Having money in your pocket might be a bit of a novelty for you when you first start working, so let’s have a look at what you need to think about before you blow the lot!
If you still live at home then a lot of the money decisions that need to be made will be out of your hands; money for bills, how much to spend on food, money for housing. You might just have a set amount that you need to give so you are making a contribution and not living at home for free! If you do live on your own, then you will have all these things to consider and more!
It’s all too easy to get carried away and spend more than you earn, especially with the credit card companies who are all too happy to help you get into debt. Debt from credit cards can last for years and you can end up paying thousands of pounds in interest if you can’t afford to pay back what you borrow. Also, if you have a debit card, it can be easy to get carried away and spend your money without realising. It adds up quickly, so keep an eye on it. If it makes things easier, take out a cash amount for what you are allowed to spend each week. Once it's gone it's gone, so don't be tempted to take out more!
It’s all about knowing your incomings and outgoings and a little bit of maths. Your incomings (or wage) need to be more than your outgoings (what you spend your pennies on). This includes bills, going out, clothes, food, travel.....the list can seem endless! This is why it is important to know what you CAN spend.
Right, you’ll need to write down what you MUST spend your hard-earned cash on each month. This will be things like phone bill, bus fare or petrol, car insurance, board, food or, if you’re lucky enough to have your own place, rent, gas, electric, water, council tax, insurance. Or maybe this isn’t so lucky! Once you have a grand total, take this away from what you earn each month.
Incomings – Outgoings = Cash for you!
Drum roll please! This amount is what you can spend on anything your heart desires; going out, stopping in, clothes, shoes, CDs.....or you could save for something extra special; new laptop, second hand car, holiday to Barbados, gold plated trainers. The choice is yours! But remember, cash is king so try to save a little bit each month so you have something to fall back on if anything unexpected crops up.
Spending smartly now will help you to be more financially secure in the future. When all your friends have credit card bills and interest payments to make each month, you will have more cash to splash on yourself and know that it’s not lining the bank’s pockets!
If you already have a personal profile on the Big Academy you will find a handy budget planner in the tools, why not use this to plan your spending, you know it makes sense!