I have always been conscious of my spending from a very young age. This came from working as a youth and understanding the value of money. At the moment my spending habits are a little bit luxurious but I still manage to put some money away each week. However, if you have a goal in mind and want to get down and serious here is how:
- Have a Goal
What are you saving for? How long is the duration you have set yourself? I remember in my first year in full-time employment I really wanted to buy a car that had a low-risk of breaking down (therefore, had less car bills). I gave myself a year to save and my goal was $12,000. I find that it you have a goal and a deadline you’ll be more determine to save that extra $20 a week on top of what you should be saving (Tip 2)
2. 25-33% Rule
This is the percentage you should be saving each week. At the time of my super-saving year, I was earning around $52K (teaching and weekend job) and after tax, secondary tax, student loan, union payments were taken it was approx $1300 a fortnight. What I should have been saving a week was approx $215 but I opted for $200. When I got closer to my deadline I would save a bit more. The rule is: As soon as you get paid this money goes straight into a savings account that you DO NOT TOUCH. Start with 33%, see how your week goes and if you feel you are sacrificing too many things decrease your percentage but do not go below 25%. Before you know it you will be a money saving squirrel with all your nuts!
3. Automatic Payments
This rule covers a few things.
- First, automatic payments that are going to third-party’s. This include gym memberships, subscriptions and bills. Reflect on what is going out and decide whether they are necessary such as when was the last time you went to the gym? or read that Newspaper delivered to your house? If you don’t need it, cancel it.
- Second, bills are necessary. You need to work out how much money your bills add up to each week (this includes any debt you might have). These automatic payments can stay but I suggest that you create another account exclusively for bills. Also, look at reviewing your broadband and power supplier to see if there is a better offer elsewhere. Believe it or not but you can haggle with these companies by comparing their deals with another deal e.g. Vodafone is offering unlimited broadband for $79 a month with a free Neon subscription, can you match that or have a better deal?
- Thirdly, set up automatic payments to your savings account. You can start with $10 a week and you barely notice it disappearing from your everyday account. This helps to save them extra $$$.
4. Setting up Accounts
Most banks allow you to create different accounts free of charge. You should at least have two account already: Everyday and Savings. But. . . lets take it to next level! Create these accounts:
- Bills Account: When you get paid put all your rent and bill money straight into this account. You can even set up automatic payments. I do this for our flat to keep a clean paper trail of where the bill money is going. Everyone pays into this account and then I divide it to where it needs to go.
- Back up Account: This account prevents you from touching your savings. A good $300 in there would be perfect for any emergency such as birthday presents or fixing your car or when you get to the end of the week and you’re low on money because you put 33% into savings.
- Fun Time and Nice things Account: One of my ex-flatmates had a “Nice Things” account. You can set your budget per week and if you don’t use it leave it in there or add it to your back up or savings account.
The rule here is to make sure you transfer as soon as you are paid. What ever is left in your everyday account is for you to spend.
5. Make the Most of Gifts
Its your birthday or Christmas is coming up. Let people know that you’d like cash. It may seem rude to ask for money instead of gifts however, let them know about your saving goals. If you are saving for a holiday or a bike or a house let them know. Most people are happy to give money if they know its going towards something you really want. Who knows, someone might even give you what you are saving for. What’s the harm in asking?? Obviously, add this extra cash into your savings account 🙂 and what ever you do, DO NOT resell something someone has gifted. Now that rude. .
Have you got any super-saving tips you’d like to share??