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Testing the generations: How would you save under pressure?

Tags Money Management
Category Save

Anthony Fensom

“A penny saved is a penny earned,” said Benjamin Franklin, but with a recent survey by RaboDirect showing that more and more Aussie baby boomers are going into retirement still owing money on a mortgage, are we taking heed?

What are the options for the different generations when it comes to saving money and do different generations have a different reaction when deprived of funds or stretched to their limits?

Are Gen Y able implement more drastic cost-cutting practices?

Gen Y individuals who are trying to save are often classed as the lucky ones, as they are most likely to be in a position to move back home should they need to save money. It’s not an ideal situation, but it could potentially help themselves and their folks. Money saved on cheaper rent can be paid back to the parents a trend that is becoming increasingly common.

For those who do not have this option, downsizing to a smaller and cheaper apartment or sharing with friends is the next best thing. While moving house may seem drastic, it is the quickest way to save money for those who don’t own much furniture or have any dependents.

Baby boomers and self-sustainability

For older people with families, this is less likely to be a realistic option. Baby boomers’ cost-cutting practices tend to revolve more around saving through self-sustainability.

Retiree Llynlly Jones says there are a number of ways to save money, particularly for those with a house and garden:

“Use your garden as much as possible to grow cheaper food, and at the supermarket, buy meat substitutes such as lentils and chickpeas,” she says. “Buy in bulk to save money and don’t buy expensive cereals for breakfast; avoid meat and seafood.”

Jones also suggests cutting back on car usage to save petrol, with fewer expensive nights out at the theater or restaurants.

All generations can make savings around the home

“At home, it’s possible to save on electricity use by using the dishwasher less or having fewer hot baths. If bills are outstanding with utilities providers, contact them to discuss extending payment terms.”

Taking in a boarder is another option for those with spacious houses, although not everyone may be willing to share their private property.

Similarly, middle-aged office worker Janene Darben says she “wouldn’t drive anywhere and wouldn’t go out. I’d cancel the gym and health fund memberships to save money.”

Saving tips for Gen X

For Generation X workers with kids, savings measures could include cancelling magazine subscriptions, internet or pay television services or other non essentials. Rather than taking the family overseas or interstate for a holiday, consider going on day trips without staying in hotels.

Gen Xs are most likely to be in the position where they have started to branch out into the luxuries of life unfortunately, these things are the first to go.

What would you cut back on to save money in a crisis?