Paridhi Jain, founder of financial education company SkilledSmart, joins Dave to explore One of the most popular new year’s resolutions for Australians getting out of debt and/or saving more money – which isn’t a surprise given a recent survey revealed that the majority of Australians would struggle to cover $1,000 in an emergency. Unfortunately though, studies show that most people give up on their new year’s resolutions before January is even over.
So, how do you stick it through and achieve your goals? Paridhi Jain, founder of financial education company SkilledSmart, has worked with countless Australians on achieving their savings goals and shares the strategies that have helped her students save big-time.
- Have a strong motivating goal…a burning desire
“A common mistake that people make is saving for the sake of saving, instead of saving towards a specific goal,” says Paridhi. “People who have a goal they really care about are much less likely to give up, and more likely to go above and beyond to achieve their goal.”
21 year-old Henry Serfontein echoes these sentiments. In 2019, Henry became serious about saving after taking SkilledSmart’s 6-week ‘Mastering Money’ course to learn how to manage his finances. His goal was to help fund a contributory-parent visa for his mum to come to Australia. The visa will cost Henry $50,000, and in less than 9 months Henry saved $23,000 reaching almost half-way to his goal.
Henry says, “My mum’s visa is my key driving force, but once that’s achieved, I plan to put funds towards studying and starting to invest. Having that goal has given me a lot of focus and clarity, so I’m a lot more mindful of how I spend my money because I know that every dollar I spend is a dollar away from that goal.”
- Sometimes making more money is more feasible than ‘cutting back’
“A lot of ‘saving advice’ focuses on cutting down expenses, and although this is important there is a limit to how much you can cut back,” says Paridhi. “If you cut back too much, you’ll start to feel deprived and it’s not always sustainable. Luckily, it’s never been easier to make some additional money on the side of your regular job!”
Paridhi herself tried this out in 2019, as part of a 30-day savings challenge to ‘save an extra $1,000 in 30 days’. Paridhi took the opportunity to declutter her home and turned to Facebook Marketplace to sell her second-hand stuff. Within 30 days, she’d made $775. “It was a lot more fun than depriving myself of eating out!” In fact, Gumtree’s 2019 Second Hand Economy Report finds that the average Aussie household could stand to make $5,300 by selling unwanted goods in their home.
50-year-old Jacqueline Gardiner also found value in selling her second-hand items. “I cleaned out my storage and sold $500 worth of things online. I even found some stuff at work that my employer was going to throw out, and he didn’t mind me taking it home to sell it! I’m more aware of little opportunities now and am seeing them everywhere.” Jacqueline’s savings strategies helped her clear $10,000 of credit card debt and save an additional $10,000 within a 10-month period!
- Watch the ‘little stuff’ that adds up over time
“As annoying and cliché as it sounds, the little stuff does add up over time. So, it’s really important to be mindful of what spending habits you’re developing. There’s a difference between buying something as a one-off purchase and developing a ‘habit’ of buying that thing on a regular basis,” says Paridhi.
In 2019, 28 year-old Sara Dominguez went from having no savings to becoming a serious saver. Within 8 months of doing the SkilledSmart course in 2019, Sara saved $17,000 and funded a trip for herself and her partner to Europe. She says the key was being ruthless with the little things. “When we went to Europe, I even packed muesli bars and snacks so that we didn’t have to eat out all the time. I always hunt for discounts and bargains and watch my dollars very carefully because the little things add up.”
NEW YEAR 30-DAY SAVINGS CHALLENGE
The #1K30DAYS challenge is a free initiative of SkilledSmart that kicks off on 10 January 2020 and is designed to help Australians get a head start on their finances in 2020. Registration is free and all participants receive free e-books with detailed strategies for saving money, plus go into the running to win prizes as extra incentive.
To sign up for the challenge or for more info head to: skilledsmart.com.au/1k30days