Consumer confidence might be at a two-year high but its always worth saving for the next rainy day. We show you how in five quick tips that will help you build up a healthy savings account and rely on your credit card less.
Cost per gram
When you're shopping for groceries it's easy to be swayed by slick packaging which can make big brand products stand out from their budget counterparts. But if you're out to save money, looking for the 'price per quantity' labels is the easiest way to make sure you're getting bang for your buck.
Buy in bulk
Coles, Woolworths and Aldi and now all competing on price so its time to use these supermarket wars to your advantage. If you've got the storage space in your house, buy up big on any heavily discounted items – just as long as it doesn't have a 'used by' date.
Credit card health
Have you completed a credit card health check recently? A quick review of your annual fees, interest rate and any special deals will take a matter of minutes. If you think you're paying too much in fees or interest, then compare credit cards and find a better card for you.
An overall check of your financial health is also a good idea. ASIC's MoneySmart site does a great Money Health check which lets you know whether you're on track financially or not.
Switching energy providers can be one of the fastest ways to save money on the household bills but it will only get you so far. Saving energy from the outset is the best way to secure savings year-on-year. Ditch inefficient heating options, invest in thermal-backed curtains to keep the heat in and take a look at your property's insulation. If you've got an empty roof space that's not properly insulated, you could be losing a lot of the warmth in your home.
Set up a visual guide
Pick up some chalkboard paint from your local paint store and spend an afternoon creating a 'budget wall' to help keep your finances on track. It might seem over the top when guests come round but you never know – it could be the conversation starter you need to swap budget tips with your friends.
Consider opening a special rainy-day savings account, which you can dip into to pay for unexpected car maintenance, doctors' bills or last-minute flights for special events. You can put as little or as much as you like into the account — just make sure you do so regularly.
If you've already got a transaction account and an everyday savings account, you might hesitate about opening another, but as long as you aren't paying annual fees, a separate account may mean you raid the funds less.