Congratulations on landing your first job. It’s a huge achievement and you’ll gain valuable experience. Now that you’re earning an income, it’s a great time to create some good money habits – so you can start working towards your financial goals. Here are seven smart money management tips to help get you on the right track.
The money’s coming in and you’re probably dying to spend it. From that new jacket to the latest smartphone, it’s all fighting for your attention. But overspending can really set you back financially, and it’s an easy mistake to make when money’s not top of mind.
So start thinking about money more – and get knowledgeable on saving, investing and managing your money with helpful websites like sorted.org.nz. And whenever you’ve got the urge to splurge, ask yourself:
By getting money-savvy early on, you’re setting yourself up for a bright financial future.
We know, budgeting isn’t the most exciting thing to do, but it can really help you understand what’s going on with your money – so you can reign in your spending and manage your money better.
Take your income after tax has been deducted (weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on your pay cycle), and then subtract all your expenses for the same pay cycle.
Expenses could include:
The Sorted website has a budget calculator you could use to help create a budget.
If you have money left over (a surplus), that’s great news – it means you’re staying on top of your finances and can start saving.
If you don’t have enough money to cover your costs (a deficit), you may need to reduce your costs to make your budget stretch further.
The Sorted website is a great place to start – it has loads of information on budgeting and how to manage your money. Or you could get free one-on-one advice from the New Zealand budgeting federation.
Now that you know where your finances are at, any surplus you have should ideally go towards paying back your debts first, like your credit card or car loan.
Follow these steps to pay off your debts faster:
The faster you pay off your debts, the faster you can start saving for your future.
The future may seem like light years away, but when it comes to saving, starting early is the key.
Save for both short and long term so you’ve got everything covered:
1. Open a different savings account for each savings goal.
2. Name your savings account whatever your goal is, for example 'Holiday' or 'New Home', as this will help you focus.
3. Set up an automatic payment for money to go into your savings account every pay-day. We have a range of savings accounts to suit different goals. For example, if you’re saving for the longer term our Savings Plus account rewards you with higher interest for not dipping into your savings.
Now here’s a clever way to save a little bit every time you make an electronic payment…
Save the Change automatically rounds up electronic transactions to an amount you choose, then transfers the difference into your savings account. You probably won’t even notice you’re saving as you’re spending.
KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based savings initiative designed to help you save for your retirement.
If you join KiwiSaver, you can choose to contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of your before-tax pay into your KiwiSaver account every pay-day. You can choose the KiwiSaver scheme your savings are invested with.
While you’re getting used to your new-found freedom we can help make life even easier. If you’ve just graduated or finished an apprenticeship, our graduate package for both graduates and newly-qualified apprentices could help with your finances for the first two years of your first job.
Or if you’ve just left school, our job starter's package could be right for you.
Both of these packages have great benefits like a bank account with an optional interest-free overdraft for up to two years, lower interest rates for a car loan or personal loan, and no credit card account fees for one year (other fees apply including a monthly overdraft facility fee. After one year, the standard credit card account fee will apply. See our fees page).
Once you’ve got your banking sorted, here’s how you can make budgeting easier by setting up your banking electronically:
This keeps your money tidy, hides some away for necessities, and reduces the temptation to spend.
For example, you could split your banking like this:
Automatic payments are a great way to pay a fixed amount regularly from one bank account to another (yours or someone else’s). Set up automatic payments so whenever you get paid, a fixed amount is automatically transferred from your main account to your other accounts. Easy!
Overspending happens fast, so keep track of your money with real-time notifications sent direct to your mobile or inbox.
Your notifications will let you know when your funds low, or when your bank account is overdrawn. Set them up how you want.
You could also check your bank balance fast, without having to log in, using the Quick Balance feature in your ASB Mobile app. Here’s how to set it up:
Then whenever you need to check your balance, simply open your ASB Mobile app and swipe down.