The secrets of a successful saver
3 February 2020
The new year brings new resolutions, and saving money is a common one. But good intentions alone won’t help you save; you need the right tools. The good news is, saving money isn’t rocket science. Here are some practical money saving tips from successful savers of all shapes and sizes to help you meet your own savings goals.
Saving for: the next overseas trip
Maggie tracks her spending down to the dollar.
‘’I know it sounds silly, but I make a note of everything I spend…even if it’s two dollars. I want to know where my money goes.’’
Recording your daily purchases can give you a reality check. It’s easy to lose track of spending, but you can stay in control by setting a daily budget. This can help you reevaluate your impulses! Suncorp Behavioral Psychologist Phil Slade says recording your purchases boosts the ‘psychological pain of spending.’ In non-fancy terms, this means you’re less likely to spend on stuff you don’t need. Recording everything from lunch to chewing gum may seem excessive, but you could try this tip with items over $10.
Saving for: his dream home
Alex uses apps to find the best prices.
‘’I use the 7-Eleven Fuel app. It lets you find the best local fuel price and lock it in for seven days. I get a stupid amount of pleasure from saving on a tank of petrol.’’
Finding the best price should become a habit. Don’t hesitate to use apps to do this. We’re living in a digital world, we might as well make use of it. Sure, comparing prices can be a hassle, but small amounts of money add up. Even if you save just $10 a week, that’s $520 a year, and $10,400 in 20 years.
Saving for: freedom from student loans
Brooke buckets her money.
‘’I’ve got separate accounts for tax and student loan savings, and spending and stuff too. It helps not having dependents apart from my cat—she’s very cheap!’’
Saving for: a car
Rohit doesn’t let a higher income stop him from saving the same 20%.
‘’I just got a retail job and even though money isn’t tight anymore, I still spend what I used to. I put the rest into savings—the same percentage I always have.’’
Focusing on savings as a percentage rather than a figure helps curb ‘lifestyle creep’. Phil says that generally as we mature, our dollar value saved may get bigger, but the percentage of our income saved gets smaller. To be truly comfy (and avoid living paycheck to paycheck) we shouldn’t see our money as dollars. A good saving tip to remember is to put away 20% of your income each month, regardless of how much you make.
So, there you have it! Being a great saver isn’t a natural talent or a magic trick. With some effort and discipline, anyone can become one of our nation’s successful savers!
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