Save $8000 with 8 simple tips

Save $8000 with 8 simple tips

Are you finding your money isn’t going as far at the moment? Take control of your cash with these eight tips from finance guru Ross Greenwood to help you save thousands of dollars in one year.

“We all know the cost of living is up and saving can be hard, but we’ve done a few calculations and worked out that you could save up to $8000 a year and surprisingly it’s easier than you think,” Greenwood told Nine’s Today show.

Stop paying ATM fees

Australians wasted around $56 million accessing their own money at the ATM at Christmas time last year, simply by using automatic teller machines serviced by a bank that is not their own, according to RateCity calculations.

Agreeing to a non-account holder surcharge of around $2 per transaction may seem minimal at the ATM. But consider the nation’s annual bill for such convenience; transaction account customers racked up almost $660 million in 2011 using the wrong ATMs.

“If you don’t use your own you’re going to be charged $2 or $3 a time. If you do this once a week that’s going to add up to $150 a year,” said Greenwood.

Lotto isn’t a savings plan

If you bought just one ticket in October’s $50 million Oz Lotto draw, your chances of winning were just one in almost 45.4 million. Despite this, around 3.8 million were purchased for the draw.

A lot of people bought a lot of tickets in the hope of changing their lives forever. But is the cost of a ticket really worth it?

“A mega-pick costs $25 a week in Oz Lotto, which equates to $1750 a year. Sure if you can afford it no problems, but if you can’t it’s an easy saving,” said Greenwood.

Coffee is a luxury item

Australia is a nation of coffee drinkers, according to analysis which shows an expanding café culture.

In 2010, Australians spent around $773.5 million on coffee beans and instant coffee for brewing at home – and that’s not taking into the consideration the amount we spend on takeaway coffee or coffee consumed in a café.

“I love a coffee, but the truth is do I really need it or is it something that’s a bit of a luxury? At $3.50 a day during your working life that’s going to be at least $700 a year,” said Greenwood.

Quit and save $2500

“If it’s not all about your health, then certainly it’s a cancer on your budget,” he said.

“Take this for a consideration; a packet of cigarettes these days costs around $16, smoke three packets a week that’s $48 and over the course of a year it’s $2500”.

Unused subscriptions waste $840

“Anything you subscribe to but don’t use is a waste of money. People with unused gym memberships are the worst offenders; most gyms cost about $70 a month, if you never or rarely go you could be saving $840 a year,” said Greenwood.

“The same applies to magazine subscriptions, book clubs and wine offers – these are one area you can cut back.”

Cut your grocery bill

If cleaning out your fridge each week supplies you with a steady diet of frustration and guilt, then consider this: Australians waste an estimated 4 million tonnes of food annually. Up to 40 percent of the average kerbside garbage bin is food; that’s equivalent to 178 kilos, and over $1000, per person every year in the bin, according to the Foodwise campaign.

But consuming food that would otherwise go to waste, or simply buying less, isn’t the only way to cut grocery costs, according to Greenwood.

“It’s all about shopping smart. Take branded flour, for example, at $2.99, yet the generic flour is just $0.95. It’s the same stuff! If you shop smart and generic you can save up to $450 a year.”

Eat out fortnightly and save

If you take a family of four out once a week, even for pizza, it could cost you $60 or $70 if you throw a bottle of wine in as well, he said.

“That could cost you up to $3500 a year! If you want to save $1700, do it once a fortnight.”

Sleep on it

Buying items on impulse is a big money waster, according to Greenwood, who suggests avoiding watching infomercials on TV.

“The message is “buy it now” and the reason is the urgency of the message wants you to part with your cash quickly without thinking and that’s where you’ll waste money,” he said.

By implementing these simple savings tips, consumers could save up to $8000. So what will you do with the extra savings?

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Learn more about bank accounts

Can the government take your money from your bank account?

There are some instances when the government can take money from your bank account. This generally occurs in situations where you have an outstanding government debt.

Before it can take money from your bank account, the government authority owed money would first need to issue a garnishee notice. 

A garnishee notice is issued by the government agency (such as Centrelink or the ATO) to a third party that holds money for you or owes you money.

To take money from your bank account, your bank would be issued with the garnishee notice requiring it to pay ‘your money’ to the requesting agency to satisfy the debt.

How do you transfer money from PayPal to a bank account?

Transferring money from PayPal to an Australian bank account is simple. Just follow these three steps:

  • Go to your Wallet
  • Click ‘Transfer Money’
  • Follow the instructions

The money will take three to seven business days to reach your bank account.

Once you’ve made the transfer request, it can’t be withdrawn.

Can you deposit money into somebody else's bank account?

One of the easiest banking tasks in the world is depositing money. You can even deposit money into someone else’s bank account if you wish.

The basic information you need to deposit money into a third-party bank account is:

  • Payee’s name
  • Bank, building society or credit union (though this isn’t necessary)
  • BSB (or bank code, which is the branch identifier)
  • Account number

Including the name of the financial institution isn’t necessary – particularly with online banking – because the BSB will identify this for you.

A handy tip is to record yourself (or add a personal message) in the transaction description or reference. This will show up on the recipients account, letting them know who’s paid them the money.

