If there is one thing many Australians are not so good at, it is saving money. According to the 2013 BT Australian Financial Health Index, one-third of households have no savings, while 17 per cent of people said they would struggle to find $1,000 or even $500 to help pay for an emergency expense.
Although saving money appears to be straightforward and easy, it can be difficult for many people. It is something that requires strong fiscal discipline, motivation and, perhaps above all, a clear reason behind it. Some people may not see a point to save money if they cannot think of any clear personal benefit to having it sitting in their bank accounts.
There are many simple ways to save, however, with the following three ways being a great starting point in having a fiscally strong life.
Check Your Spending
Many large businesses undertake an audit every year, which includes the close monitoring of their accounts to see where funds have been spent. This can often benefit a business as it may be able to find areas where they can spend more wisely, which could help boost their profits.
While a person does not need to hire a professional auditor, conducting a self-review of finances and bank statements is an important step in finding out where to save money. It is likely that many people will be surprised with the amount and nature of their expenses, and may find easy ways to save money without impacting their day to day lives.
In reviewing bank statements, people may find that they may have spent money on subscriptions and automatically debited expenses for things they have not used for quite some time. People can then take the appropriate steps in removing these expenses (i.e. unsubscribing from any irrelevant subscriptions) and saving the money instead.
Shopping carefully does not have to mean buying lower quality food, the cheapest item on a restaurant menu or clothes from the ‘reduced to clear’ rack. While those measures will certainly lead to increased savings, consumer tastes do not need to be hugely compromised in order for one to save extra money.
When it comes to grocery shopping, keeping a close eye on weekly specials could help in saving a few dollars per week. Some markets also sell foods such as eggs, fruit and vegetables for prices that are often cheaper than major supermarkets, which helps makes them a good place to shop for those wanting to save money.
There are days when petrol is cheaper, usually at the start of the working week. Depending on the car one owns, filling up on those days could result in a saving as high as $20 per week – that’s a saving from doing the same thing on a different day.
Gets Others On Board
Whether it’s a spouse, family members, friends, or colleagues, finding other people who also has a goal of saving money is a simple way to keep a person on the money saving track. This works in a few different ways, including the sharing of ideas and keeping each other motivated to continue saving money.
With a group of people who have the save desire to save money, people have a greater exposure to money saving ideas and tips. This can help one adopt ways of saving that they had not previously thought about, which may result in more money being saved in the long run.
Close-knit members of a group are also likely to encourage other members to continue adopting habits that help them save money. Being surrounded by such like-minded people will help keep one motivated to save money without having to sacrifice any social commitments.
If you are having trouble getting a savings plan in place, our friendly team of accountants here in Melbourne at Hart Partners can help. Call us today on (03) 9600 3220 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org.