How to save money: 4 creative ways
7 January 2019
Saving money isn’t always the most exciting topic. Who wants to save when there’s so many more tempting things to spend on? But saving towards a goal – whether it’s for travel, to buy a home, or just to buy more things – can really be worthwhile.
These creative ways to save money go beyond the usual “just make a budget and stick to it” advice, and will hopefully inspire you to successfully save, save, save!
1. The 30 day rule
Ah, the impulse buy. It happens to the best of us. One minute you’re just window shopping, the next you’ve got your credit card out and are justifying to yourself why you don’t want but need to make that purchase.
The 30 day rule is a technique to help curb those impulse buys so that you can stop eating into your savings. It’s a really simple method that can be incredibly effective. Basically, when you see something that you want, whether it’s expensive or seemingly insignificant and cheap, wait for 30 days.
After 30 days, if you still find yourself wanting to buy it, go for it! You’ve earned it. But, a lot of the time, you might be surprised how much your desire to make that purchase has faded with time. And if it only takes 30 days for you to change your mind and realise you don’t need it that much after all, how much did you need it in the first place?
Budgeting can feel like a bit of a juggling game, and not all of us have the time or patience to track it all with comprehensive spreadsheets. Not to mention, when all your money is lumped into one savings account, it can be really difficult to remember what money is allocated where.
Bucketing is all about separating your funds into different segments, i.e. ‘buckets’. You can have a bucket for your bills, your savings, your spending money, and more. You can even segment within those categories, like, for example, different saving goals.
3. The 52 week challenge
A whole year might feel like a long time to commit to a savings challenge, but bear with us. The 52 week challenge starts out pretty easily and only begins to get a bit more challenging around the midway mark, so it’s not a year-long stresspoint.
It goes like this; in week 1, you put away $1. Week 2, you put away $2. In week 3, well, you’ve probably already figured it out by now. By the last week of the year, you have to find $52 to add to your savings. All in all, if you successfully complete it, you’ll save $1,378. Not bad, right?
Not only does this leave you with more than a thousand bucks, it can also instill really good budgeting habits. Some weeks, you might find you need to sacrifice things or prioritise your money in a certain way to meet that week’s goal. These kinds of skills can be really helpful in budgeting across the board.
4. The 50-20-30 rule
Often, an overwhelming part of budgeting and saving is knowing how much you ‘should’ be spending on things. Of course, there’s no concrete right or wrong way, but the 50-20-30 rule can provide a bit of guidance for those who are feeling a bit lost.
The 50-20-30 rule is all about how to divide your income, and it goes like this:
- 50% should be used for the essentials. The bills you have to pay – your rent, transportation, food, utilities. You know, all the fun stuff.
- 20% should be put towards savings. This can include any debts you’re paying off.
- 30% should be used for fun or ‘unnecessary’ things. In other words, if you want to treat yourself, it should come out of this 30%.
Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.