How to transfer money to another bank account

Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.

Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.

One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.

Transfers can be also made via internet banking and phone banking.

Some banks also allow customers to make transfers via partnered ATMs, especially if the account is with the same bank.

Can debt collectors take money out of your bank account?

Many people find themselves struggling to cope with debt at one time or another. In these cases, a debt collector could contact you to demand payment for a debt, to explain the consequences of you failing to pay a debt, or to organise alternative payment arrangements.

If you’re contacted by a debt collector, you may be wondering what their rights are and whether they can take money out of your bank account.

Creditors cannot access money in your bank account unless a court order (also known as a ‘garnishee order’) is made to allow creditors to recover debt by taking money from your bank account or salary.

If this happens, the creditor can take money out of your bank account unless you pay the debt in full or make an alternative payment arrangement such as paying in instalments through the court.

How can I wire money to a bank account?

You can wire money to an Australian bank account either through your own bank or by using a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Either way, you’ll need the other person’s name, BSB number and account number. If you use a money transfer company, you might also need to provide the recipient’s address for large payments.

How do I transfer money from Paypal to my bank account?

Transferring cash from Paypal into your bank account is simple…if you have a Paypal account that is.

Once you’re logged into your Paypal account, the account balance will appear on your home page. Below your balance are two options:

  • Add money
  • Withdraw money

Choose option two if you want to transfer money from your Paypal account to your personal bank account.

The next screen will prompt you to either enter new bank account details or choose a bank account that’s connected to Paypal. You can always add more bank accounts to your Paypal profile.

Another way to transfer out of Paypal is by jumping to the wallet tab on the top menu, and clicking ‘transfer money’. Both options will give you the same result.

How long does it take to open a bank account?

The length of time it takes to open a bank account varies, depending on whether you want to open it online or in person.

Online

Most banks and credit unions have simple online applications that usually take no more than 10 minutes to fill out. It can be especially fast if you have your identification documents like your driver’s licence and passport handy. Sometimes you will instantly be approved and the bank account opened. However, depending on the financial institution, it may take a day or so to be processed and your account number issued. Your account information and ATM or debit card will then be mailed to you, which usually takes between five to 10 days.

In person

If you decide to go into a branch or office to open a bank account, it may take about half an hour. Make sure you bring your identification documents with you. Also book an appointment if you can, otherwise you might be forced to wait in line. Sometimes your ATM or debit card will be issued on the spot, otherwise you’ll need to wait for one to arrive by mail, which usually takes between five to 10 days.

Can I have a PayPal account without a bank account?

You don’t need a bank account to send or receive money through PayPal. However, you do need a bank account if you want to withdraw money from your PayPal account.

How can I deposit cash into my bank account?

The traditional way to deposit cash into your bank account is to go to a branch and give it to a teller. These days, many banks will allow you to make deposits through an ATM as well.

Can you open another account at the same bank?

Yes, you can open another account at the same bank if you already have an account there, but some banks place a limit on how many specific accounts you can open.

Generally, though, it is possible to have more than one everyday account, one personal account and one joint account, or have different types of accounts – such as a transaction account and a savings account.

Keep in mind that some bank accounts come with fees, so you could be charged twice for having two types of the same account at the same bank.

Also, if you have more than one high-interest transaction account at the same bank, only one account will be able to earn the highest rate of interest.

How do I close a bank account?

Closing a bank account is one of those tasks that’s easy to put in the too-hard basket. There are quite a few steps involved, some which may require you to hang on the phone for a while.  

Here’s a handy checklist of items to tick off, so the job gets done quicker. If you don’t do your banking online, the following steps can also be done at a branch.   

  • Cancel any scheduled or recurring payments
  • Update your direct debit details (such as loan repayments) with creditors
  • Export your payee address book (to keep a record of saved third-party bank account details)
  • Transfer the balance of your account (to the new bank account)
  • Close your account online, or by calling the bank or visiting a branch

What do you need to open bank accounts?

Opening a bank account is one of the simplest online tasks you could perform. The hard part is deciding which type of bank account you want to open.

All banking institutions have a website where you hit ‘apply’ on the account of your choice and step through an application in less than 10 minutes.

Here’s a list of information that is generally required for applications.

  • Identification (driver’s licence, passport, proof of age card, proof of citizenship and/or birth certificate)
  • Tax file number (so you don’t get charged the highest tax rate)
  • Address, contact email and phone number

If you decide to open a new account at the branch, make sure you ask beforehand what information you need to take with you, or take all of the above to be safe.

Do I need to open a business bank account?

Just because you’re in business doesn’t necessarily mean you need a business bank account. You could be a sole trader not registered for GST, and use your personal bank account for business.

If you do want a business account, there are plenty of benefits attached to business transaction and savings accounts, as well as business term deposits.

There are business bank accounts designed for businesses with a high volume of transactions, and those for start-ups with a small amount of trade. You could also include an EFTPOS service with your account.

Some business bank accounts charge for the number of transactions per month, while others offer a pay-as-you-go fee structure, where you only pay fees for transactions you make.

It’s up to you whether your priority is mainly transactions, or earning the maximum amount of interest on your principal. There’s a business banking solution for you if you need one.