Whether you live in those cities or are struggling to keep up with Australia’s ever-increasing cost of living, this statistic is surely a frightening fact to digest. The good news is that you can always empower yourself by stretching your dollar further and staying committed to a financial savings plan.
1. Start small
It’s not about how much you put away, it’s simply about doing it – we all know a little can go a long way. Before you know it, staying committed to a dedicated savings plan can turn into a small fortune. A great recommendation when starting out is to put 10 per cent of your weekly earnings into a savings account.
2. Set up direct deposits
If you’re the type who has a penchant for spending as soon as your salary hits your bank account, why not set up automatic direct deposits into your high yielding online savings account to eliminate temptation.
3. Be realistic
There’s no point in setting a savings goal that is either too easy or completely unattainable. The key is to aim for a savings target that is challenging yet realistic, so you have enough motivation to achieve it.
4. Reward yourself
Going cold turkey usually leads to failure. If you’re learning to financially discipline yourself and are sticking to your savings plan every week, don’t refrain from rewarding yourself. Buy a treat or luxury item every once in a while, but don’t make it a habit or your savings will quickly deplete.
5. Save for the right reasons
Ask yourself why you are saving. What motivates you? Is it the prospect of owning a home one day, to fund education or venture on a much-needed holiday? If you’re saving for a well-deserved reward or something to enhance your life, you won’t view the act of saving as a miserable one.
6. Pay yourself last
Firstly, pay off your debts and living expenses. Once they’re out of the way, put your savings away and work out how much free money (if any) you have left. It’s your choice to buy something with it, or invest more into your savings.
7. Debt first, savings second
If you’re currently in debt, there’s no point putting a stack of your money into savings – you’re just using up your funds to pay mounting interest. Instead, consolidate your debt and pay off those with the highest interest rates. Once completed, any remaining funds can be invested into savings.
8. Buy in bulk
A good rule is to buy in bulk where possible. It might be the groceries or a transport pass, but the savings can be invested back into your savings account. For example, buying a prepaid 10-trip bus ticket is far cheaper than buying individual bus tickets each time you travel.
9. Balance the future
It’s important to save for the long term and the short term. Long-term savings plans (such as retirement and super) can seem like mundane tasks, so set short-term goals to keep savings fun and motivating.
10. Go online
Whenever you plan to make a purchase, do your research online so you are educated about the real cost of an item or service. If it’s cheaper online, buy it. The extra money you would have outlayed buying it via a more expensive outlet could be put straight into your savings account.
By taking advantage of some of these simple savings tips, you can get yourself out of the red and into financially helpful habits that will allow you to save for the most important things in life.