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Savings tips for Apprentices and Trainees - it's never too late to stash some cash

We are often told by our Apprentices and Trainees that they find it difficult to manage on the wages they are being paid whilst they are doing their training. We fully appreciate how difficult this can be for some of you and have provided information and tips here on our website which we hope will help you.

Bearing in mind that we are not intending to provide financial advice and merely want to give you some suggestions on helpful reading material and links to calculators which could help you put a budget together so you can better manage your money.

According to a recent Cambridge University study*, children are able to conceptually understand money and how much is enough for an item by the time they're 7. Twelve months later they have an understanding of the passage of time. So at 8 years of age children can learn and understand the advantages of delaying want it now to receive more benefits of waiting til later. And it's this 'understanding' apparently that is a key component in successful saving habits from an early age.

So, if you have just started an apprenticeship or traineeship and you have a stash of cash you've been saving up since you were 8, are probably going to be OK. However, realistically most of you won't have a stash and may even think it's going to be impossible to save money while you are on your training wages.

The good news is, it is possible to plan and manage your finances - and even save a little - regardless of how much money you are earning as long as you're not living beyond your means.

Helpful Websites

(1) The Money Smart 

This website is an initiative of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) where they offer tips and tools to help you make the most of your money.

Doing a budget:

  • gives you good control over your money;
  • keep track of where your money is going;
  • allows you to plan (set aside money) for when big bills are due;
  • lets you see some of those hidden expenses, such as fees and charges;

Money Smart has an easy-to-use Budget Planner calculator which you can do online or you can save a spreadsheet to your own computer. 

(2) Queensland Government Money Management

The Queensland Government website has a section on Money Management for Queensland youth. The site provides information on:

  • How to get a Tax File Number.
  • Understanding Superannuation.
  • Interactive website called Get Out There that you can join and download their interactive Budget Planner.

Helpful Reading

The Richest Man in Babylon 

George S Clason's famous Babalonian parables are classic ideas on thrift when money is tight. This book began in 1926 as information pamphlets and once eventually compiled into a book over 2,000,000 copies have been sold and it has never been out of print.  

The basic concepts in the book are:

  • Pay yourself first: to create wealth bank/save 10% of everything you earn before you start paying bills etc. 
  • Budget for the necessities, pay all your bills from the 90% of earnings;
  • Put your money to work so its earning more money - but only where it will be safe;
  • Increase your ability to earn - study and become more skilful.

... More reading here 

The information provided in this article and the budget calculator are for information purposes only and we strongly recommend you seek professional financial advice. We hope the tips have been of benefit.

[*Source: The Money Advice Service - Habit Formation and Learning in Young Children]

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