6 Easy Ways To Save Money

six_easy_ways_to_save_moneyDaily life can be pretty tough on the purse strings, especially in this day and age, but saving money does not always mean having to go without. There are, believe it or not, some ways of saving a few extra dollars a month by making changes that are so small you won’t even notice.

Here’s 6 of them:

1. Review your outgoings

Make time to sit down with your bank statements and have a good long look at your regular expenses. This is a foolproof way of analysing your outgoings and the biggest expenses will be obvious. Of course there are some expenses that are absolutely necessary, like the water and electricity bills, but there will be other, non-essential expenses, such as magazine subscriptions, gym memberships and that skinny latte and muffin in the morning that you could easily manage without, and doing so will give your bank balance a boost.

2. Make a shopping list

One of the major expenses in the average Australian household is grocery shopping. Most of us tend to over-shop when we do the food shopping and this often leads to waste, not to mention the strain on the household budget! Planning your meals in advance and then compiling a weekly shopping list is the easiest and most effective way to keep your food finances in check. Sticking to the list means that you’re more likely to avoid impulse-buying on your way around the aisles and will help you to resist the ‘special offers’ and ‘deals’ on offer for things that you simply don’t need! Don’t be afraid to try own-brand goods, they’re often just as good as the real thing and you can make some serious savings.

3. Manage your overdraft

Being in the red every month is no good for stress levels or your finances in the long run. Many banks charge eye-watering interest rates that mean hefty monthly bills⎯and that’s just the pre-agreed overdrafts! Beware of fees and charges that can build up and make massive dents in your monthly budget. The majority of these fees can be avoided, and the principal way to avoid them is to research the terms of incurring them. Check your balance regularly and keep check of your outgoing payments to avoid being in minus figures at the end of the month.

4. Conserve your energy

Bills⎯We all have them and we all hate them. The majority of us spend much more on our household bills than is necessary, and taking small steps to save energy and water can contribute massively to your money-saving efforts! You don’t need to radically ration your energy in order to see a difference. Simple things like remembering to switch off lights when you leave a room, turning off electrical items at the plug when you aren’t using them and not leaving the tap running when you brush your teeth can all help to cut your energy bills down.

Serious savers can take more drastic steps like installing a water meter. Water prices can rise suddenly in dry seasons and installing a water meter in a large home with few occupants could half your yearly bill!

5. Change your habits

Making a serious lifestyle change and cutting down or quitting smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeine can change your life for the better. As well as reducing the pressure on your household budget, making a change like this will improve your general health and wellbeing. Smoking especially is a huge burden on the bank balance, and with the average packet of 25 cigarettes costing $16 and set to rise, there has never been a better time to ditch the tobacco – and doing so could save you a whopping $5800 per year! That’s enough to buy a round-the-world plane ticket, or a huge chunk off your mortgage!

6. Get a piggybank

It may sound silly but having a money jar to drop your spare change into is a simple but very effective way of saving. Smaller coins aren’t much use in daily life and the majority of us will break into larger coins or notes rather than count up the cents in a shop, but every penny really does count and you could save a small fortune without even really noticing! Research shows that 69% of adults save using a money jar rather than in a savings account and, although a penny jar won’t make you rich, it can be a painless way to boost your bank balance without you feeling the pinch.

The information in this article does not constitute legal or financial advice. If you would like to discuss any of the above in greater detail, please contact your usual Axis adviser.