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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saving 101

In a former life, I was going to be an actor.  Ha ha ha.  No, it’s true.  I was working at a theme park as a ride attendant and doing a part time acting course . At the end of the course, we were each given a showreel, which is a video of us acting in some scenes of our choice.  To get it though, we had to fork out a whopping $1000 on top of our course fees.

I asked a friend of mine how she was going to save for the showreel.  She said that she was putting away $50 per week and that she’d have enough by the end of the course to pay for it.  I, on the other hand figured I could save far more money if I just didn’t spend anything.  I didn’t go out drinking with my mates or to the movies or buy anything unnecessary for a whole six months.  At the end of the year, guess how much I had saved. Nothing. I had no more money in my bank account than what I started with.  My friend, on the other hand, had saved her $1000 and had enough to pay for her showreel.  I had to get my parents to bail me out.

How does this happen?  My friend and I had identical jobs and the same expenses but she managed to save and I didn’t.  Not only that, but when I did spend money, whether it be on a phone bill or lunch or groceries, medication, rent, the odd “treat”. I was completely aware that this was eating into my “savings” and took myself on a guilt trip about it. 

So what’s the best way to save?  Pay our bills and expenses and save whatever is left over? 

How about this?  As soon as you get your pay, put some money into another bank account that you don’t touch.  After you have saved, you can pay the rest of your expenses and even give yourself the treats you deserve, totally guilt free.  This way you can go from “trying to save” to actually saving.

Go ahead – get yourself a new bank account this week and ask about how you can direct deposit your money each pay so you don’t even have to think about it again.

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