Alexandra Cain Finance Writer
Money can be like a slow leak in your life: it seems to disappear before it even hits your wallet. But there are lots of fun ways to save money that can involve the whole family. Once you reach your savings target everyone feels a real sense of achievement.
1. Commit to a goal
There are lots of ways to set a savings target. Some people like to come up with a set amount they’d like to save by a particular date – $10,000 by the end of the year, for instance.
You can also put together a non-monetary target. For example, you might commit to doing no online shopping for a year, or only buy clothes at thrift shops. Use your imagination and come up with something that suits the whole family.
2. Spend a set amount
Setting a realistic budget and sticking to it is another great way to cut your costs and boost your savings. Leave the amount you plan to spend on your transaction account, and transfer to rest straight to an online savings account. Check out Bank Australia's online budget planner to help you save.
Some online accounts give you bonus interest if you don’t do withdrawals and make a deposit at least once a month - this can help you to save faster. You might also want to have a separate online savings account with a contingency budget that you can dig in for emergencies and occasional treats.
Using your bank's mobile app can be a good way to keep track of your spending and easily transfer money to your savings accounts. You can download the Bank Australia banking app here.
3. Scrimp and save
The world is full of discounts that can help drastically reduce your weekly outgoings.
Discount websites like Groupon and Spreets offers deals in almost every corner of the world and you can find there anything from everyday household items to luxury escape trips. Setting aside the convenience of online shopping, it’s important to remember that these platforms can quickly turn you into an addict and instead of saving on shopping you will end up spending more.
4. Fix don't ditch
It’s also an idea to learn to sew a few stitches so you can do simple mending on clothes, fix a button and make your garments last the distance.
If you require some guidance, search online for ‘repair café’ where they teach essential skills for fixing at one of the repair sessions. Alternatively, there are plenty of online resources such as video blogs on mending.
5. Commit to using all your food
The UN estimates more than a third of all the food we produce is wasted. This represents a huge opportunity for most people to look at how much food they buy and how much they throw out.
To reduce how much food in the bin at your house, think ahead about how you could use leftovers for meals.
There are plenty of great ways you can cut costs and save money. The idea is to think outside the square.
About the author
Alexandra Cain is a finance journalist who contributes regularly to The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Please note that this article is not financial product advice and does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs.