THE IN-TRAY

6 tips to having it all: the serums, the shoes and the savings

This week (after what could possibly be thousands of requests, demands and not-so-subtle hints from our Instagram community) we launched Afterpay online. This means that our seemingly endless suite of top-shelf beauty is now accessible to more beauty-lovers than ever before (which we LOVE), but it also means there’s a little more room for over-spending, over-indulgence and financial frivolity (which we don’t love).

It is so important to us that our customers—and colleagues, who are by no means strangers to a weekly ASOS/Net-a-Porter haul—are living it up with our silky serums and limitless palettes, without detriment to their financial freedom. So, we hopped on the phone to chat to financial planner/business owner/YouTuber/author/mum/all-round-superstar Canna Campbell, who filled us in on her top tips and tricks to stay financially fit, while still being able to splurge on the luxuries that can make your day—or skin—that little bit sweeter.

1: Practice mindfulness.

Like mindfulness in yoga builds strength, focus and self-awareness (or Pilates, if that’s more your vibe), so too does actively managing your spending, and becoming aware of the temptations you often struggle to resist. “It’s about consuming mindfully,” starts Campbell; “really understanding which products are great value for money, and which are worth investing in. Be fussy.”

It’s so easy to get stuck in a mindless scroll—which can turn into a mindless shop—but taking a second to review and curate your shopping habits will do you a world of good. Campbell’s top tips? “Shop loyally so you can make the most of any discounts or special offers, and get clued-up on what products are available to you, and which might be multifunctional.” Think RMS Lip2Cheek, or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost palette.

2: Curate your Instagram feed.

Even Campbell herself isn’t immune to the temptations of a late-night Instagram scroll; “my social media feed can be the biggest source of temptation for me, so I make a point to only follow my favourite brands—the ones which I exclusively love.” We recommend applying the same rules to other accounts too, like influencers, who are often the biggest culprits for our off-the-cuff purchases.

If you do find yourself tempted, however, the finance whiz recommends having some short term goals to compare your potential splurges to—like building up savings or paying off a debt. “Say you’re tempted to buy a dress for $300, you can say ‘hang on, I’d rather that $300 go towards my credit card debt’.”

3: Personalise your savings.

Like your The Daily Edited phone case—or Le Labo fragrance—some things are better personalised. Your finances included. “I don’t believe in one size fits all,” shares Campbell, when asked if there was a magic dollar amount or percentage we should be stashing away into our savings each month. “I believe in having a system in place where you work within what your situation allows. Go through your budget and work out what can be taken out or reduced to help build your savings—if you have a percentage or rule, that means some people will be underselling themselves, and for others that’s just not possible. People are at different stages of their lives, and no one can compare themselves to another. Just do your best and feel good about it.”

When creating your saving goals and in-case-of-emergency funds, “take a look at your situation,” advises Campbell. “Say for example you have family overseas, and something goes wrong; you might have to get on a plane last minute to see them, so there’s $3000 in airfares, another $1000 for accommodation and maybe another $1000 to spend. So therefore you should have around $5000 in the emergency fund.” The same applies if you have a pet that might need extra care at any time, or simply backing yourself up with a month’s worth of living expenses should something pop up (and throw your life a little out of whack).

4: Credit cards are like carbs.

It might read like one, but this isn’t a Mean Girls quote—rather a potent analogy by the finance aficionado herself. “Credit cards are like carbohydrates,” Campbell starts. “If you have too many you put on weight, you feel bloated and sluggish, you don’t sleep well… all sorts of things like that. But if you have carbohydrates in the right way, you have great energy, you feel healthy and strong, and your body feels balanced. Credit cards are very simple like that. If you use them for the loyalty programs, frequent flyer points and complimentary travel insurance—and pay your credit card off in full every month—then they can be great. But I only ever recommend that you have one credit card.”

“Ideally you want to be able to have savings for your expenses so you don’t need to use things like Afterpay, however on the odd occasion they can help you pay for something that’s an emergency, essential or out of the blue, as long as you factor the fortnightly repayments into your budget in order to avoid going into debt.”

So, for example, let’s say you want to treat your mum to a gift like a Fornasetti candle or Dr. Dennis Gross Spectralite Faceware Pro, but your pay comes in after her birthday and you’re *just* short of the full amount. Use Afterpay’s handy features to spoil her on her special day, and be vigilant in factoring in the repayments to your budget for the month ahead.

5: Pay your smallest debts first.

Think about it: if you owe three different people money—your work-wife for Friday’s knock-off frosé, your best friend for your Lizzo ticket, and your dad for flights to your cousin’s Croatian wedding—“the quicker you get one of those balls out of the air means there’s one less person that you owe money to. So start with smallest first.” Campbell calls it the hitlist strategy.

“If you start with the biggest,” she shares, “it takes longer to pay that person off—you begin to lose momentum, often resulting in a lack of motivation to pay all three off.”

6: Need to reign it in? Cash up.

Remember when contactless payment was first introduced and it seemed like it was a little too easy to spend? But now, that technology is a part of everyday life. Embark on your morning coffee run and you’ll see people pay with their phones, watches, rings and even coffee cups—shop online and all you need to do is click a button and scan your face. Spending money has become a mindless, intangible sensation, so if you’re feeling like things are getting a little out of hand, simply turn back the clock and draw some cold hard cash.

“If you’re not the best with money and you find yourself mindlessly spending—and you just can’t seem to reign it in—I do recommend temporarily going for a 30-day detox where you spend cash only. It physically hurts handing over money, and you’re a lot more present in the decision-making process.” And if that’s not an option, stick to a debit card, “essentially you’re still spending cash,” says Campbell, “but what you’ve got in your account is all you’ve got. You can’t go into debt because it won’t allow you to.”