I started saving I would make a latte at home and drink it on the way to the train station. I adopted the philosophy that good coffee was like alcohol and should never be drunk alone.
If you pay $5 parking three days a week, you end up paying over $800 a year to let your car sit in four white lines.
The multilevel on campus costs $7 a day. I would wave my card at the machine, never thinking twice about how quickly those payments added up.
These days I park on student res and walk 10 minutes down Glenferrie Road to get to class. It’s a bitch but it gives me an extra $20 to put in my petrol tank at the end of the week.
I hesitated to add this to the list because these costs are supposed to be optional and staying fit is important for your overall wellbeing.
Saying that, I have friends who justify $60 a week on memberships they don’t use. They burn money quicker than they burn calories and would be better off walking their dogs to the park or buying a treadmill and working out from home.
I’ve thrown hundreds of dollars out the window trying to get fit. These days I go for a run around the block or head over to my friend’s house and do some squats in her backyard.
Ubereats and Foodora are the bane of my existence. I can have a Bay City Burrito delivered to my front door in minutes. That kind of convenience is dangerous both for my bank account and for my waistline.
When I look at it objectively, I realise I’m handing over an hours’ pay per meal and over two and a half thousand dollars a year on takeaway.
I find the best way to avoid being seduced by smashed avo is to have food on hand. I meal prep at the start of the week or chuck some snacks in my bag to get me through the day.
I will either get smashed or not drink at all. There is not use putting a $20 drink in my system if it is doesn’t have me dancing on podiums by the end of the night.
If you don’t plan on having a big one, go sober and save your mates the cash they would have dumped on an Uber.
It sounds rough but I do it all the time.
I’m not saying reducing your spending is easy, I’m saying it’s worth it.
Whether it’s booking your first overseas trip or buying a jetski, there is no better feeling than handing over your hard earned cash for something you really want.
Don’t deny yourself epic experiences for costs you can avoid.
Keep killing it,