loading
drag

Four fashion creatives on how they manage their money

WORDS BY DAISY HENRY

“I save each week for no reason in particular but to make my future self happy.”

Consider me nosy, but I have always been interested in other people’s savings habits. I find myself curious (and slightly jealous) at how people can afford big trips (everyone living their best life in Europe right now), while also being able to pay rent and keep up with the increasing cost of living.

The balance between spending and saving is hard, and because it’s generally not spoken about, many of us are left wondering how exactly we’re meant to be allocating our income and budgeting.


For more content like this, browse through our Life section.


So, in an effort to break down some money-related taboos and demystify savings habits, we asked four creatives how – in industries that tend to encourage spending – do they save money?

Eliza Sholly, writer, editor and creative strategist

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by shollywood (@elizasholly)


Do you consider yourself a good saver?

Absolutely not. I think my family – particularly my extremely financially-literate sister – would laugh at the idea that I was asked to provide any authority on money. However, I am trying to be better and any amount of accountability helps.

I struggle with the concept of delayed gratification, and for as long as I can remember, have satiated my internal struggles with splurging and buying things. I also have a mental illness and a thrill for immediacy – a capitalist’s dream, but a saver’s nightmare.

What’s your process for saving money?

Each time my fortnightly paycheck is deposited into my account, I transfer a portion to my rent, a portion to my savings, a portion to my weekly spending (which is halved per week) and a portion to my American Express balance. Any secondary income I receive (freelancing et al) will usually go into my spending, which I use to splurge on something pretty or delicious.

I try to stay within my allotted weekly budget but am known to dip into my savings without any second thought, which makes accruing a net worth really hard. I am learning to stop shouting people drinks.

What do you save for?

Nothing in particular. I have a random numerical goal I’ve been gunning to hit, but it hasn’t changed in the last four years. This is a problem because my wage has increased, but my savings has remained relatively the same. Lifestyle inflation is a real thing.

How do you deal with the temptation to spend when you work in the industry?

I don’t, really. You can find most of my money in my stomach or my wardrobe. I know I sound like I am being hard on myself, but I have lots of insecurities around my inability to save money, and most of the people I know have healthy amounts in their bank accounts.

I recently acquired my Amex, which is a credit card, but I only use it when there is no surcharge to accrue Qantas points via large purchases, as well as fuel and groceries. I travel a lot so I’m hoping this will help to offset this expense if I’m smart about it.

Making my money work for me is a new and terrifying venture, but I am doing so under the heavy-handed guidance of my sister who knows much more about this stuff than me. Credit cards as a concept are classist and gross. I tossed up mentioning it at all, but did so for transparency because using one has become a large part of my savings story. Proceed with caution.

@elizasholly

Genevieve Phelan, freelance writer and publicist and Fashion Journal’s Lifestyle and Careers Columnist

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by G E N (@genevieve.phelan)

Do you consider yourself a good saver?

I do, but usually only when I have a goal to save for. I’m the kind of person who’s motivated by goal-setting and working towards an ‘endgame’. After learning lessons in sole trader taxation over the last few moons, I’ve become a really diligent saver when it comes to putting money away to avoid sticky financial situations or tax-related debt. I’m so proud to finally be able to say I’m getting good at that.

What’s your process for saving money?

I put away 50 per cent of anything earned under my ABN into an account designated for tax reserves. This is what will then go into paying off my business activity statement (quarterly instalments) to the ATO. Given I’m putting an excessive amount into this account (as it only needs to be about 30 per cent), I always have a buffer of savings here. I don’t let myself touch this account unless for tax payments.

What do you save for?

In terms of ‘fun’ saving, I’m going to properly start prepping for a Europe trip in mid-2023, when a few of my closest girlfriends move (cries) to London Town. To be honest, I’m also just saving for a rainy day, whether that’s a house deposit one day or something else, I’m not too sure just yet. I also bought a new car about one month ago, so that was a big expense.

How do you deal with the temptation to spend when you work in the industry?

