AKA – How To Afford All Of The Things!
If you’re anything like me, your wallet probably has an imaginary hole in it, where money just disappears all the time! Am I right? We may never solve this phenomenon of disappearing money -(although some call it “having bills”), the good news is that you can get a hold on it! Saving money may feel like an unclimbable mountain but there a many strategies and resources to help you build up your accounts.
The Catch team have come up with 9 strategies to get your savings back on track this year:
1. Write a list of your fortnightly expenses/bills
The day I found out about direct debiting, I thought it was an awesome way to manage my bills. Never missing a payment made it easier to not ever worry about my expenses but I didn’t realise how much money was leaving my account all the time.
By writing a list of your fortnightly (or monthly, according to your pay cycle) you will have a better idea of where all your money is going. Include all of your bills (direct-debit and to be payed), your weekly costs – food, transport, petrol – to really plot out where your money is going. You can use this information to have a better judgement on how much spending money you have for more fun things!
2. Set a Savings Goal
We all know that saving money is the best thing to do for the future, but sometimes we feel like we are depriving ourselves or that saving somehow means that we can’t have something that we want right now.
In fact it’s the opposite – You’re gaining something by saving your money – your gaining savings! Duh! It may sound dead simple but having a goal for your savings account changes the way you think about spending habits. If you work towards getting your account up to a goal amount, you’ll a burst of happiness about your money situation and the good vibes will keep your bank account growing steady!
3. Look for discounts on products you need/will need in the future
Discounts are all around us – if you simply look for them. Buying items in bulk means massive savings over time! Looking out for items on discount websites allows you to buy the items you want and still save some cash on the side. We don’t like to brag – Okay we do! Here at Catch Of The day we do this really well!
This one’s an oldie but certainly works its magic when those extra bills pop up! Leaving cash laying around the house, in the car or even in random drawers almost certainly means it’s forgotten! And that’s never a good thing. They may seem small and insignificant at the time, but you’d be surprised at how much money accumulates by popping all of that loose change into a trusty piggy bank.
5. Cut one extra expense from your life
Do you have a coffee every morning? Only costs a few dollars – no big deal! Well, if you have a $3 cup every morning, you can rack up a total of almost $1100 a year! Cutting down on these expenses is a great way to save money because giving up small things isn’t always noticeable. Plus having an extra $500 a year can really help! Pick one thing you are willing to give up or cut back on each week and you’ll start to see results! It’s extra cash you can use for so many other things!
6. Give yourself a paycheck
You might ask, “What do you mean give myself a paycheck? Don’t I already get one?” Yes, you do get a pay check and on pay day it feels like you’re just swimming in expendable money. You think to yourself “I’m rich I can do whatever I want!” but in reality, most of that pay is already allocated to bills, rent, debts and groceries! The trick is to give yourself a paycheck! Allocate yourself a small amount of your pay as a reward to yourself and use only this money to buy things you’ve been wanting! That way you can keep within a small budget and still feel rewarded – good times!
7. Re-analyse for accounts
This strategy is a goldmine and yet hardly anyone does it! Always look over your insurance/gym/ rent/bills/accounts/payment plans and compare prices with other dealers. Websites like I Select or Compare The Market make it easy to answer the tough questions. Can you switch health insurances,?Can you get a gym discount for off peak? Can you get a rewards card for your coffees and movies?
8. Look for high interest bank accounts
Now that you’ve got your income and payments sorted, look for other ways to leverage your money. Can you switch your bank accounts to get a higher interest rate? Look for ways to earn more interest on all of your new savings. Who doesn’t want to receive extra money just for having money sit in a bank account?!
9. Stay away from credit cards
Do you sometimes think having a credit card is like having free money? This is a sign you should stay away from the credit card trap! Banks will try to woo you with words like “diamond”, “platinum” and “no limits” but unless you have means to pay off your credit card month by month (without racking up any debt), my advice is to steer clear!