This article was written by Lauren Wiseman, a marketing specialist, writer, and entrepreneur, currently based in Melbourne. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in fast-changing and demanding market environment. Covering finance and investment topics, Lauren strongly believes in holistic approach to business.
Do you ever get that feeling that you’ve got your finances all figured out? You pay all of your bills on time, you do your weekly shopping and you’ve just bought your kids new school supplies. However, once you take a look at your savings account, you realize you could be doing better.
Still, there’s no need to worry since this is what happens to many people out there.
In fact, the household savings rate in Australia has dropped to 4.6% in the second quarter of 2017.
Luckily, there are some tricks that can help you increase your monthly savings. We’ve come up with 5 of them that might be exactly what you’re looking for.
1. Try to avoid shopping sprees.
People who enjoy going on shopping sprees are usually the ones who simply can’t put any money under their mattress each month.
If you fall under this category, you might want to avoid going on a shopping spree as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to start using a wishlist.
You can use this list to write down things you want and their price tags. That way, you’ll be able to stay in control of your shopping sprees and only spend the amount of money you’ve intended to.
When you go shopping, make sure you write down the things you want to get and avoid buying anything else.
It’s also a good idea to go shopping on your own since shopping with a friend or a family member usually means you’ll buy something you haven’t really planned spending your money on.
2. Focus on paying off your debts.
No matter what kind of debt you have, it’s always going to have a huge effect on your savings account. Still, if you focus on paying off your debt, you might just be able to get rid of the debt and still put some money on your savings account at the end of each month.
The best way to do this is to make your payments as soon as your paycheck arrives. That way, you won’t be able to spend your money on something else and you’ll know exactly how much money you have left in your budget for that month.
Moreover, it’s always a good idea to pay more than the minimum. If you start doing this, you’ll repay the charges more quickly and lose less money on interest. If you have more than one debt, we recommend making a list and make repaying the ones with the highest interest rate your priority.
3. Make your budget.
Another important thing you’ll have to do when trying to increase your savings is to make your budget. Do this and you’ll know exactly how much money you can spend each month and still be left with some money to put on your savings account.
Figure out exactly how much money you earn every month. This includes the paycheck from your full-time job and from any work you do on the side. Then, come up with the amount of money you spend on things like mortgage and bills and deduct that from what you earn.
You’ll be able to come up with your spending limit and make sure you never overspend. Moreover, you can start setting aside a small percentage of your paycheck every month.
4. Have clearly defined goals.
Just like with anything else in life, you need to have clearly defined goals when trying to increase your savings. This is guaranteed to motivate you to limit your spending and save some money each month.
You can start by choosing something to save your money for.
For example, you can try saving for a family vacation or that car repair you’ve been delaying for months. Besides coming up what you want to save for, you also need to try and figure out how long it will take you to save enough money for it. Luckily, there are plenty of tools like Google Docs that can help you with this.
Also, bear in mind that there are special investment accounts you can go for if you decide to save for retirement or your kid’s education.
5. Use your credit cards wisely.
Credit cards are so convenient and easy to use. But if you go crazy with these, you might just end up having absolutely nothing to put into your savings account.
On the other hand, if you use your credit cards wisely it can be an important financial tool that’s going to help you save money. When it comes to using your credit cards wisely, the most important thing you’ll have to do is check your credit reports from time to time.
This way, you’ll know exactly how much money you can spend and still be left with something to put on the side.
On top of that, we also recommend paying off any credit card debts you have as soon as possible since these can make your life really difficult.
When making some large purchases, things such as personal loans are a much better option than credit cards since they usually have lower interest rates.
Follow these 5 tricks and setting aside some money for your savings account at the end of each month will be a real piece of cake. However, this doesn’t mean you should stop looking for some new ways to increase your savings.