It’s a given, life is going to throw you some curve balls and slap you really hard in the face sometimes. As a consequence your finances can simultaneously suffer because of this as well as your mental state. You may be made redundant (do you have an emergency fund at hand?). The rental price of your apartment or room may increase (will you still be able to afford this?) Or, there might be unforeseen medical expenses such as going to the dentist or taking medication when you’re sick. I’m sure every single one of you reading this can relate to at least one of these situations. One way or another, these expenses will come and you need to ask yourself… have you made room in your budget for these unexpected expenses?
Being millennials ourselves (anyone born between 1982 and 2004), we understand the millennial lifestyle and what comes with it. We love shopping, we love eating out (too much), we love a good time on the d’floor and just letting loose. We like to constantly have the newest gadget and that new iPhone every year amongst any other ever changing technology. While this is all fun, we can’t remain ignorant to serious life expenses that could be thrown at us at any point in time. So millennials, it’s time to stop for a second, think about the bigger picture and take control of your future by taking control of your budget and planning for unexpected expenses… and we’re about to tell you exactly how to do that! Also, if you’re not a millennial and you’re reading this… it is never too late to start budgeting and planning! We’re all about helping you find your pathway to financial freedom.
1. Plan Your Bill Payments
Here’s some examples of bills that may need to be paid… you’re going to have a good idea of what bills you pay based upon your lifestyle.
The list probably goes on… A great New Year’s Resolution you should all make is trying the following:
- Mark on a calendar all these bills and when they would fall due for you. We’ve given you a bit of a snapshot below as an example.
- Set a price (what you currently pay) for each type of bill
- Calculate your weekly, monthly, and then annual payment figures and record these on your calendar, diary, or spreadsheet
2. Save For Your Expenses
Yes our dear readers, you read that correctly… we want you to SAVE up for your bills. Just like you would have a separate account for any ‘life savings’, it’s beneficial to have a separate account just for bills. Each week you would have your regular expenses like rent and fuel that you would actually pay WEEKLY. Whereas, other types of bills may be paid monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly, and these are the bills we want you to save up for! That way you aren’t caught short when they come due.
3. Calculate Your Weekly Savings Figure
This could be $20, $50, or $100 per week that will go towards the bills you know you have to pay in the future. If you don’t know off the top of your head, you should start to write them all out. This will help keep you organised. You’ll feel more empowered as well!
4. Add That Little Bit Extra
Expect the unexpected. We’ve both had our fair share of unexpected bills arising and it’s not necessarily the cherry on top of the cake kind of feeling (but it can come close if you’re prepared). No, it’s more so the feeling that you’re really excited to eat a piece of your favourite chocolate cake, but you’re late to the party and everyone’s eaten it… or you know, when you think you’ve got a great leftover in the fridge and you go to eat it, but it’s gone. At the end of each month, you may want to spare a little extra moola out of your pay check and transfer it to your bills account. It could be an extra $20, $50 or $100 (whatever you feel makes sense for your lifestyle). If it’s your first time attempting, start with $20. Just ensure that you ACTUALLY do this.
5. Paperwork Can Be Fun
They say being organized means being in control and we couldn’t agree more! We know depending on the type of person you are and what side brain you use (left or right) it will determine if you’re a scatter mind or like organisation and control. Whichever you are, this is one thing you can master. The admin part of all this (a.k.a the paperwork and organization part) is also crucial to staying in control… if you find it boring, make it fun. You can add colour into it if colour makes you happy, you can colour co-ordinate different bills with dates. As your bills are being paid off, mark this on your calendar, diary or wherever you choose to plan your life out, like Nike says, “JUST DO IT.” You’ll be thanking yourself. For an example, you can highlight or write your monthly bills in blue, and then mark in blue when they are due… so at quick glance you’ll see that your monthly bills are coming up.
It’s so easy to lose motivation sometimes, especially when it comes to recording your finances but you’ll thank yourself when those unexpected expenses eventually come around. Don’t be discouraged if you’re starting out with not a lot, this will help you rebuild and build a solid foundation! We don’t discriminate and are here to help everyone at all stages find your pathway!
If you need a hand, just drop us an email and we’d be happy to help you out 🙂
If you have any other strategies we haven’t mentioned to deal with unexpected expenses or stories, leave us a comment! We’d love to hear them.
Amanda & Julia