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How having a Savvy Savings Plan will make life Easier

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you can afford IVF, a new baby and a car upgrade

Having some savings to draw on in times of need or when you're embarking on a new adventure is always a good idea.  

Today we have another instalment of my new ‘savvy savers series’, where I chat to real people about real life situations where they have had to rethink their spending or savings strategies in order to accomodate big ticket items or changes to their financial circumstances.  Max* has been saving his pennies ever since he was at school, and it's put him in good stead for international travel, moving out of home and even provided a back up for when he recently and unexpectedly lost his job. 

Q. How long have you been saving for?

A. Since getting my first job at a supermarket in grade 11 in high school

Q. What do you find to be the easiest way to put aside money?

A. Eating meals and snacks from home rather than buying food out and avoiding non essential purchases.

Q. What have been some of your biggest expenses over the years?

A. Largest expenses have been computers, a car and overseas travel.

Q. How have your prioritised these expenses?

A. Making sure I have enough money for them and setting a budget for them.

Q. What has been your strategy with saving for them?

A.  Keeping the majority of the money I earn in a savings account to accrue addition interest and limit my spending.

Q. What have you gone without?

A.  I have gone without certain luxuries such as regularly buying new clothes or buying the latest games when they first come out.

Q. What have you done differently?

A. Always being on the look out for sales and good deals when making purchases whether it be food from the special or reduced section, clothes on sale or waiting until games go down in price.

Q. Do you have money go into your account via a direct debit or do you manually transfer funds into your savings account?

A.  I generally arrange a scheduled transfer from my regular access account to my savings account to maximise interest. Occasionally transferring from savings to regular access account for very large purchases such as car or travel.

Q. Did you get help with budgeting?

A. Growing up in a large family that was generally frugal was helpful in setting an example for smart spending.

Q. What advice do you have for others saving for big ticket items?

A. Put money aside either in a separate account or a locked money tin or something that can’t be touched until the goal is reached.

Q. What has been one of the biggest challenges financially for you to date?                                                                                                                      

A. Losing my job was definitely a hit financially because i had to work around not having a constant income stream coming in.

Q. How did this impact your lifestyle and the way you spend your money?                                                                                                                          

A.  It has definitely made me consider my spending more carefully than I otherwise would have.  I also moved back home to eliminate the need to pay rent until I find a new job.

Q. Where there any existing reserves of money for you to draw on when this happened to lessen the blow?                                                                 

A. Fortunately I had put aside a fund of money to cover my expenses in the meantime.

Q. Are you on any kind of unemployment payments?

A. Ironically the amount of money in my account made me ineligible for unemployment benefits intially without incurring a 3 month waiting period.  But I'm still really glad I had savings to draw on when I lost my job, otherwise I think the situation would have been much more stressful.  

Q. How different do you think your experience would have been had you not had a good amount of savings to draw on in your time of need?

A. It would have definitely been more complicated but I would have probably looked towards government assistance in the form of unemployment benefit to keep me on my feet while looking for work.  But there are still wait times and processing times that might have left me a bit stuck if I hadn't had some savings.

Q. What have you had to compromise in order to still be comfortable?                                                                                                                                

A. Holding out on big ticket items and focusing on the essentials until the situation changes.              

Q. Do you have a strategy to achieving financial independence again?                                                                                                                                

A. Once I’m employed again I shouldn’t have any trouble regaining my financial independence.  In the meantime I'm looking into expanding my skills set and looking for work.

Q. What advice do you have for other young people working casually in terms of ensuring they have some kind of financial security in their lives in case they lose their job?

A.  Put some money aside just in case if you can but don’t stress too much because fortunately the government can provide assistance for unemployed people or young people that are studying *name changed for privacy reasons

 

Do you have a story or situation you would like to share with our community?  If you have some savvy savings tips you'd like to share in an interview (name will be changed) get in touch at info@secul.com.au

Alison Gallagher is a freelance writer, resourcefulness expert and entrepreneur. She has been featured in various publications including Stellar Magazine, Australian Health and Fitness Magazine, and Cleo Magazine. Alison is particularly passionate about sharing practical tips on how to live simply, sustainably and seasonally.