Even if your well-intentioned money-saving New Year’s resolutions didn’t last for as long as you’d hoped, it’s never too late to get serious about saving money.
Over the rest of 2018 and beyond, if you can rise to the challenge of saving your money rather than spending it, you could find yourself enjoying significant benefits by the year’s end.
Who knows, maybe you could afford to buy that pony!
Make a budget, then follow it
The first step to managing your money is measuring it. Make a money-saving plan, accounting for your income, expenses, and how soon you’d like to achieve your savings goals.
Next, memorise your online banking login details, and keep a close eye on your money. If your spending and savings patterns no longer match your planned budget, it may be time to take a closer look at where your money is going.
Make the Big Quit
Giving up drinking or smoking is hard – really hard, in many cases – but may come with more benefits than you expect.
As well as potentially improving your health, the money you would have otherwise put towards drinks or cigarettes can instead be put into a savings account to earn interest, rather than sitting in your transaction account as a temptation.
Commit to cash
The prevalence of convenient, contactless “tap & go” card payments can make tracking your spending much more challenging. Waving your credit card like a magic wand before walking away with your new purchases can risk putting your everyday spending “out of sight, out of mind” and allow interest charges to build up behind the scenes.
Consider committing to making everyday purchases using cash – that is, the physical folding stuff, not your debit card – as often as possible, to give you a more concrete idea of just home much you’re spending each week. As a bonus, unlike spending with a credit card, there are no interest charges to worry about with cash!
Switch & save
Many of us continue to stick to the same routines in our everyday lives, even when there are better offers out there. Making a financial comparison may require a bit of effort, but the rewards can be significant, especially if you save your leftover money rather than spending it.
Crunch the numbers on all of your regular expenses, from your phone and internet providers, to your gas, water and electricity services, even your grocery shopping, and see if you could save money by switching to something less expensive.
The same applies to your financials – take a long look at your credit card, bank account and your home loan if you have one, and see whether an alternative with a lower fees and/or interest rates could leave you better off.
If you can commit to these money saving challenges (or follow other money saving tips) and stick to your plans, even if you only save a small amount at a time, by the end of the year, you may have saved a tidy bundle, which could come in handy for managing your holiday spending, or to be put toward your financial plans for the following year.