1. Count dollars like kilojoules
Just like writing a food diary keeps you honest, the same is true of tracking your spending. Most of us have little idea where our money goes, so if the idea of tracking seems painful, think how pain-free life would be with more cash to splash around. Well, maybe.
2. Know your worth at work
Should you be earning more? Or less? If you’re underearning you are losing money every day you don’t ask for more. If you’re overpaid you’re ripe for the chopping block and you’d better update your skills or improve productivity.
Ask a friend or mentor, “What would someone with my skills make at your company?”
3. Save with every raise
Here’s what happened last time you got a pay rise: you celebrated by going out to dinner with friends, splurged on those new runners you’d been eyeing off and started planning a trip to Vietnam. Here’s what happened to your net worth. Zilch.
Make this rule: every increase in pay comes with a proportionate increase in how much you’re saving.
4. Realise the Joneses are in debt
Get this: the average credit card holder in Australia has almost $5000 in credit card debt (and pays $800 in interest a year), according to Money Smart. In other words, there’s a good chance that flashy friend of yours has some flashy debt to match.
Make your lifestyle and purchasing decisions based on what you can actually afford, not on what your peers are buying. Trade your desire for a new bike with the smug feeling of having zero credit card balance.
5. Shop with The Stinges
It’s human nature: watching others swipe their credit cards makes you more likely to swipe yours, too. If you’re trying to stick to a budget and you need to buy a birthday present or a pair of boots, shop with your frugal friend, the one who runs her own heels into the ground, instead of the one who shows up at every girls’ night twirling a new handbag.
6. Sleep on it
With the exception of prescription meds, toothpaste and a few other real necessities, there is nothing you need to buy that can’t wait ’til tomorrow.So when you’re faced with a discretionary purchase, do your bank account a favour and hold off for a day. If you’re not thinking about it 24 hours later, you don’t really need (or want) it anyway.