We love good hacks that help you get ahead of your finances. We know that putting money aside can be challenging sometimes, but with a little bit of planning, this can become a lot easier. We wanted to share with you these easy and very helpful tips to help you plan your savings.
The following tips from MoneySmart will help you get started:
1. Changing habits - little by little.
It seems like they all don't cost much, but adding everything up at the end of the week, month, or year, we realise they can take quite a significant share of our hard earned money. Some examples of little things you can change:
- Give up drinking coffee or cut down on alcohol - it may sound scary but it will save you money and can have health benefits.
- Cancel your gym membership and try cheap or free ways to get fit instead.
- Make your lunch at home.
- Have people over for dinner rather than going out and ask everyone to bring a plate of food.
- Borrow books and DVDs from the library.
- Lock up your credit card for a month and only pay for things with cash.
- Get into the habit of checking your bank statements.
- Set a limit for birthday and Christmas presents or give homemade gifts.
- Share gardening tools and equipment with your neighbours rather than each buying one of everything.
2. Start saving with a friend or your partner.
It can be harder to save money when the people around you are keen to spend. Try and find a friend who also wants to save money. You can share tips, enjoy cheap nights out and borrow from each other rather than buy new things.
You could even have a competition to see who saves the most money over a set time.
3. Savings on clothes.
With fashion changing every season, you don't really need to buy new clothes all the time:
- If you're buying clothes, check if you can wash them to avoid dry cleaning bills.
- If you buy something, make sure it goes with at least two other things in your wardrobe so you can get a few different outfits out of one item.
- Check op-shops and local markets for bargains.
- Take advantage of stocktake sales or end-of-season clearances to pay less for the things you need.
4. Deals and savings on electricity, gas, water, food and groceries.
There are lots of ways to cut costs at the supermarket checkout without going hungry or sacrificing quality. See MoneySmart's how to save money on food for some great ideas to help stretch your grocery dollars.
If you're looking for ways to reduce how much water or electricity your household uses, you might be surprised at the difference just a few small changes can make. See more on MoneySmart on how to save water and electricity.
5. Bank fees - there are ways to reduce them.
Some financial institutions offer basic bank accounts with:
- No account keeping fees
- Free monthly statements
- No minimum deposit amounts
- No overdrawn fees
You can find which financial institutions offer these basic bank accounts on the Australian Bankers' Association's Affordable Banking website.
6. Have you heard of the Saver Plus Program?
Saver Plus helps families on low incomes develop a savings habit and improve financial skills. Saver Plus can help you set a savings goal and help you reach it.
When you reach your goal, your savings are matched, dollar for dollar, up to $500. Find out more about Saver Plus.
Excited to start saving? Check out our Budget Planner calculator to put all your expenses and savings into perspective. When you're ready, check out some great rates on savings accounts and term deposits, and make your money work for you.