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

How do you open a bank account in Australia?

Opening a bank account in Australia is usually a straightforward process. Some banks give you the option of opening an account online, while others require you to visit a branch.

Different bank accounts offer different features, so it’s best to compare your options to find one that suits you.

All banks require you to pass an identity check to open a bank account. Australia uses the 100-point identification system, which means you’ll need to show a number of forms of ID that, together, add up to 100 points.

Common ID types include a driver’s licence, passport, Australian visa in a foreign passport, and Australian Medicare card. You’ll find out what types of ID are accepted when you go through the sign-up process online or at a branch.

Once your account is open, you’ll be given or sent a debit card that you can use to make purchases and withdraw money from your account.

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 you need a bank account to sell on eBay?

You don’t need a bank account to sell on eBay. But if you don’t have a bank account, you must provide either a credit card or debit card.

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 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.

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.

How can I check my bank account balance online?

Checking your bank account balance online is a simple process. Once you’ve logged in to your online banking, clock on the relevant account and the balance should be visible.

Can foreigners open bank accounts in Australia?

Many Australian lenders allow foreigners to open bank accounts in Australia. Often, this can be done before you arrive in the country – with no Australian address required. When you get to Australia, you can pick up your debit card, using your passport as identification.

How can I find bank accounts in my name?

To find ‘live’ bank accounts in your name, you’ll have to ask individual lenders, which involves contacting them one by one and proving your identity each time. To find ‘unclaimed’ bank accounts (those that have been inactive for at least seven years), you can use this website.

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 you get a payday loan without a bank account?

Yes. Some payday lenders are willing to transfer loans to prepaid debit cards instead of bank accounts.

How do I overdraw my Commonwealth Bank account?

Overdrawing a bank account can happen by accident. It’s often hard to know what your balance is, particularly with direct debits, scheduled repayments and pending transactions competing for cash.

To avoid being stuck with a bank fee every time your account is overdrawn, you can apply for a personal overdraft. This will enable you to overdraw your account up to an approved amount.

A personal overdraft is connected to your CommBank Everyday Account, so you can enjoy easy access to extra funds once approved – anywhere from $100 up to $20,000.

Your overdraft funds can be accessed via your CommBank keycard or Debit MasterCard, or online through NetBank and the CommBank app.

To apply you can either call the Commonwealth Bank directly or visit your local branch.

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.