By Natalie Shamir
No, I’m not referring to the ABBA song, but now that I think of it the whole world really does revolve around money. You may ask yourself a few questions like why do we need it? And does money really buy us happiness? So I’m going to go ahead and try to answer them the best I can. Why do we all need money? Well, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Money is what we not only use for trade, but also to buy the things we need (but most of the time just what we want).
Where do we get the money? I bet the first thing that came to your mind is earning an income through a job. You work and then you’re paid for the work you’ve done. But what about selling things on eBay or Gumtree? I know that cabinet will only get you about $80, but what about investing in shares or even property like a unit or house? There are many sources where money can come from and end up in your pocket, or bank account would be better (that way you can earn more on interest!)
I know this is referring to the distant future, but we’re all going to retire one day. Don’t get too worried about old age, I did say in the ‘distant future’ but we should probably start thinking about our superannuation. Monitoring it now and then won’t hurt and will definitely benefit you in the long term. A day may come when we face retirement and no longer have an income with talks of the pension being suspended one day. It’s a good idea to make sure your employers make their fair share of the contributions you are entitled to. I’m sure we would love to have a lot of super once we stop working. A look back on the GFC in 2008 saw major losses for people who invested their super. It’s a wise idea to keep your super in mind when starting a new job. You can even make your own contributions. Be smart with super and you will hopefully be super happy!
Being savvy with your money can benefit you in the long term. You never know when you need to take a rain-check! So start saving small amounts each week, possibly open a term deposit account for those of you who can’t resist the temptation of all those digits on your account balance screen. Once you’ve saved up reward yourself a little now and then, maybe even take a holiday! Okay maybe not yet, probably buy a car first if you didn’t already get one for your 18th, the main point is be smart with your money. Don’t spend too much but occasionally indulge because all of us need to buy that one album we love or catch up on the latest season of How I Met Your Mother.
Money can result in happiness, for example, if we buy something we love, it will most likely bring us some form of contentment. But does it actually buy us happiness? If each of us had a million dollars I think we would all take a holiday and relax for a little while. But how many holidays can a person take? The answer is a lot… But that’s beside the point. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that we can get very used to being rich or dependent on a regular income. We learn to survive based on the income we receive just like celebrities who have become used to their high earning incomes and yet many are still not happy or satisfied with their lives.
So does money really buy happiness? I’ll let you be the judge of that because everyone is entitled to their own wellbeing. If money makes you happy, great! It makes me happy too – just don’t forget to save now and then because you never know when you’ll need that money to buy a chocolate bar! I’m sorry I’m getting distracted here I just spotted… Anyway, I hope this was an informative guide for being smart with your money! And don’t forget work hard and play hard (well maybe not too hard…).
Natalie is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce as a first year student and loving it. She enjoys photography, has a passion for animals and volunteer work.