We’d all love to have a healthy bank balance but getting there isn’t always easy unless you have cast iron willpower when it comes to curtailing the old spending. Most of us keep telling ourselves we’ll start saving at a particular time, such as when we reach a certain age or get a wage increase, but somehow, obstacles always get in the way that stop us from starting to stash money away in a bank account.
The truth is, you can really only start saving money once you develop healthy money habits and really focus on the future of your finances rather than the immediacy of your current wants. Yes, we know how hard it can be to resist the temptation to buy those new clothes, the latest smartphone or that new kitchen gadget. Instead of saving, you prioritise those feel good things and the idea of saving money goes on the back burner until next month…or the month after.
Even worse, some people go into debt to buy that new stuff, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if debt begins to control your life, it’s a difficult cycle to get out of. So, your bank account gets depressed and it all becomes pretty overwhelming, right? Not necessarily, but it is indeed unhealthy - and it doesn’t have to be. So, here are five ways to save money that your bank account will love.
1. Pay off your credit card debts
If you want to start saving money, you have to pay off your credit card debts first. Credit card payments can be the biggest obstacle to saving money. We’ve got nothing against credit cards – so long as you pay them off entirely each month, but if that balance keeps rolling over, you’ll be paying hefty interest charges every month – and the way we see it, that’s giving away money for nothing, month after month.
Even worse, some of us are guilty of having multiple credit cards, using an advance from one to help pay the monthly payments on the other. Once you get your credit card debt under control – and by under control, we mean you pay the whole balance off every month - you can easily allocate the amount you were paying in interest to your savings.
2. Get rid of unused subscriptions
You might not realise it, but it’s highly likely you have multiple subscriptions that you’ve completely forgotten about and actually never (or hardly ever) use. An interesting study by Rest Super revealed that Aussies spend around $3.9 billion on unused subscriptions such as Netflix, Spotify, and Stan, as well as on unused mobile apps and services. Ever bought an app that had a small fee? Odds are, that small fee is actually an annual charge, so you will keep incurring fees even if you’ve long forgotten about the app.
Now that’s a whole lot of money going down the drain. Our advice is to thoroughly check your credit card transactions every month and if you see any charges on there for things you don’t really use, it’s time to ditch them. Cancel all those unused subscriptions or memberships now - and start putting that money into your savings account. Both you and your bank manager will be glad you did.
3. Save energy, save money
Did you know the average annual electricity bill in Australia is between $1,500 to $1,700 (and rising)? Did we just hear you say “ouch!”? With just a few simple tweaks at your home, you can reduce your electricity costs and put the money you save into your bank account. Start by taking shorter showers (not fewer!), washing your clothes in cold water, installing dimmer switches and energy efficient light bulbs, switching off the power to appliances when they’re not in use and investing in energy-saving appliances when they need to be replaced.
4. Eat at home and pack your lunch
While eating out is something we all like to indulge in, doing it too often can be a drain on your budget in the long run. Unfortunately, eating out is something us Aussies typically don’t do in moderation. Apparently we spend an average of $52 a week each dining out, an average of $31 a week on alcoholic bevvies. If you’re one of those average Aussie’s that’s a whopping $360 each month ($4,320 a year) that could be going into your savings. Pretty amazing huh?
Simple changes can make a huge difference - try packing your lunch during your workdays and make eating at home a habit. Eating in doesn’t need to be boring – try making your own gourmet pizzas or burgers and take a new culinary recipe for a test run each week.
4. Save on cleaning and skin care
There are a heap of websites that are full of clever tips to save money on cleaning supplies and DIY skin care. Check out The Organised Housewife, Madeline Olivia, Don’t Mess With Mama and LaMav – you’ll get loads of amazing tips that will help you to reduce costs and make your budget go further.
A final thought
Stop living payday to payday and start developing those healthy money habits now. Just follow the tips we’ve listed above, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy bank account in next to no time.
And remember - if you are in need of a little extra cash to pay the bills, fix the car, repair the house or take a holiday, we’re here to help. Just check out our small loans from $1,000 up to $5,000 to find out how easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours - so you can quickly take control of those expenses!