To finish off our blog series for MoneySmart Week, an initiative aimed at helping Aussies make effective financial decisions, we asked female finance guru Zoe Lamont to provide her advice for financially surviving a career break. Here are her 5 top tips:
1. Plan Ahead
If you can, plan ahead. When do you want to take the break? For how long? What will your living costs be? What ways can you fund it? The more planning time you have, the easier it will be to save up a buffer and enjoy your dreams coming true. You may like to see where your money goes using an online budget calculator and create a spending plan, so you know what you’re in for.
2. Get Creative
From small things big things grow. If you’re off travelling, can you rent out your place? If you’re heading back to study or growing your family are there scholarships or government benefits available to you? How can you build as much cash as you can? Sell old clothes? Consider car sharing, even better earn extra by renting out your car on carnextdoor or your tools or sporting equipment on openshed.
3. Protect Your Foundations
You don’t want your career break to negatively impacting your long term goals and nest egg so now’s a good time to do a financial healthcheck. Are your insurances in place? Is your super sorted? Have you got the best interest rates on your loans and savings accounts? If you want every spare penny to go toward your trip, study or new baby – then see where you can negotiate and save on utility bills and financial products.
4. Educate Yourself
They say knowledge is power and when it comes to finance, this is no exception. If you’re a DIY researcher, visit the moneysmart.gov.au site, if you want your workplace to pay for it, suggest a financial wellbeing lunch n learn (a program to help employees grow) to your manager or HR department.
5. Enjoy The Ride
One thing’s for sure. A change is as good as a holiday so enjoy your time off work, use it to rejuvenate your soul, refresh your outlook on life and provide yourself with quality time to invest in yourself and loved ones. Do what you can now so your finances don’t get in the way of the good times.