With so much money advice around, it’s hard to know what will really make a change for the better.
Firstly, let me start with the one that has always stood the test of time and one that has helped me throughout my life.
My number one tip is to aim to have at least three to six months’ salary saved away. This money is only to be used in an emergency and, let’s face it, stuff happens.
Also read: 3 money tips from self-made millionaires
Also read: 3 expert tips for a great financial new year
It is comforting to know that you have money saved. Whether it’s for car repairs, mortgage repayments, rent or losing your job to a medical emergency. Knowing there’s back-up will help get you through until you can begin to start earning again.
Here are some other changes that impacted these lives.
Hamna Amjad, Outreach Consultant
One of the best pieces of money advice Hamna got from her mother was to always strive for financial freedom if you want to live life on your own terms.
“My mother always advised me that it’s crucial for girls to control their own financial situation rather than depending on others.
“She never believed in saving what’s left after spending – rather, her mantra was to ‘spend what’s left after saving’.
“She also warned me about the peer pressure and societal expectations which often encourage people to live beyond our means. She showed me by example how to set financial goals for a better future.
“Thanks to her, I have always been financially independent, I don’t have the habit of overspending and I have never been under debt.”
Kate Toon, Copywriter and Digital Marketer
“The money tip that changed my life was to have separate bank accounts.
“As a small business owner it's easy for all the money to get mixed up - with my partner's, with household money and money for holidays and mortgage.
“Now, I have separate accounts for everything, the money comes in and I divide it up into different pots. This way I know exactly what's mine.
“Banks can be a little resistant to having so many accounts, but it's easy to find ones with low fees.”
Claudia Valladares from Wise Dollar Mums
“One of the first things a mentor once told me was to automate everything and it's something I implemented and encourage. Automate your bills, savings and investments and anything you can.
“Everyone is busy, so removing this from my to do list helped me build up my finances. I offered this tip to a mum of four, who told me she didn’t have any money for retirement.
“I helped her to open up a retirement account for her and automate $20 every paycheque. Today, she has accumulated enough funds to actually invest and has grown her account. She’s happy and feels a sense of relief knowing she had something there.
“It all started with just $20.”
Nathan Hughes, Digital Marketing
“When I was a teen, my father bestowed me with precious money advice that I haven’t parted with since.
“His advice revolved around the three Cs to improve my finances: create, control and consistent.
“When I laid my hands on money, he asked me to create a budget and map out what I wished to do with it. This way, I knew where my money came from and where it went.
“Next, he asked me to control my credit use and expenditures to avoid spending relentlessly.
“Finally, he asked me to stay consistent in saving. And, trust me, as someone who lacked consistency once, auto-saving policies of banks have helped me keep up with the words of my father.
“It has been years and still his words continue to leave a great impact on my life.”
Beth Rivera, Financial Planner
“The best money tip I received was to invest in what you know, because if the price goes down, say for shares, you'll have the conviction to buy more instead of panicking.
“This has helped me to focus my efforts on fewer things and has also helped me keep cool when values drop so I don't sell in a panic.
“The advice also has broader applications in life. Whether you are investing in time, money, or friends, it is generally better to focus your efforts in areas where you have conviction.”
“Prepare a budget. Even if you think it’s all too hard, it’s even more reason to get down and plan your finances.
“When I took steps knowing where I was spending money – by writing it all down, right there in front of my eyes, I know where the money’s been going. It’s simple and it really does help to clarify what you need to set your finances straight and begin spending your money right.”
Louisa Bowman, Project Leader
“This sounds embarrassingly basic in retrospect but the game changer in my life was the adage to ‘pay yourself first’.
“In the past, whenever money came in, I'd immediately throw it at bills or having a good time, which resulted in my saving little to nothing each fortnight.
“Now, with a salary, I set aside some money into a high-interest savings account, then I budget the rest. Sometimes, that meant I couldn't go to the movies with my friends, but month after month, my savings were steadily growing and as that snowballed, I continued to increase how much I paid myself.
“The result of this behavioural shift moved me and, later my husband, from having basically nothing in savings to accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“When we eventually purchased a house, we did so with an over 50 per cent deposit, thanks to our good savings habit.”