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#Smartmoneymoves for school leavers

So you’re about to graduate from high school and start your first real job earning real money. Where to now? Unfortunately ‘Personal Finance’ is not a compulsory subject so you might be feeling a little in the dark about how to #adult. The following Smart Money Moves have been put together to help get you on the right track to financial peace of mind:

  1. Create a Budget – and stick to it!
    Simply put, a budget is a detailed summary of likely income and expenses for a given period. It helps you decide whether you can go out for dinner with friends or head home for two minute noodles. As Warren Buffet once said: “If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon sell things you do need”. Creating an effective budget is not only instrumental in helping you manage your money but will also decrease your stress levels. #lifehack
  2. Start an Emergency savings fund
    You never know when the unexpected can happen. What happens if you suddenly lose your job, or need money to pay a rental bond? Having money saved for emergencies can keep you out of trouble financially. An easy way to start putting money aside is to set up automatic transfers to an account that you don’t have access to everyday. #rainydaysorted
  3. Recently got a pay rise? Save it!
    Getting older and more educated goes hand in hand with pay rises. However, just because you’re earning more money doesn’t mean you should throw it away on purchases you don’t need. Especially if your living circumstances haven’t changed. Save your pay rises, you will appreciate it one day! #firsthomedeposit
  4. Beware of Credit
    Credit is both a powerful and dangerous tool. Whilst borrowing money can really help you when purchasing a new car or your first home, it can also be extremely risky for spendthrift people. If you put all your expenses on your credit card the debt can soon become unmanageable and before you know it you will be paying interest on a pair of jeans and Coco Pops. #livewithinyourmeans
  5. Invest in your retirement
    Money doesn’t grow overnight, saving for retirement requires a lifelong commitment. People in their teens or 20s have one distinctive advantage over their older cohorts: Time. Putting money away for retirement whilst you’re young will mean your savings will have more time to collect interest and grow than if you were to start saving in your 30’s or 40’s. Small amounts invested wisely now can literally mean millions when you retire. #financialfreedom
  6. Invest in insurance – Health Insurance and Personal Insurance
    Your most valuable assets are your health and your ability to produce income. Protecting yourself against life’s uncertainties is an important investment. Nobody plans to get sick, but having appropriate Health insurance will protect you from unexpected, high medical costs as well as offering many other ancillary benefits to maintain your health.  Just as important is Personal Insurance(ie. Term Life, TPD, IP and Trauma insurance). Having appropriate cover in place will provide financial protection for you and your family in the event that you were to suffer an insurable circumstance such as injury, illness or death. If you had an accident and couldn’t work, this kind of insurance will help you continue paying things like car payments and it means you can still afford to eat. The best part is, the younger you are when you take out insurance, generally the cheaper it is. #winning


Principal Wealth Management Pty Ltd trading as BMO Financial Solutions ABN 53 109 336 601 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of McPherson & Associates Pty Ltd Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) 229883. Before making any financial or investment decisions, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs. McPherson & Associates Pty Ltd and its Authorised Representatives do not accept any liability for any errors or omissions of information supplied in this article.

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Jemma Brown

About the author

Jemma Brown joined the BMO Financial Solutions team at BMO at the beginning of 2013 as a Paraplanner. Originally from Zimbabwe, Jemma went to James Nash High School at Gympie, excelling in economics and statistics.  She returned to Africa and gained valuable experience in the financial planning industry by undertaking an internship at Imara - a leading African Asset Management and Investment READ MORE

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