Ever feel just a little bit jealous when you think about how the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Kylie Minogue have made it on the list of the richest people in Australia? Sadly, for most of us, there’s no chance we’ll make it onto that list any time soon, and odds are you find it hard to build good money habits. Saving money is a struggle for many, especially in these uncertain COVID-19 times. If your budget seems to have gone a bit pear-shaped recently, here are some simple ways to help you get back on track.
Avoid unhealthy spending habits
If you’re saving up for something substantial such as your child’s education, or you’re planning a big trip, this usually means long hours of work, or even taking a second job to get the money in. At the end of the day, if you still find yourself not being able to save enough it might be time for some self-evaluation, as you may have developed some unhealthy spending habits that you need to avoid.
Do you often go to the supermarket after office hours to buy things you already have at home? Do you drop by the cafe almost every day for some snatch and grab when you can actually cook it yourself? Or maybe you can’t drink coffee if it hasn’t been made by your favourite barista? It’s super easy to develop spending habits that see you buying things you can live without. This is an unhealthy financial habit - and you need to avoid it in order to get back on track with saving money.
Focus on your financial goals
List down where you want to be on your finances in one year, 5 years, 10 years and in the longer term. Set your financial goals accordingly and focus on them. Be as specific as possible. While there may be some inevitable setbacks along the way and some of your goals may have to change, it will still be a lot easier for you to get back on track if you have a clear vision of what you’re saving for. The one thing that financially successful people have in common is their ability to set goals and a determination to reach them.
Set the right short-term rewards
Saving money relies on delaying gratification, which most of us are terrible at. We tend to favour short-term rewards over those that require us to wait. This natural human behaviour can affect not only our finances, but other aspects of our lives too, such as our health and well-being. While it may be hard to fight the desire for having those objects of your desire in the here and now, allowing yourself some small short-term rewards can keep you on track. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with rewarding yourself with something like dinner at a nice restaurant if you are able to stick to your budget for a whole month.
Set your budget
Setting your budget is the core of your savings plan. With a properly set budget, you can also set your expense priorities, helping you to keep the right balance between saving and spending. Check your credit card and bank statements, bills, and receipts so you allow for your regular expenses, such as electricity, rent or mortgage, transport and food.
Use cash instead of credit cards
It’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending process of trying to pay off your credit card balance. If that sounds like you, maybe it’s time to switch to cash instead of the old plastic. This gives you a hard limit on your spending and keeps you more aware of your priorities. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save when you’re literally watching every cent.
Look out for great deals
Savvy savers know how to spot a great deal that will save them money. Sign up to receive great deal alerts from sites such as Groupon and Catch, and don’t forget to shop around for the best deals for expenses such as your insurances and electricity – you can literally save hundreds of dollars each year just by doing some comparison shopping.
It’s time to start saving
Things may not have been easy lately and saving money can be quite a struggle, but now is the best time to ditch those unhealthy financial habits. We know that getting back on track to saving money is hard, and sometimes it helps to consolidate your debt, so you don’t have lots of high interest bills you need to keep track of.
If you need a little financial help to get things back under control, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans from $1K - $5K to find out how quick and 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 have a fresh new financial start!