Your Money: Sam’s Story – Finding The Balance Between Saving & Splurging

The Carousel’s Finance Expert Sarah Riegelhuth hits the streets to find out how you’re managing your money…

Sam Duncan from Manly NSW, Sambo Media, 29

 Give me the lowdown – the good, the bad, the ugly – when it comes to you and money?

“The minute I have an invoice paid I’m out spending it, and I feel like I consume a bunch of stuff I don’t really need. Guess I could pick my moments better as to when I splurge. I probably don’t need to have a cafe breakfast seven days a week!

But… I never holiday in style, I tend to travel third world, third class. Also I save stacks on rent as I live in a dive apartment that’s in an awesome location. Also, most of my leisure time is free because I love the outdoors and music, so I spend heaps of time surfing and playing guitar which costs me nothing!

I’ve learnt that purely trying to increase my income doesn’t have long term benefits, it’s more about what I do with my money that makes the difference. Years ago I was trading CFDs, and the biggest thing was money came easy but it went twice as easily. Now I shoot vids for those companies instead! Even though it can be hard work, the income’s a lot more stable.”

What do you think your parents taught you about money?

“My dad was never really into brands or buying something because it was on trend, he only ever bought what we needed and then it’d be the best quality that we could afford, but nothing to do with the brand. I’m a bit like this too.”

I’ve also worked since the age of 13 which I think has been a good thing (don’t even know if that was legal), I was only earning $3.75 an hour. By the age of 15 my mates were all working at Coles earning the big bucks – $7 an hour! I asked my Dad what to do, and he put it back on me and said I should ask for a payrise. Of course I didn’t want to, I wanted him to do it for me. I did it though and it taught me a really good lesson about taking charge of your own sh*t. Stuff will only happen if I make it happen, this serves me really well now in business especially.”

What advice would you give your younger self?

“Anytime things are going well, lock something away, even just a tiny bit! Don’t sell your house, make $90K, and pile it all into the share market right before the GFC!”

My tips: Sounds like Sam has a really good balance with the way he views money, the only danger for him is that all the savings he makes by holidaying sensibly and enjoying free pastimes may potentially get eaten up on some of his splurge items. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this if you’re comfortable with it, but given he’s named it as his worst habit, I’d suggest putting a limit on this kind of weekly spending and stick to it, that way he won’t feel guilty.

Written by Sarah Riegelhuth

Co-founder of Gen Y financial advisory firm, Wealth Enhancers and the League of Extraordinary Women, Sarah is passionate about two things: following your dreams, and loving your money!
She is an award winning financial advisor and entrepreneur, featured in a variety of media including Kochie’s Business Builders, Women’s Agenda, Money Management, Channel 7's The Morning Show and Women’s Health magazine.

Sarah’s book, Get Rich Slow, was of the most popular Dymocks finance titles in 2013. She is the founder of the 8 Week Money Makeover, an online money management program designed to help everyday Australians wipe their debts and build wealth, one step at a time"
Contact: [email protected]


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