New research, commissioned by money expert and author of ‘The Breakfast Club for 40-Somethings’ Vanessa Stoykov, reveals that only 43% of Australians are honest when they talk to their loved ones about their spending habits. Interestingly, males (41%) and females (44%) are practically on par when it comes to being dishonest.
The data also highlights that the two main reasons people aren’t honest about their purchases is because they know they would be judged, and because they know spend more money than they should.
The research goes on to state that a whopping 36% of people don’t ever talk about their finances with anyone. 42 – 49-year olds are least likely to talk about money, with 44% saying they never would share these details, followed by 50 – 57 year olds at 41%.
What do these findings mean?
Vanessa Stoykov says, “The fact that so many people are lying to their family and friends about how much money they spend is scary. Having worked in the finance sector for over two decades, the most common reason I find that people lie is because they feel out of control and that it’s much easier to have their head in the sand than take real action.”
Vanessa continues, “But making a change doesn’t need to be scary, it should actually be liberating, because it will improve your life and put you back in control. This research highlights that spending too much money is a big issue for Australians, so I want to use my experience to help.”
How can you curb your spending?
Vanessa’s expert tips to help curb expenses without having to make too many sacrifices are:
Think of cheaper alternatives to your favourite entertainment options
The cost of activities like going to the movies quickly add up – especially if you have a family. Before spending money on activities, consider if there is a cheaper alternative. For example, if you want to have a movie night consider using Netflix or Stan and staying in instead. Even if you splurge on snacks from the grocery store, it still only costs a tiny percentage of what you would spend at the movies.
Make a list and check it twice
Making a list of the items you need from the grocery store before you go not only saves time, but also money. Plan what meals you want to make, check what you already have on hand, make a list of everything you need, and stick to it. This will stop you buying excess produce and keep the costs to a minimum. Also, if you go to the store later in the day when items are heavily marked down, you can freeze them for another night to save cash.
If you have more than one credit card or personal loan, roll them into one. That will reduce the pressure of paying different payments over a month, and means you only need to pay one bill. You may also be able to access a cheaper rate doing this. Some credit card companies offer 12-month interest free periods to roll over balances. Your bank may give you a personal loan to cover it. It’s important to do the leg work and find out what the better deal is for you, don’t just accept the first solution you find.
Reuse whatever you can
Where possible, don’t buy anything new, instead reuse and recycle what you can. If you eat out and have leftovers ask for a takeaway container and eat it for lunch the next day, reuse plastic drink bottles rather than spending $3 for a fresh one, or hire a formal outfit for a special occasion rather than spending hundreds on buying a new outfit. Not only do these steps help your environment, but they also keep money in your bank account!
Unplug electronic devices that you aren’t using
Any device that is plugged into a power point uses up energy – even when it’s in standby mode, and although the amount might be small it adds up. If there are items like a Playstation or heater that only get used on the odd occasion, turning them off from the power point can save a substantial amount per quarter. Also, call your electricity provider and ask if you can you get a discount if you pay via direct debit, most accommodate you and this can put major dollars back in your bank account, rather than theirs.
Vanessa concludes, “If you’re someone who has ever lied about a purchase, you deserve better! Taking steps today to make you feel more comfortable with your money choices, and being confident to have an open and honest conversation about finances with your loved ones, will all significantly improve your entire life and future.”
Purchase your copy The Breakfast Club for 40-Somethings here. The book is published by Wiley and is available in all major bookstores, including Big W, now. RRP $25.95. Vanessa has also done the exclusive video below.