If my friends were to describe me, one of the first things they’d tell you is that I love finding hidden money. I’m no savings guru, but I love doing research to find discounts, deals and ways to grow my money.
In university, this was a pretty simple task. I was fortunate enough to have my parents helping me throughout my post-secondary education, which I’m very grateful for; although I helped pay for tuition and other expenses, I never had any big financial burdens. I was growing my savings in tax-free savings accounts (TFSA) and high-interest savings accounts, and even bought a couple of mutual funds. So, when I finally finished university, I thought I could relax – at least financially – for a little while.
Although I consider myself somewhat ahead of the game, I still have a long way to go. For the first time ever, I have an array of new financial obligations weighing on my shoulders:
- Can I afford to move out?
- Is it smarter to buy or rent?
- Am I making the best investments for my current situation?
- What kind of retirement do I want to have?
Although my golden years are more than 40 years away, if I want to live comfortably when I’m a senior, I need to start saving now – even if it’s only $25 a month at first – so I’m not struggling to save in the future.
Although my long-term investing and savings plans are important to me, I also have short-term savings goals – on top of my day-to-day expenses – that are equally important. I’m using GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca’s savings guide to help me get started.
My short-term savings goals include:
- $3,050 for my potential move to South Korea
If all goes as planned, my boyfriend and I are moving to South Korea in September to teach English for a year. Although our accommodations and flight are paid for, we aren’t reimbursed for the airfare until after we arrive. We also need extra money to hold us over until we get our first paycheques and to kick-start our savings for travelling while we’re away.
- $500 for my trip to Tennessee
I’m going to visit one of my best friends in July for a week and, lucky for me, I’ve been able to use frequent-flyer points to pay for most of my flights (a savings of over $400) making the damage to my wallet only $171. The rest of the money will be going toward gas (the airport is quite a drive from her house) and spending money for meals, day activities and, of course, shopping.
- $1,303 for a new MacBook Pro and Apple Care
My current MacBook is almost six years old and, according to an Apple employee I recently talked to, my days are numbered. Since I’m potentially moving overseas soon, I’ve decided to bite the bullet. However, I’m holding off on buying it until the end of the summer so I have more time to budget for it without affecting any of my other short- or long-term savings goals.
Tip: If you have a sibling/friend still in post-secondary, get them to buy it for you and you’ll save 10%. Apple gives a discount to students, and lucky for me my sister is still in university. In my case this is a savings of almost $180! The actual retail price for both is $1,528.
Total savings goal: $4,853
This number isn’t too outrageous, and since I’m working full time before heading (hopefully) to South Korea, as well as bringing in other sources of income (more on this in a future post!), it should be easily attainable. Now that I have a number I know I need to work toward, adjusting my long-term savings and investment goals will be a lot easier (watch for future posts on investment and long-term savings tips for 20-somethings as well).
What are your short-term savings goals and how do you plan to finance them? Whether it’s saving for a vacation, a new computer, a down payment on a house/condo or even a smaller purchase, I want to hear about it!