Financial experts recommend that we keep the equivalent of three months’ salary in a savings account as a buffer against uncertainty. What your Gran would call “saving for a rainy day”. Unfortunately, saving money is not always easy, particularly when prices and interest rates seem to increase every day.
The good news is that saving money is not difficult – all it takes is discipline and routine. Make saving money a habit and you won’t even notice you’re doing it. Here are a few money saving ideas to get you started.
Physically, that is. Many people find the best way to save their cash is never to see it. “Pay yourself first” is a mantra that you’ll hear a lot of money experts use over and over again. Do a budget (find out how here). Work out how much you can put aside – even if it’s just $10 a week, that’s over $500 a year. Then, put it aside by having it direct debited out of your bank account each week into a separate savings accounts. Online accounts often offer the best rates – shop around!
So that takes care of the dollars. Now let’s look at the cents. We all have a lot of loose change rolling around in our lives. That loose change equals the easiest money saving idea ever. Invest in one of those large, tin money boxes – the kind you can only get open with a can opener – and put all your loose change into it at the end of the day. You’ll be amazed at how those 10c and 20c pieces add up over the course of a year. Get the kids to help you count it!
If you’re serious about saving money, there are several places to turn for help. Other Huggies members are a great source of advice and inspiration – there’s a sample of their savings tips here. Dedicated savings sites such as www.cheapskates.com.au and www.simplesavings.com.au contains thousands and thousands of ideas from dedicated savers.
But you don’t need to be re-using tea bags to save a few dollars. The first place to look when you’re trying to save money is at your spending patterns. Yes, this is where we talk about the price of a cup of coffee.
Whenever someone starts offering savings tips, one of the first things they say is to cut out the coffees from the cafe. At anywhere from $2.50 to $4 for a latte these days, you can easily save up to $20 a week if you’re a daily caffeine drinker.
But the key to building savings is being realistic. Chances are you will not cut out every one of those coffees. So perhaps begin with dropping one a week – saving $2.50 to $4, and ensuring you put that money aside – and the money begins to add up.