Early financial habits can last a lifetime

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At our office, we firmly believe the earlier you start saving, the better.

We encourage our clients to get their children to come to see us soon as they get their first job, we even offer a free financial plan for them.

Habits formed early, good or bad, usually last a lifetime. For this reason, as soon as young people start their first job, it is great if they can start to plan their finances.

When most young people start working they have very few, if any, expenses; they also have very few goals that seem achievable. As a consequence, the majority of their money is spent on things that are meaningless and add very little value to their lives. Many of us continue to do this for most of our lives.

The key to saving is identifying the reason you want to save. There is a small group of people who are motivated simply by seeing the balance in their account rise. For most of us, we need to have a concrete goal.

When we first start working, our goals are small, sometimes it is a really cool pair of shoes, a video game or a great piece of sporting equipment.

The sense of reward after this effort is where habits are formed. Slowly these goals become bigger. Common early goals are first cars and overseas holidays.

Encouraging your children to pick things they really want and allocating some money each payday to achieve these goals forms amazing habits.

These habits are further established when they feel the sense of accomplishment after being able to realise a financial goal that initially seemed difficult.

An important factor to long-term saving being successful for your young person is, to allocate a portion of their money to continued spending so they are still feeling rewarded for their work on an ongoing basis.

In an ideal world, we would try and help identify the things that are most important to them and allocate money to be spent on these things. This is going to result in their money being used on the things that add most value to their life. An awesome habit to form early.

We also like to teach young people starting out, the importance of things like superannuation and debt management. These issues are not likely to be a high priority at a young age, but again, paying attention early is likely to make a big difference later in life.

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