With the cost-of-living skyrocketing, petrol prices out of control, power prices set to double, every dollar you can save counts. Building up an emergency buffer fund or cash you use to invest could reduce financial stress. If you’re living week to week, now is the perfect time to look at where you can reduce your spending or how you handle your money. Increasing your savings doesn’t mean having to cut back on what makes you happy in life, it means you look at your money in a smart way to figure out where you might be over-spending and where a tiny amount of saving could work very well in your favor. We’ve compiled a list of the best savings hacks that can boost your savings substantially and stop you from hurting your savings, from using the thirty day rule to making your savings a priority. Keep reading to learn more from our expert!
These 4 Savings Hacks Will Boost Your Savings Substantially
1) Use the 30-day rule
Teach yourself delayed gratification by using the 30-day rule. Impulse buying can leave a hole in your wallet. The best way to curb your spending is to self-enforce a 30-day rule where if you see something you want to buy, you take 30 days to reflect on whether you really need it. At the end of the 30 days if you still feel like you need the item and you can justify the amount spent, then allow yourself to do so. Chances are by the time 30 days is up you’ll have forgotten about the item. This rule isn’t so much about how much you want to spend on items but about creating good spending habits. You’d be surprised at how even impulse buying food can add up—two meals out at a fancy dinner can equal your grocery spending for the month!
2) Make your savings a priority
Most families don’t make their savings a priority. The wages come into their bank account and the funds get attributed to rent or mortgage first, then essential bills like electricity, food, petrol, and what’s leftover normally get spent on impulse buying (lunch in the office, coffees, lunchtime shopping trips) and if there’s anything left over, it may get saved. Financial experts recommend allocating a portion of your wages to your savings first and then attributing the rest of your money to the essentials. By giving preference to your savings and redirecting it into a separate bank account, you’ll be surprised how fast you can boost reach your savings goal. Having a little buffer in your bank account is always good—you never know what you will need for a rainy day.
3) Download a range of cash-back and savings apps
Whether it’s discount codes or cash-back for shopping, there’s an app for it. Do your research and make sure you’re utilizing apps. For example, Cheddar or CashRewards brings you real deals so you can discover, shop and earn cash-back. Mistplay allows you to earn credits for playing mobile phone games which can be exchanged for Mastercard dollars, Myer or JB Hi-Fi gift cards. Use the 7/11 or Fuelmap app to find the cheapest fuel. Use Groupon for discount codes and apps like Raiz to round up purchases and deposit the extra into a savings account. You can even see if your credit card company has a points program—or sign up for a new card that does. Many cards allow you to earn reward points that can turn into big savings in the form of cash back or using said points to pay off a purchase you’ve made. You can cross flights, groceries, and more off of your list this way. Credit cards also have cash back offers, sign-up bonus, and certain amenities they provide by signing up.
4) Ask about salary sacrificing
You can use salary sacrificing for more than simply topping up your superannuation. Whether you have child support to pay or you want to pay off a new car, it is possible to set up an agreement with your employer to pay for these out of your wages before tax. You are then taxed on the money that lands in your account. Talk to a financial advisor to get it set up properly to avoid paying fringe benefits tax come end of the financial year.
A Little More About Our Expert
Gerry Incollingo is the Managing Partner of LCI Partners, a firm that specializes in accounting, legal, lending, wealth, property and more. He has a wealth of knowledge from decades of experience helping many around Australia save money.