A few money tips
When it comes to saving money, every effort counts. So the sooner you start saving, the sooner you’ll reach your financial goals. Here’s a few money-saving tips to help you on your way.
Set savings goals to help with focus
It can be hard to save when you’ve got nothing to aim for. So set some savings goals now, for the future – both short and long term – to help you stay on track and keep you motivated.
- Short-term goals are smaller, and could include saving for a car, holiday or even a bigger TV.
- Long-term goals are larger, and could be saving for a house deposit or retirement.
To help you reach your goals, it’s advisable to create a budget so you can keep track of your finances and work out how much you can afford to save. Visit the Sorted website, which has helpful guides for creating a budget and setting and achieving your goals.
Make saving automatic
It’s easier to save when you don’t have to think about it 🙂 So set up an automatic payment that goes into your savings account every pay-day and pay yourself first. It’s a great way of making savings a normal part of managing your money.
You could also name your savings account whatever your goal is (‘Hawaii’ or ‘Home Deposit’ for example) to keep your goal more real.
Saving the Change
Saving your change is a clever way to help you save while you spend. It automatically rounds up electronic transactions to an amount you choose, then transfers the difference into your savings account. You probably won’t even notice you’re saving as you’re spending. Some of the better banks like ASB have automatic personal banking systems that can do this for you.
Pay your bills on time
Some companies give their customers an early payment discount that saves you money just by paying your bill on time. However, there is the other side with late payment fees – which charges you more for paying your bill late.
You can save money just by paying your bills on time. Set up automatic payments (for regular payment amounts) or direct debits (for irregular amounts) and your bills will be sorted automatically every time on the due date.
NB, if you’re paying by automatic payment make sure you check your bills each month in case you need to top it up or increase your regular payment amount.
Avoid impulse spending
You’ve seen this cool dress or the latest mobile phone and you’ve just got to have it. Or perhaps it’s that latest and greatest toy your children have been pestering you about. It’s easy to make the purchase without thinking too much about it, but taking a little extra time is always a good idea.
Avoiding impulse purchases is one of the first steps to good money management. It’s a good idea to wait 30 days before you spend. After a month has passed your urge to splurge may have already passed as well, and you’ll have saved money just by waiting.
Or, instead, why not put the cost of the item into a savings account? As you see your savings grow you’ll soon realise how much money can actually be spent on impulse buys.
Combine your debt and save on interest
If you’ve got a few debts – for example a car loan, credit card debt and hire purchase – it may be a good idea to combine them into one. With a debt consolidation loan you have just one loan for all your debts so managing debt becomes easier – and you could save money in interest costs too.
The money you save could then be used to pay down your loan faster. The faster your debt reduces, the lower your interest costs and the sooner you’ll have more free money to put into a long-term savings account.
At Loansmart, we specalise in debt consolidation – wrap up all your debts into one easy to manage payment – our application form is quick and easy.
Cancel memberships and subscriptions
Do you have a gym membership or magazine subscription? If you’re not using that membership or subscription, it may be a good idea to cancel it or find a cheaper plan that better suits you.
Even if you use it occasionally, you may still be better off canceling and paying as you go. Here’s how you can work out whether it’s worth canceling your membership or subscription:
The monthly cost of membership/subscription ÷ The average number of times you use it each month
This will give you the price you pay each time you use your membership/subscription. If this amount is more than the casual rate it may be time to cancel that membership or subscription and pay as you go.
Make healthy choices to help you save
Quitting smoking, avoiding takeaways, or passing on that morning coffee could be healthy for both you and your savings goal. One fewer flat white a day could save you over $20 a week, and if you smoke a pack a day and quit you’ll save approximately thousands a year!
Seeing your savings go up like this can also help motivate you to stick to your health goals. It’s a win-win for you.
And lastly, never give up!
We know saving money can take a lot of will power, sacrifice and focus. But once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier – and in the future, you’ll be thankful you started saving when you did.
Take time to follow money management blogs and read lots. If you find you’ve stopped saving or don’t save as regularly as you’ve planned, pause for a moment, take a deep breath, figure out where it’s not working for you and start again. You will get there 🙂