I used to give in to temptation at whim VERY easily. Now, I don’t care so much I think. I’ll borrow fashion pieces from friends for an occasion or work event, and only buy clothing when I know it will become a mainstay in my wardrobe. I’m not into spending money on lots of skincare, makeup or interiors, and am very lucky to receive PR samples on a regular basis due to my work. I’ve learned to not let the industry beget financial instability because that’s quite frankly clown behaviour.

@genevieve.phelan

Isabella Mamas, fashion assistant at Vogue Australia

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @isabellamamas

Do you consider yourself a good saver?

I think I am somewhere in the middle. I can set myself goals and reach them, but in terms of saving in general for no particular reason, I’m pretty hopeless. I get caught up in the ‘live young and have fun’ mindset, which means I catch myself spending more money than propping it aside.

What’s your process for saving money?

My process for saving money is breaking down my pay each time it comes in, which when I was freelance was quite tricky because it was never a set date or set amount. Now with a nine-to-five, I’m able to balance it a little better, but it’s not ironclad tight.

I will set aside rent, bills and also have a weekly allowance for food, and groceries… [and] I’m a sucker for going out for food and drinks, so dinners always pop up. If I take on any freelance work outside of my nine-to-five, that money goes straight to my savings, possibly with a pit stop of a little treat in shoe form, because I know my [regular job] covers all my weekly [expenses] and overheads, so anything extra goes straight to a separate account.

What do you save for?

I want to move to London in the next five years, so in a perfect world, I would have an apartment here before I leave or at least a hell of a lot of savings to keep me afloat in a city where coffees cost $5 a shot.

How do you deal with the temptation to spend when you work in the industry?

I have a walkaway policy with clothing. It’s incredibly rare for me to buy something on the spot without having thought about it for at least 24 hours prior. I find Afterpay quite helpful for big purchases – I can budget clothing and beauty items into my weekly spending without dipping into my savings.

@isabellamamas

Courtney Milham-Johnson, Workroom Manager at Penny Sage

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Penny Sage (@pennysage)

Do you consider yourself a good saver?

Honestly, until I decided I wanted to move overseas (to Melbourne) in 2019 I would not have considered myself a good saver… Once I had achieved my savings goal to move overseas, I felt a little proud of myself [and felt] more confident [having] conversations with friends in regard to their own savings goals.

It really hadn’t occurred to me before that my friends would have savings for no reason. [I] just assumed nobody had savings in their early 20’s… I was [quite] surprised to learn a few of my friends had significant savings and it inspired me to create some long-term goals of my own.

Not long after, in the 2020 lockdowns, unable to spend money on the things I usually would and fortunate to be in a position to still be earning, I thought there is surely no better time to begin saving, and now it has become a normal part of my weekly routine to transfer an achievable portion of my income into my savings account. I do think the key is to be realistic with what you can save and not overcommit and then feel guilty when at the end of the week you’re dipping in to make ends meet.

What’s your process for saving money?

I do try to stay true to a budget. I earn a salary and my living costs are relatively stable. I allocate a portion to cover bills, to save and then to spend on whatever the heart feels it needs, which varies each week.

What do you save for?

I am proud to say I have graduated from being a goal-oriented saver to a habitual saver. I save each week for no reason in particular but to make my future self happy. If I want to spontaneously book a trip, or splurge on a great pair of knee-high boots in the middle of winter when spirits are low, I have the funds to do so.

How do you deal with the temptation to spend when you work in the industry?

I think the biggest temptation for me working in the fashion industry is [that] I like to support friends and labels that I love because I know how much hard work and consideration goes into making clothes and of course I would like to be able to do that by adding new pieces to my own wardrobe each collection.

My wardrobe is a curated mix of secondhand vintage and designer and I wear things hard – I love an aged piece of clothing, I prefer it to [something] crispy and new. I like the colour fading, holes, memories and caring for clothes. I think because of this it means I am able to avoid falling victim to trends that I don’t care for… and my savings account appreciates it!

@courtneymj

For more on how to save money, head here.

Lazy Loading