Saving is something most of us want to do more of. We often give it a go with the best intentions, but a few months down the track, look back and wonder where all the money went that ISN’T in the savings account. Here are 7 tips to turbocharge your savings:
Start with a plan
Set your saving goal, a new car, your first home or maybe an investment property. Take a look at your expenses vs. your income and see if there is anywhere you could cut back on those expenses. Then make a budget and decide how much you can realistically put away into savings each week, fortnight or month. The most important thing here is to commit to putting that money away.
Pay your savings account first
So you’ve got a plan and have decided how much you’re going to put away on a regular basis. To make sure that actually happens and the money isn’t spent elsewhere, set up a direct debit for that money to go into the savings account automatically. If you don’t see the money in your everyday bank account, you can’t be tempted to spend it.
Shop around for a high interest savings account
Obviously the highest interest rate is going to be the most attractive, but make sure you’re aware of the other conditions of the account. Common conditions include the high rate being for an introductory period and minimum amounts you need to deposit each month.
Little bits add up – save them
If you can go without an extra latte, buying a magazine or other un-necessary expense for the day, put the money into your savings account. With internet banking and the smart phone apps that most banks offer, there’s no excuse to not do this frequently provided you won’t be charged transaction fees. Those little deposits, even if only made a couple of times a week, can really add up in a month.
Get a better deal on your essentials
You can’t cut out things like the phone, electricity, internet and insurance payments, but you can save a lot by shopping around. Your current provider may even offer you a better deal or package if you let them know you are looking elsewhere and they think they may lose your business.
Stop paying for things you don’t, or very rarely use
It can be easy to hold onto a gym membership because the intention of getting into a routine is there, but just hasn’t happened. If you haven’t been for a few months, cancel that membership. If you have pay TV with all the channels but don’t really watch them all, downgrade your plan. Got a magazine subscription that you barely have time to read? Cancel it.
Get a smart phone app to track your budget
There’s an abundance of apps out there designed to help you save money. From simply tracking your expenses to keeping an eye on your whole budget and financial position, they’re a great way to really integrate saving into your everyday routine.