10 Money Tips for Yacht Stews
Being a Superyacht Stewardess has many perks, such as travelling to exclusive hidden gems, having elite experiences, and making long-lasting friendships. And let’s not forget the financial side of things; you get free food, accommodation, and the opportunity to receive added income such as tips. But if you are not in control of your money, you will not benefit from these financial perks. I am sharing my top 10 Money Tips for Yacht Stews who want to be in charge of their money and take advantage of the opportunities of working at sea. Let’s start!
#1 Educate Yourself
If you want to be in charge of your finances, you need to learn how to manage your money. Following these tips is just the beginning. To continue this journey, I invite you to take the free finance courses offered by Bola Sokunbi from Clever Girl Finance or read a book like My Money My Way: Taking Back Control of Your Financial Life by Kumiko Love. They both have influenced and supported me in learning how to manage my money big time.
#2 Get Clear On Your Financial Goals
Having clarity around what you want to achieve with your money will give you a guiding map to create a budget that matches those goals. When setting financial goals it is essential to start small and then build from there. For example, one of your goals could be having an emergency fund; this comes in handy for unexpected expenses such as finding yourself in between jobs. Another could be paying off debt, travelling, or saving for your first house deposit. Whatever your goals are when writing them, add the reasons you want to achieve them, as it puts them in perspective and fuels your motivation.
#3 Know Where Your Money Is Going
Better money management starts with spending awareness. If you don’t know what and where you’re spending your money each month, there’s a good chance your spending pattern has room for improvement. To understand your spending better, you should track it for at least three months. You can also look back at your last three bank statements and analyse your spending habits with the help of a spreadsheet. Make use of money management apps such as Mint to track spending across categories and see how much you’re spending on non-essentials such as dining, entertainment, and shopping. Alternatively, you can use a spreadsheet. These are easily created with the help of Nerd Wallet. Once you’ve educated yourself on these habits, you can make a plan to improve.
#4 Create A Realistic Budget
Use your monthly spending pattern and income to set a budget you know you can keep. Create a budget that works with your lifestyle, spending habits, and financial goals. Do keep in mind your budget will fluctuate and shift from time to time, depending on your income, expenses, and objectives. At the start is helpful to set a budget percentage rule such as 60/20/20 or 50/20/30 so it’s easier to understand where your money should be allocated. The first digit means the percentage that will go towards essentials, the second is savings, and the third is for non-essentials. But these rules are a guideline, and you can create one that fit your needs. A budget will encourage you to have better spending habits but give yourself a realistic shot at meeting this budget. That’s the only way this money management method will work.
#5 Have Your Money In Multiple Accounts
Having all the money in one place also makes spending easier because you can access the funds with a single bank transfer. Having your money spread across accounts such as Income, Bills, Savings, and Retirement will ensure you stick to your budget and give you a clear view of how you are reaching your financial goals. At the very minimum, it’s a good idea to have at least one checking and one savings account. Beyond that, consider your financial goals.
#6 Prioritise Paying Off Your Debt
If you have an outstanding student or personal loan, or credit cards that need attention, I recommend prioritizing paying down debt while making small contributions to your savings. Once you’ve paid off your debt, you can then contribute to your savings the full amount you were previously paying each month toward debt. If you have debt, you can use a percentage rule such as 60/10/10/20, which translates to essentials/savings/non-essentials/debt. If this rule doesn’t fit your
needs, create your own.
#7 Save Money And Use Buckets
When I started my yachting career, I saved money and then spent it on travelling or living expenses between jobs. Once I introduced buckets into my saving strategy, saving for both short- and long-term goals was a breeze. Using buckets allowed me to manage my savings efficiently and got me out of depleting my savings repeatedly. I use Ally Bank for my savings, and it has a bucket tool inside its online banking platform; if your bank doesn’t offer this tool, you can always keep track of your buckets on a spreadsheet or open new savings account for each bucket. To make the most of your money, I suggest using High Yield Savings accounts.
#8 Prep For Retirement
I get it you are young, and retirement seems so far away. But the truth is the more you wait, the more money you lose towards ensuring you have a good retirement plan for when you don’t want to work anymore. Working as a yacht stew allows you to get your retirement plan rolling exponentially because of the financial perks you get at sea. The best way to save for retirement it’s to invest in low-risk index funds, as Warren Buffet, aka the most successful investor of the 20th century, suggests. Index funds are great long-term investments that have the potential to set you up for retirement. But of course, like everything else in life, not all index funds are the same, so I invite you to learn more about them. A great way to do this is by reading The Index Cards by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack.
#9 Pay Your Taxes
Many of us have the misconception that working as yacht crew means tax-free living. But this is far from the truth. It is your responsibility to pay any taxes or social security due. The tax owed depends on many factors, including your residency and its tax regulations. Understanding your tax position is not only essential but your responsibility. Remember that you won’t be at sea your entire life, which means once on land, you will want to use the benefits of having social security and government aid, but for that to happen, your contribution through taxes is vital. But I get it taxes and living at sea is a grey area; that’s why having an accountant or financial advisor it’s essential. There are plenty of great UK companies that can support you, including CrewFO. If you are paying taxes in the USA, check out Singh and Associates.
#10 Invest In Your Career Development
If you want to make more money as a yacht stew, you need to become a Top-Notch Chief Stewardess, and I’m here to help you get there. Click here to learn how I can support you in stepping up as a Chief stew and getting your piggy bank fatter!
And remember, taking control of your finances is not a destination, it’s a journey, so be kind to yourself and get the support you need.