There’s no doubt that this year has been full of uncertainty, which makes it particularly difficult to think about and plan for the future. But with things like travel plans and social events being postponed now’s a great time to start thinking about where you can save some extra cash.
A survey we recently commissioned found that 44% of Australians are looking to cut back on their spending for the rest of the year. But cutting back doesn’t have to be complex. Here’s a handful of minimalist ways that could make a difference, and could even help you reach your financial goals sooner.
Sell what you don’t need
Let’s be honest, there are probably a few items hanging around your home that you just don’t use or need anymore. Maybe it’s time to give these items a new home. This is not only a great way to help you declutter and get rid of things that you barely use, but also a great way to bring in some extra cash. It could be an old computer, exercise equipment, or that leather jacket that you’ve only worn a couple of times.
Start identifying items around your home that could put some money back into your account and ask yourself two questions – 1) Have I used this item within the last six months? – if you haven’t then chances are you won’t use it in the future and 2) If I saw this item in a shop today would I buy it? If you wouldn’t then it’s time to say goodbye! Selling what you’re not using can be an easy way to build up your savings.
When you get paid, get in to the habit of stashing a portion of this in to your savings, then live off what you have left over. Rather than living first and saving second, make savings more of a priority.
For example, if you have a MyState Bank transaction account:
Another tip - have a look at your Savings account. If you haven’t done so already, making the switch to a high-interest account is an easy way to build up your savings faster and ultimately gives you more reward for the hard work that you put in*. Click here to find out more on the Bonus Saver Account.
Review your loan repayments
With the current low interest rate environment, you may be paying over and above the required minimum repayment (this is the minimum amount you need to pay each month), especially when it comes to your Home Loan. You may find that your repayments are looking a little easier to manage and by the end of the month you may have extra cash left over. Have you considered adjusting your home loan repayments? It is worth taking the time and research how these lower interest rates may enable you to shift your focus on other areas that may help you reach your financial goals faster. It could help you free up more cash for savings and paying other debts and bills.
Create a budget and stick to it
You might think budgeting can be complicated and at times a hassle, but it can be one of the simplest ways to manage your spending and upcoming bills. Listing your recurring monthly expenses may mean that you are better prepared to pay any up-coming bills or even surprise expenses that you haven’t accounted for. It can be as simple as deciding how you want to spend in certain categories and where you want to save each month. When you have a plan in place for how and where you are going to spend or save your money, you are likely to be more prepared to reach your financial goals.
Track your spending
This one may sound like a no-brainer but often we don’t track where our money is going. Tracking your spending is a way to take control of your money and understand exactly how much is coming in and going out.
You may be surprised by how much all those small payments add up to, and you could discover hidden costs, like subscriptions you don’t use anymore and even mistaken transactions! Most importantly, you can see areas where you may be spending too much (take away coffee, shopping, buying your lunch etc.) and find out where you can make better spending choices - giving you more opportunities to save!
Start tracking now with the MyState Bank App
The good news is, you may already have a helpful spending tracker right at your fingertips! If you have an active MyState Bank transaction account and use the MyState Banking App or Internet Banking you already have access to new personalised banking features that can help you keep an eye on your spending and even discover opportunities to save!**
Learn more about Insights and Auto-Savings and how they can help you reach your savings goals quicker.
Eliminate unused subscription services
Subscription services all have their place and they can be very useful if you’re actually using them. But sometimes we are subscribed to services that we don’t actually use on a regular bases. Take inventory of all the subscriptions that you are currently subscribed to and think through when was the last time you used this service and analyse whether or not the amount of times you use it is justified by the cost of the service.
Furthermore, if your service can have shared facilities it may be beneficial to team up with friends and family and split the cost for the service so you’re not paying for the whole subscription on your own.
Use a shopping list…
And stick to it! It is very common when it’s time to go grocery shopping and you don’t have a list, that you may spend more time browsing the aisles and picking up items that take your fancy. You might buy items that you need but you’ll also buy things that you don’t. When you shop, firstly write down a list of exactly what you need to buy. A good tip is to list the ingredients you need for the meals that you are planning to eat each week. And simply don’t buy anything not on that list (resist the chocolate biscuits!)
Try to avoid taking any tagalongs that may be putting things in your basket without you knowing. “How did that get in there?” And more importantly, remember your mother’s advice not to go grocery shopping when you hungry, as you’re more likely to buy for your stomach and not buy from your list.
* Interest calculated daily, paid monthly. Interest rates subject to change. Current interest rates available at mystate.com.au. Any advice within this email does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you.
** Auto-Savings available on the MyState Bank app with a transaction and savings account. Spending Insights available on the MyState Bank app and Internet Banking with a transaction account. Terms, conditions and eligibility criteria available at mystate.com.au.