BY JUNO EDITOR BRENDA WARD
1. AUTO SAVINGS
You can’t beat automated savings. We have a separate account for savings and have money direct debited into it. We don’t need to do anything and we can watch it grow.
2. Never save your credit card number
When you’re on an online shopping site, never tick the ‘Remember Me’ box. It makes it far too easy to click ‘Buy’ the next time you’re browsing. Having to search for your card and fill in the details gives you important ‘thinking time’. I find I often change my mind and scrap the purchase.
3. Try using cash
Cash makes spending (and saving) real. When I was flatting, we used jars for rent, electricity and phone bills and everyone put their cash into the jar each week. So, when my husband and I were travelling in our 20s, we used jars to keep our bill money in. When we knew that all the bills and spending were taken care of, the rest went towards our big holiday around the Mediterranean, in a tent and our old sports car. Now we keep it up by giving ourselves cash spending money. When that’s gone, we have to ask ourselves if we really want to EFTPOS it.
4. Get a spending app on your phone
My son uses Westpac Cashnav app, a money management tool, which tracks his spending and puts it into categories so you know how much you’ve spent on luxuries and treats. He says since he started using it, he now thinks twice before reaching for his card.
5. When you get a pay rise, increase your savings
I like to spend the extra the first month after an increase, as a reward. Then I increase my direct debit amount. If you find you need that extra money, then you can change your payment amount later. Until then, you won’t even miss it. I never have. Talking to financial advisers, it appears the more people earn, the more they spend. It’s alarming how many people spend more than they earn, sometimes without realising it. Some of these couples are on $100,000-plus each. Which brings me to …
6. Do an audit of your spending
Take a simple spreadsheet and add up what you spent last month. Did you max out at the supermarket? Did you go mad at the mall? Are you eating out every week? It gives a chance to question your choices and it’s OK if you want to keep that coffee a day. At least you’ll have thought about it. I’m making coffee on my machine at home and taking it to work in a keep cup. That’s a saving of $100 a month. Accidentally, I’ve saved about another $7 a week by not grabbing a yummy brioche while I’m standing at the café counter.