Money is one of life’s greatest tools. It can buy convenience, freedom, experiences and can make life easier.
Here are some practical tips to kick start your savings:-
- Create a realistic budget. Before you can save you must work out how much money you have and how you spend it. Without a budget, you really don’t have a chance at saving money.
You can download a budget spreadsheet here https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner
- Save little, save often. Forget stretch goals/targets. Focus on little savings everyday. If you get something cheaper than normal, add that saving into your savings account and watch your savings accumulate. Don’t try and save $100’s of dollars each pay if you are only going to withdraw it later.
- Get a cork-board and start to visualise your money for the year. A board can be used for pinning upcoming bills, events that cost money and create an inspiring way to save money for the week. Use the board to hang pictures of what you can do with the extra money to further motivate yourself.
- Go on dates that cost next to nothing. Don’t get caught up on the amazing dates cycle of expensive restaurants, concerts, weekends away and sports games that can run your bank account dry. Come up with cheap date ideas such as having a dinner and movie night in, going to see a local band or pack up a picnic basket and head for the beach or a beautiful location that you have been meaning to visit.
- Sign up for free reward programs. Take advantage of free reward programs that are available. Many services such as Netflix offer free trials that can help you receive free movie rentals. Other types of reward programs on offer through supermarkets can help you save money every time you shop.
- Make the most of grocery shopping. Groceries are necessary expenses. Making a shopping list also helps not make unnecessary and impulse purchases. Buy necessities (toilet paper, laundry powder, detergent) on sale and in bulk.
- When furnishing your place, buy used. If you need furniture, buying new tables and chairs can add up fast. Instead try to bargain hunt at garage sales or online market places such as e-bay and gumtree. You will be surprised what you can find and with a little TLC and a coat of paint etc, a coffee table can look like new.
- Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions. Magazine subscriptions, foxtel and online media subscriptions can add unnecessary costs to your weekly budget. Really get ruthless around what is ‘necessary’ versus ‘unnecessary’ and cancel those expenses hidden expenses.
- Take cheaper holidays. When possible take cheaper holidays, consider camping instead of pricey hotels or hire a campervan. Try to find discounts through online sites such as Groupon and Living Social for discounts on travel, accommodation, meals and other holiday expenses.
- Check your current insurance policies. Do not treat your insurance renewal as simply another bill. Check and read your insurance policies (car, home, contents, life) and see what you are covered for and what is excluded. Look and compare combining policies with an appropriate insurance provider who provides a multi-policy discount.
- Review and compare your health insurance. Also check your current health insurance and see what you are covered for and what you actually need. Compare health insurance providers and get the best deal.
- Give up the plastic. Get rid of the credit cards if your goal is to save money. You will get trapped into a continuous cycle of credit card debt. If you don’t have the money upfront, do not buy it.
- Check your superannuation. Many of Australians have lost track of some of their superannuation due to changing jobs and not moving your superannuation. Track your lost super down to potentially increase your retirement next egg. You can contact the ATO or www.findmysuper.com.au
- Making your own lunch. Taking your own lunch to work everyday can potentially save you over $1,000 per annum. More importantly, you know what you are eating and how it was prepared.
- Have frequent discussions about your goals. When making any savings plan, its key to account for what your future goals are and what you are actually saving for. By discussing what you want and what is realistically possible to accomplish, you can adjust your savings plan as required.
Saving money can often feel like an impossible challenge. By making simple changes to how you and your partner spend and save, you can grow your savings at a faster rate.
Talk to us today about how we can work with you to construct your own personal savings plan.
This post contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.
If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial adviser, Charter Financial Planning Limited and other companies within the AMP Group may receive fees and other benefits. The fees will be a dollar amount and/or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investment. Please contact us if you want more information.