5Aug

Ah, yes. Graduation.

Finally!

Independence!

Freedom!

The world is your oyster…if only you had the money.

Graduation creates this illusion of immortality for fresh graduates, especially for those belonging in Asian or other conservative families wherein they usually live with their parents or remain tethered financially until they hold a job of their own. So, the moment that the diploma is received, a surge of energy initiated by a newfound sovereignty course through their veins.

It makes sense though. You’re a youngblood with high hopes and dreams, you’re seeing the world beyond the books for the first time. You don’t have a curfew, homework, or a parent to answer to.

All of this rush of adrenaline doubles that moment you get employed because job equals money equals “add-to-cart”, right?

For a moment, there is harmony in your cash-ins and cash out. But at one point, maybe on the day when your employer can’t give your salary on time or when somebody gets sick, you’ll realize that you do not have a cent in the old piggy bank. Then, the reality of adulthood sets in. It’s time to decrease the “YOLO” and start saving.

Here are some tips money-saving (and maybe even earning) tips for all our fresh graduates out there:

1)   Invest

While having saved money in your account is good, placing them in good investment is better. Rather than letting them just stay in your account until your next impulsive buy, why not make them do the earning for you? Aside from insurance companies, some banks provide services on investments wherein you can start small, just enough for the entry-level salary.

2)   Wants and needs

Do you need another pair of shoes for work? My Economics professor once told the class, “If you can distinguish your wants from your needs, then saving is easier.” and that is financial wisdom I still hold today.

Needs which are your basic food and drinks, toiletries, clothes.

Wants are your 5-star meals with a bottle of champagne, Jeju face masks, and plain, white shirts that cost five digits.

Always reflect before you buy: “Need or want?”

3)   Allocate

Once you fully recognize your needs, you need to be very familiar with your cash flow and where to place them. It is important to list down the daily, weekly, and monthly expenses so setting a budget is easier.

4)    Something on the side

If you have an 8-hour job, especially one that keeps your weekends open, I would encourage having a sideline. Something non-committal, that you can do from the comfort of your home and that will take only a few hours of your time. It can be writing, copyreading, editing pictures, translating, even online tutorials.

There are such jobs out there.

Once you receive your pay, keep it safe. Don’t spend it. That’s your side hustle money.

When you’re a young investor, it doesn’t hurt to earn a bit more cash.

5)   Be wary of your circle

Friends and workmates are a great influence even in young adulthood and, sometimes, when one of them declares a night out or a trip to somewhere pricey, it’s difficult to say no.

There’s nothing wrong if your friends have more money than you, just as there’s nothing wrong if you have less money than your friends. But it’s important to remember at which part of the spectrum you are, and not get carried away. Also, be mature enough to not be insecure about the financial differences that you feel the need to spend money like them to achieve validation.

Learn to decline when it no longer hits your budget. If your friends are really good people, they’ll respect that.

6)   Splurge money

As contradicting as it is, it’s also important to spoil yourself every once in a while.

Have “splurge piggy bank” and invest a fixed portion of your savings to it.

It can be money for a concert happening in a few weeks or a monthly shopping spree/fancy dinner dates for yourself.

The point is, you have to spend money on you too. Sometimes, we impulse buy because we’ve been deprived for so long. So, it’s just better to just have a controlled source of cash for an “I deserve this” splurge. Just make sure that the “I deserve this” days aren’t every day.

7.) Get insurance early.

If you buy permanent life insurance early, this gives you a longer period of time to put money into the insurance plan and also allows you to draw interest on your money for a longer period of time. We help expats in Hong Kong find the best personal insurance. Get in touch with us today.