9 March 2017

Work Hard Play Hard

Work hard play hard. A phrase we have all heard, maybe a little too often, but what does it really mean?

It’s easy for us twenty-somethings to make New Year’s resolutions and Monday goals to work hard all week and save our dollars to accomplish our goals, but do you have a real plan of action in place to accomplish this? If you don’t, sorry to say it, but it probably isn’t going to happen.

Firstly, my advice to you. Stay living at home, sponging off mum and dad as long as they will let you! Way too often I see and hear of people our age wanting to move out of home and get some freedom. Um hello, you can get all the freedom you want when you’re trekking through the amazon or scuba diving in Mozambique. If you move out of home before you’re financially or mentally prepared, you’re only going to waste your hard earned money. Now is the time in our life we should be saving all our pennies for experiencing the world and making memories. Or if travel isn’t for you – (firstly you’re crazy) save your money and buy a good investment. You don’t need to live out of home. Trust me – or don’t, up to you I guess.

Work life balance people.  Do you have it? How are you going to achieve it? It IS possible to save for your dream holiday AND be a social butterfly on your off time. I know what you’re thinking, I didn’t believe it either. But it’s true, and here’s how you do it.

Step 1. Start with a goal.

What’s your intermediate goal? Let’s use the classic example of a holiday. You wan’t to go on an overseas trip in 12 months time. Where are you going? How long for?

Step 2. Calculate costs.

How much is it going to cost you to do this? Back to our example, let’s say a good trip is going to cost $10,000.

Step 3. Sort out the budget. 

How much are you going to need to save each week to achieve this? Do the math. $10,000 / 48 weeks (let’s be realistic, between Christmas and birthdays, there will always be a couple of weeks here and there that saving is next to impossible). So, you’re going to need to save $210 per week minimum. For someone who works full time, this is more than achievable. Say the average salary for someone in their 20s is $40,000, that nets out to around $ 670 per week. This means you would only need to save 30% of your weekly wage for your dream holiday. A small sacrifice really.

Let’s talk about where the other 70% is going. Let’s be generous and say you’re paying $ 70 a week for travel (petrol and/or public transport). Average phone bill a month is $100, so we’re putting  $25 away each week. Car rego and insurance – we’ll budget $1500 per year, so we need to put $35 away each week. Maybe you have a gym membership or play a sport- $20 a week.  So in total, lets’ put $150 away for adult responsibilities and all that boring stuff.

This still leaves you with $310 to entertain your social needs (or any additional expenses you have). You can still go out to dinners with the girls, or hit up the pub on Friday arvo with the boys. You can even budget a little bit for some guilt-free online shopping or a slap on the pokies – hallelujah!


Even if you don’t work full time, your goal is still achievable, it just might mean an extra few months of planning and saving.  (and maybe only going out once or twice a week for dinner or drinks, rather than 3 or 4 times).

Trust me. It’s achievable. All you need is a plan.

Mention this blog for mates rates on a personalised budget to suit your needs at Macarthur Accounting Practice, and you’ll be hashtagging #europe2k18 in no time –  WINNING!

Written by Katie Brown.