Finance Matters

Tricking Yourself Into Good Financial Standing


It’s never too early to start being sensible with your finances. I am not the best example of this. As soon as I turned 18, I took out credit cards and a personal loan, racking up thousands upon thousands of debt dollars like there was no tomorrow. The economy was strong back then and the banks had no issues with lending out say, $10,000.00 to an 18 year old who is earning $32,000.00 a year. This behaviour continued well into my early twenties. It didn’t matter that how much more I earned as I progressed in different roles, because it was all feeding my credit cards.

Even at my previous job, where I was earning a reasonable amount of money, I was living from payday to payday, sometimes shortsightedly leaving myself with under $100 to last a few weeks. I was a professional. I had an office. I scrutinised cash flow statements and P&Ls all the time, yet there I was, 22 years old, 5 years of full time employment under my belt having sacrificed uni life and free time, yet nothing to show for it. The turning point was when I took a new job with my current employer. There was a significant pay increase and suddenly I had the means and mindset to right my financial wrongs. I should note however, you are always better off starting NOW. Do not wait until some future event. I was silly to wait that long, however I also feel incredible relieved that I saw the light. I’m now 25 years old and have saved the equivalent of 5.5 months of my current income.

I have personally found these tips most effective.



The difference between HECS and FEE-HELP

When I began thinking about going back to Uni, I fretted about whether my postgraduate studies would be covered by HECS or FEE-HELP.  I had utilised HECS-HELP loans to fund the tuition for my undergraduate bachelor of laws.  In addition, I had also utilised FEE-HELP to fund two graduate certificates.

Piggy BankAll up I had borrowed around $60,000.00 worth of HELP loans.  I vaguely understood there was a life-long limit that you could reach where HELP loans would no longer be available to you and I certainly wasn’t in a position pay the MBA fees outright.   I know of people who preferred to self-fund their MBA as an added incentive to do well in the course.  Financially, that’s not an option for me so I’m very grateful for these study assistance schemes.  Further, I have been regularly paying my HELP debt back since 2009 (hellooo, disappointing tax returns) so I don’t miss that (capped) 8% chunk from my pay these days. (more…)