As most of you know my day job is to teach social workers about money so that they can then help their clients with their financial issues. A big part of the course is exchanging ideas on ways to save money. I love to hear everyone’s tips for saving money and it is one of my most favourite parts of the course. So, given I have heard heaps of ways to save money, I decided to compile all the best ones into this list. I am not suggesting you do all of the things on the list, but take a look and use the ideas that make sense to you.
- Use a separate bank account that is hard to access.
- Direct debit a set amount into your savings account as soon as you get paid.
- Get your employer to directly put part of your pay into your hard to access savings account so you never see it.
- Never spend a gold coin. As soon as you get one put it into a money box that you need to a can opener to open. This really adds up over a year.
- Never spend a $5 note. Again put it into a money box that you need a can opener to open and be surprised how much it adds up to by the end of the year.
- The night before you get paid clear out all the notes from your wallet and put them in a money box.
- When you get paid put any excess money you have left in your account directly into your savings account.
- If you use the internet to access your savings account try changing the password to your savings goal – such as “Holiday to Thailand” or “House deposit” so that every time you access the account you are reminded as to why you are saving the money in the first place.
- Check your spending leaks. A spending leak is something that you do regularly which you could do differently to save money. For example, on in my case I calculated I could save $2,184 per year simply by bringing my lunch to work and making my own hot chocolate in the office. A huge figure, especially given I only work 3 days per week!! To find out more click
- Track your spending by either writing all your spending down on a piece of paper or using MoneySmarts free TrackMySpend app. This will let you know where your money is going and indicate places where you can cut costs.
- Buy vouchers with excess cash in your wallet when you are at the supermarket. Stash them somewhere safe and see how they add up over a year. Just watch the expiry dates.
- Shop from your cupboard and spend only $21 for the week on groceries. If you are anything like me then you have enough food in your cupboards to last quite some time!! Sometimes I think I am a ‘doomsday prepper’, without the weapons or the underground shelter, but on the food front we will be fine in an emergency!!! Shopping from your cupboard means you make recipes for a week from what you already have then use a small amount of money, say $21, to by the extras you require. Then you put any money that you would have spent for the week on groceries into your savings account or money box.
- Sell things and put the money directly into your savings account. I recently raised $440 buying selling clothes and toys that my daughter no longer used. It was really easy! To read more about it please click here.
- Stash any windfalls you might have into a hard to access savings account before you have a chance to spend it! Maybe your tax refund?
- Pay excess on your mortgage, if you have one, then use a redraw to get it back if you need it. This will not only save you interest on your loan but shave years off your mortgage, meaning you will be owning your own home sooner.
There are heaps of different ways to save money. You might think these are just little things but I promise you it is these little things that make the difference. I had a single mum in my class who saved every $5 note over a year and took her kids on a ski weekend with $840 in $5 notes. So give the tips that you think suit you a try and you might be surprised how much you have by the end of 2015!!
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The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.