You’ve worked hard all year cramming your part time job at the coffee shop/mall/fill-in-the-blank between your full course load. But it kind of hurts to see pretty much every pay cheque go right back into paying for school. So when Christmas comes around, getting that cheque from Grandma never felt so good! I mean, the possibilities are endless with how you could use that money.
While a single cheque won’t make a huge difference in the short term, creating a habit of investing will. So, you can think of how you’d use Grandma’s gift of holiday money as a reflection of your saving habits. Let’s take a look at a few potential scenarios.
Don’t get us wrong—it’s important to treat yo’ self. But if every cheque you get turns into an expensive tab from a Friday night out with friends or a new haul from your favourite clothing store, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment (and bad habits) in the future.
We’ve got to hand it to you, you have some incredible self-discipline. But at what cost? While we’re all for you investing in your future and setting yourself up for your goals, we also want you to live in the present. Make some memories, go out with your friends, put away some money for that Thailand trip.
Balanced saving and spending
Balance is really the key here. When you have a habit of saving—even if it’s small amounts—it really does add up. Soon, you’ll be out of that dorm room (and free of your snoring roommate) and into that condo you’ll be able to afford!
Our recommendation: start a saving habit
Which scenario did you find yourself relating to? No matter your saving habits of the past (or lack thereof) the idea is to start building a habit of savings when unexpected money comes in.
A disciplined saver (that’s going to be you, right?) will look at one-off income deposits like work bonuses, Christmas money, gifts, inheritance, and instinctively put 50% towards savings. The rest goes towards paying down debt and making some purchases for yourself.
Study after study have shown that people who save 50% of these one-time payments have a higher net worth and are better equipped to handle unexpected expenses. And who doesn’t want that?
The overwhelm of paying off student debt can make it seem like you can’t afford to save, but both debt repayment and investing are equally important. While you may just be thinking about how to survive through the semester, good saving habits set you up for the long-term.
Other saving perks include:
- Easier credit card applications: established saving accounts and a consistent saving history go a long way
- Increased chances for loan approval: for car loans, mortgages, etc.
- Independance: I mean, how satisfying is it for you to get something yourself, instead of relying on your parents?
- Out of sight is out of mind: once you move that money from your personal account into an investment, you’re less likely to touch it. And, you’ll quickly adapt to the amount of money you have to work with each month.
Adulting can be hard—but we’re here to make sure that investing isn’t. ATB Prosper and it’s quick save tool allow you to start saving today and invest straight from your smartphone!
ATB Wealth consists of a range of financial services provided by ATB Financial and certain of its subsidiaries. ATB Investment Management Inc., ATB Securities Inc., and ATB Insurance Advisors Inc. are individually licensed users of the registered trade name ATB Wealth. ATB Securities Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.