Millennials the world over have a reputation for squandering their cash on clothes, coffee and avocado on toast.
But Australian blogger Michelle Barnes, who is better known to fans as MuchelleB, is out to smash that stereotype with a self-devised system to create better financial habits.
In a recent YouTube video, Michelle revealed how she paid off $30,000 worth of debt in 1.5 years and also managed to save for a $12,000 six-week European trip in the process.
‘My life now looks radically different to what it did four years ago,’ she said in the video.
Here, FEMAIL looks at her simple six-step plan for increasing your wealth and achieving your money goals – whatever they may be.
Australian blogger and YouTube star Michelle Barnes (pictured) is better known to her fans as MuchelleB
1. Embrace decluttering
A surefire way to spark a money mindset is to begin de-cluttering.
What Is Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method?
The tidying up expert encourages people to put everything they own in a pile, clasp each and every object, then keep only those that ‘spark joy’.
Those that don’t need to be discarded, but only after it has been thanked for its service
Michelle explained she was once the sort of person that ‘bought clothes all the time’ and she said she remembers having a cupboard that was so full of ‘c**p, I was afraid to open it’.
An embrace of the Konmari method and a 30-day decluttering challenge gave her the ability to ‘get rid of a lot of stuff’.
‘There’s something about resetting your space entirely gets you to a point that you wouldn’t be able to fathom letting things get back to where they were,’ she said.
‘It reshapes your cupboards in the most positive ways because you think more mindfully about what you spend your money on.’
Speaking on her YouTube clip, Michelle explained she was once the sort of person that ‘bought clothes all the time’
2. Diversify your income
Michelle explained while that she works full time in a job she earns a good income from, she also generates extra money through blogging and YouTube.
She said turning to the strategies outlined by The Barefoot Investor, in particular the section dedicated to creating your own source of income, helped her to think more broadly about ways to make money.
‘Because relying on someone else, a big business or even a small business to literally support your life and enable you to live is scary,’ she said.
‘Relying on someone else, a big business or even a small business to literally support your life and enable you to live is scary’
‘For me diversifying my income looks like creating YouTube videos, earning income from Google AdSense, also by creating an e-book, having a second channel, having brand deals and looking into affiliate links.’
She believes bringing in extra income, rather than restricting, is more helpful when trying to take control of money matters.
‘Restriction can be important in those first stages, especially if you’re stopping yourself buying an excessive amount of clothing or makeup.
‘But I have no interest in restricting myself and I would rather earn more, not an excessive amount but enough so I don’t need to restrict myself from spending on the things that I value.’
Michelle believes bringing in extra income, rather than restricting, is more helpful when trying to take control of money matters.
3. Set up automatic bank payments
Taking control of your finances means making sure you’ve covered your living costs first before you go out and spend.
‘As soon as my money hits my account every week I have a loan repayment that goes out, my rates, my water gets paid, my rent, my tax that I need to pay for YouTube, it all comes out as soon as my money hits my account,’ Michelle said.
She said the reason she does this is simply that ‘she hates paying bills’ and if she had to do this every week ‘you could be guaranteed I would have terrible credit’.
‘Then you have auto savings for living your best life,’ she continued.
‘I have auto savings for my emergency fund, then there is money automatically taken out for whatever experience I am saving for at the time.’
‘There’s something about resetting your space entirely gets you to a point that you wouldn’t be able to fathom letting things get back to where they were,’ Michelle said
4. Create a most-important things list
Of all of Michelle’s tips, she says this one is the most important.
She explained because when you become clear about where you want your money to go, you will stop spending it on the things that don’t matter.
‘I know pretty automatically what is important to me when it comes to where I put my money and it helps me to think about if I am spending in line with my values,’ she said.
‘My biggest investment recently was YouTube Labs which is a course on doing YouTube better.
‘Thinking about all my purchases recently I feel I can confidently say that my purchases do reflect my values.’
Taking control of your finances means making you’ve covered your living costs first before you go out and spend
5. Limit ‘at home doing nothing takeout’
‘This step is very important, especially for people my age,’ Michelle said.
The blogger said while she hasn’t been the sort of person to get takeout every night of the week, there have been times when she’s ordered food two or three times in a row.
‘Over a long time this can be a huge waste of money, so I limit my at home doing nothing takeout to just once a week.’
She said she tries to make a ‘big fuss out of getting takeout’ which means her and her partner will set aside time to choose something to watch together before indulging in a favourite meal.
‘I think nearly everyone my age if they’re not spending most of their money on clothes, then they’re probably spending it on food.
‘So if you cut down on takeout drastically, even if you cut it out altogether, you will save a heap of money.’
Michelle revealed how she paid off $30,000 worth of debt in 1.5 years and also managed to save for a $12,000 six-week European trip
6. Avoid opportunities to buy things
If you’re making an effort to save, it pays to have a plan in place to avoid temptation.
‘A bad thing about shopping centres is how easy it is to acquire new things and spend a lot of money on things you hadn’t even considered buying before,’ Michelle said.
The blogger said the Internet was a lifesaver when it comes to her weekly shop an a smart approach has seen her curb her addiction to online shopping.
‘A lot of my urges to shop when I was in my bad shopping phase were because I would receive an email from a company with all of their newest products and their beautiful editorial made everything look fabulous and I felt like I needed everything.’
The blogger said the Internet was a lifesaver when it comes to her weekly shop an a smart approach has seen her curb her addiction to online shopping
Her advice? Unsubscribe from emails that prompt you to purchase anything, unfollow any product companies on Instagram you know will tempt you, and install AdBlocker.
‘If you do look at a product on a site, it’s not going to follow you around your entire life until you purchase it,’ she said.
‘You want to cultivate a mindset where you don’t feel a need to buy things constantly.
And lastly, she said to keep working on your mindset.
‘Prioritise getting to the point where you don’t need to buy so much.’