All students can relate to the panic felt when checking the bank balance and assuming your cash must have been stolen.
Oh wait no, all those transactions were you, just you. You indulged in one treat-yourself meme too many and suddenly, pay day is more important than your own mother’s birthday.
To unearth more realistic ways of saving, The EDIT spoke to Stuart Beckett, Business Development Director at Succession Advisory Services, and Andy Lockhart, a Branch Manager at Santander.
Firstly, with Christmas just around the corner Mr Lockhart gave some crucial short-term advice for saving towards everyone’s favourite holiday.
Andy said: “Look at how many days you’ll work over the festive period against how many days, realistically, you’ll drink at the pub with your friends and family, plus how many people you’ve got to buy for,” he suggests.
With a better idea of how much money you’ve scraped together after working in the lead up to Christmas, you’ll have a better calculation of how much you’re prepared to part ways with.
Moving on to some more serious budgeting, Mr Beckett believes young people aren’t preparing for the future. He said: “The number one thing that young people get wrong is assuming the future will look after itself in terms of their finances and that retirement will sort itself out and assuming they will have enough money to continue to have the lifestyle that they’ve become accustomed to.”
That analysis seems fair, blunt, but fair. Our Facebook news feed is swarming with enviable posts about new clothes, haircuts and holidays. But what can we do about it? ‘Save money’ says Stuart.
“The short term is to establish an emergency fund. The medium term so they can afford to put a deposit on a property or buy a car at some point.
“Saving over the longer term is for their retirement needs although for most people, that will not be their priority, but they still have to think about that.”
So, the logical step is not waiting until tomorrow, but putting aside a little bit of cash today. Check your payslips to make sure money is going into your pension pot as well and if not, then ask your employer.
This begs the question, what is the best method of saving money? And what do acronyms like ISA and APR mean?
Luckily Mr Lockhart is here to explain it all in simple terms – pretend we’re 12 please, Andy.
“What I basically do is budget. I keep, as sad as this sounds, an excel spreadsheet of how much money is coming in versus how much money is coming out.
“At the end of the month I make sure I’ve stuck to my plan and find out if I’m spending too much in certain areas I can cut back on in the following month.”
He continues: “APR, Annual Percentage Rate, is, if you like, the window rate. So that’s effectively how much you’re going to get charged over the year if you owe the bank money for a loan or a credit card. Our big thing is trying to get young people on the property ladder.
“With help to buy: ISAs you can put away money on a monthly basis, like £200, and when you come to buy a property, you can use that and get a bonus from the government which helps subsidise your deposit or the purchase of your home.”
So blowing all my money on two colours of the same pair of shoes is off the table? Good. Definitely haven’t done that before…
Featured Photo Credits (Top): www.SeniorLiving.Org (via flickr.com).
Featured Photo Credits (Middle): flickr.com/photos/rafael-jeferson