Now that you’ve created a budget, you’re well on your way to reaching your savings goal. You’ve balanced your income and expenses, looked at where you can cut down even more, and have an understanding of what you can put away each month. You already feel like a success, don’t you?
Don’t get too excited just yet – there is more work to do! In the midst of all of that, you also shed some light on where you can cut back your spending and which of your monthly expenses might not be necessary after all.
Changing your lifestyle to increase your savings might feel a bit overwhelming, that’s why we’ve identified a few small changes that can make a big difference.
This week's key points
- Don’t be an over-subscriber
- Sometimes, it pays to be stingy
- Every bit counts
- Reframe your thinking
Don’t be an over-subscriber…
The first step on your savings journey should be re-evaluating all of your regular payments. It’s easy to get into a routine and forget about your background expenses, from gym memberships to TV streaming services, mobile phone and internet plans, magazine subscriptions, and more. Thankfully, all of that budget planning laid a lot of this bare – now it’s time to audit:
- Are there products available at better value?
- Could you negotiate a cheaper deal because you’re a long-time customer?
- Are you paying for a subscription simply because you forgot to unsubscribe before the free trial ended?
As well as smaller subscriptions, take a look at your bigger expenses like rent, debt repayments, health and car insurance, and more. You might find that there are better options out there, and you could stand to save a bundle.
Sometimes, it pays to be stingy…
After these larger adjustments, take a look at your budget and ask yourself “Where could I be spending less?” Maybe buying a pushbike could save you a motza on public transport, or make a commitment to bringing your lunch to work four out of five days a week. These small habits will vary from person to person, but can make all the difference in reaching your goal.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Buy a coffee machine and brew at home
- Do a big shop on the weekends (better yet, only buy what’s in season in order to save) and pre-plan your lunches and dinners for the week
- Walk or ride your bike whenever possible
- Start a carpool club with your workmates to save on petrol and parking fees
- Meet your friends for a bush walk, bike ride or a day at the beach rather than out for dinner or drinks
- On that note, take up outdoor exercise while the weather is better to save on the gym
- Less time indoors means less time watching TV and movies – maybe put a pause on your paid TV services for the season (and you just might find that you don’t need it at all!)
The list could literally go on forever – and the good news is that you only have to do a few of these to see some pretty big savings!
Of course, you’ve probably heard all of this before. We all know how we could save more money if we really wanted to – it’s just really hard to give up your favourite morning café spot, or turn down a weekend away with friends!
Every bit counts…
You’ve probably been hearing that phrase you’re entire life. Now is the perfect time to put it into play. Literally, did you save $45 off your shop this week by choosing products on special? Put that money into your savings!
Found a dollar on your walk to work? You think we’re joking…
This doesn’t only apply to tiny bits here and there though – think tax returns, yearly bonuses, rebates on larger purchases.
It helps to think of these payments as money you didn’t already have (and therefore didn’t budget for) – you can’t spend what you technically never had.
The most important savings tip is this:
Reframe your thinking…
Don’t see sacrifice as a negative – see it as a positive! You’re flexing your willpower, showing off your mental strength. Better yet, don’t see it as a sacrifice at all! Really, you’re doing future you a huge favour! Sure, coffee is great, but you know what’s better? Buying a brand new car, or putting down a deposit on a new home! If you can keep your savings goal in mind, sticking to a weekly budget will become a challenge to be relished, not a punishment to be endured.
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