Our Top Tips to Become a Super Money Saver in 2018
As the year comes to a close, many people are resolving to do things differently in the next one. Some people hope to change their diet, others hope to spend more time with their families, but what it seems almost everyone has in common is they are hoping to save some money.
Saving even just a little bit of money can make it easier to achieve your dreams and achieve the sort of financial security you have been looking for. However, it is one thing to simply resolve to save money, it’s another thing to actually start doing it.
The holiday season is a time of the year in which many families are tempted to overspend and purchase things they simply do not need. Becoming a disciplined saver is something that will require hard work and deliberate effort. Though it may not always be easy, saving is certainly worthwhile.
Keep these simple tips in mind to get 2018 started off on the right foot.
Find creative ways to cut down on expenses.
If you are hoping to increase your net income for the following year, you essentially have two options. You can either increase the amount of money you earn, or decrease the amount of money that you spend.
Generally, decreasing your expenses is much easier than increasing your earnings. Because of this, if you are looking to improve your budget, you are probably going to need to make some immediate changes.
Start by actively recording all of your expenses.
In the age of automatic and plastic transactions, many people find it quite easy to ignore how much they are actually spending. But while ignoring your balance may seem deceptively convenient, doing so can cause you to dramatically overspend.
The simple act of writing out your expenses can help you immediately become more frugal with your money.
Look for discounts wherever possible.
BeBeing an efficient saver means finding ways to pay less for the same goods and services that are being utilised by everybody else. Buying in bulk, buying things that are on sale, and buying things that are used are all great ways to save on common consumer goods.
Taking advantage of credit card specials–such as those offering 0% interest for the first year or reduced interest for students– can help you avoid paying more interest over time. Additionally, automatic discount apps such as Honey make it easier to save without having to do any extra labour.
Decide what is actually necessary.
Most families in Australia end up spending money on things they simply do not need. By cleverly cutting out wasteful spending, your monthly deficit can immediately decrease.
Avoiding unnecessary expenses doesn’t just mean going out to dinner less often or purchasing fewer luxury items. It can also involve avoiding fees, charges, and interest rates that are associated with some of the most common financial assets on the market.
Owning a redundant number of credit cards, paying avoidable ATM fees, and owning an undesirable mortgage are just a few of the common ways many individuals end up paying more than is necessary.
If you are hoping to avoid these redundancies, then you are going to want to take matters into your own hands.
Switch to a credit card that does not charge you fees while travelling.
If you are someone who travels a lot, then you are going to want to find a credit card that is compatible with your lifestyle. Frequent ATM fees are an unnecessary expense that can accumulate quite quickly.
Think about restructuring your mortgage.
For many families in Australia, their mortgage payment is their largest monthly expense. Restructuring your mortgage can help you bring down your monthly rate—however, it is important to note, doing so can often increase the total amount that you pay over time.
Use the leverage you have as a consumer.
Many individuals end up with high-interest credit cards and low-interest bank accounts simply because once they are committed to a given institution, they can no longer be bothered to change. But by shopping around and carefully examining other options, you may be able to find a way to pay less or earn more.
These are just a few ways you can give your monthly budget a creative revitalisation that will make things easier in the new year. There are a lot of incredible savings opportunities out there that can be easily accessed by almost anybody—you just need to know where to look.
Consider switching to a more lucrative savings account.
Naturally, one of the most common places people go to store their money is a bank. Banks are particularly popular financial institutions because they are easy to access and all Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) are insured by the Australian Government for accounts up to $250,000.
But while the roles each of these banks play may seem to be relatively similar to one another, the differences between them can be rather significant. When comparing and contrasting various ADIs, there are a lot of different factors you are going to want to consider.
What are the interest rates that are currently being offered?
If a certain bank is able to offer a higher rate of return than the one you are currently using, then you may want to consider making a switch.
Does my bank have any sort of minimal requirements? What are the different fees that are associated with my bank?
Holdings requirements, transfer fees, and convenience fees are just a few of the common ways banks will try to get you to pay more over time. Before you switch to a new account, you are going to want to look at these details closely.
Which bank offers the best mixture of risk and reward?
Though your deposits are indeed insured by the government, that doesn’t mean they aren’t without risk. Fees, logistics, and access to credit are all different types of “risks” that are associated with a given bank.
Monthly interest rates, customer benefits, and access to financial services are all different kinds of rewards that can be associated with a savings accounts. Due to various regulatory and reporting standards that have been established by the government, each of these risks and rewards should be fully disclosed upon inquiry.
Bankwest Hero Saver, HSBC Serious Saver, and ANZ Progress Saver are a few of the most lucrative savings accounts available to most Australians. Some of these accounts are able to offer up to 3% interest per year, though in many cases, earning more interest may involve certain stipulations.
Though your annual salary is something that may still remain beyond your ability to change, finding better ways to save what you earn can help you functionally “take home” more each year.
If you are willing to do your research and compare all of the different options you currently have available, 2018 could be exactly the kind of year that you need.
Consolidate your credit card debt.
Another way you can potentially save money in 2018 is by consolidating your credit card debt to the greatest extent that you possibly can. If you are an individual who currently has multiple credit cards or owes debt to multiple lending institutions, you may be surprised by just how beneficial consolidation can be.
If you have debts that are owed to multiple different sources, it may be in your best interest to transfer these debts to a single source.
If you owe $1,000 to Lender A (accumulating at 5% per year) and you owe $1,000 to Lender B (accumulating at 10% per year), you will be much better off transferring all of your debt to Lender A.
The lower interest rate that is offered by Lender A means that your debt is growing at a lower rate over time — in this example by consolidating your debt, you will functionally save $50.
Though not all financial situations are always this simple, the principles demonstrated by this example still remain true. In fact, the more debt you currently owe, the more you could potentially benefit by taking action in pursuit of consolidation.
Another possible option you would have in this scenario would be to consolidate all of your debt to a 12-month interest-free credit card. Virgin Australia and National Australia Bank are just two of the major lending institutions that are currently offering credit cards with 0% interest in the first year.
Based on the example above, consolidating debt into an interest-free credit card could potentially save the debtholder $150 over the course of the next 12 months.
There are still a lot of great ways to save without having to make drastic changes to your current lifestyle.
Though the most obvious ways to save money would involve simply buying fewer things, there are still many ways to save that do not require any sort of material change. By being conscious of the options you have as a saver, you can continually be earning more money and avoiding unnecessary fees.
Naturally, each of these potential strategies above are not without risk. If you are going to make any major financial changes in the year 2018, you are going to want to consider your options carefully.
Improving your financial situation is not out of reach. But financial security isn’t something that is going to be realised on its own. In order to make 2018 the kind of year you need it to be, you are going to have to be proactive, disciplined, and willing to act.