Thousands of kids have just finished either high school or university and are about to enter the full-time workforce for the first time. This is an exciting time, and also an excellent opportunity to instil great financial habits that will last a lifetime.
When we leave school or university, we are used to living on minimal income and have very few, if any, financial commitments. It’s like working with a blank canvas, we can allocate income to medium and long-term goals without having to forego the spending we have become accustomed to, there is no sacrifice.
When a school leaver who is used to getting a few dollars pocket money and not much else, starts working, that first pay packet feels like a fortune. Funnily enough, a few months down the track it feels barely enough. We quickly become accustomed to spending our money – probably not on the right things.
In my ideal world, I’d love to see youngsters a few days before their first pay cheque, and plan out their spending from the beginning.
At Future Financial Services, we even offer school leavers a free financial plan.
We get the kids (who are really young adults now), to identify a few things they would like to achieve in the next year, this is normally a car or an overseas holiday. We then allocate savings towards achieving this goal. It is really important to get a quick win, achieving that first goal will cement these habits for a lifetime.
We will encourage them to put some money away for the long-term; this is for an eventual house deposit or similar. We also suggest they put $20 a week into super, in most cases they will qualify for the Government Co-contribution that further fast tracks their super savings. The power of compound interest for such a long period means that even $1,000 per year makes an enormous difference at retirement.
During the financial planning process, we ask young people to identify the things they value most and direct discretional spending to those areas, that way, they are also making the most of their income on an ongoing basis.
If you or someone you know is starting full-time work for the first time as a school or university leaver, feel free to contact us. We believe that establishing really good spending and saving habits right from the beginning is so important that we offer a financial plan for free.