Using a budget to help you manage your money is the first step to help you build your savings. You can build savings for smaller items such as furniture or large goals like purchasing a car. When creating a budget, it is important to make sure you include all your income and costs. Keep your budget clear and simple and review it often. A change in your income or costs can impact your budget.
Once your budget is created then you can start tracking your spending and look for opportunities to increase your savings.
Visit our how to budget page for more information.
A savings plan will help you reach your savings goals. You don’t have to have a large savings goal. Small goals are just as good.
You can use the savings goals calculator on the Moneysmart website to help you. It shows you how long it will take to reach your goal and how much you’ll need to save.
You may reach your short-term goals sooner if you:
- cut back on buying things you don’t really need
- use cash or a debit card instead of your credit card when shopping.
Long-term savings can be for larger savings goals, such as:
- a car
- a house
It is also important to save for emergencies, like unexpected dentist visits or car repairs. Having some savings, big or small, can help you cope with future financial needs.
Valerie was trying to make some small savings so they could buy new school shoes for their daughter. They checked their bank statements and noticed their monthly phone bill was expensive. They found a cheaper deal that met their needs. Valerie changed plans and was able to save $30 a month. They bought the school shoes and put the rest of the money into an online savings account.
Talk to someone
You can talk to one of our Financial Information Service (FIS) Officers for free. Our FIS Officers can share tools, resources and information that can help you make more informed financial decisions.
A financial adviser can also be useful. Our video tells you what you need to know when choosing a financial adviser.
Here’s some more information to help you budget.
Check your bank statement
Check your bank statement often to help you better manage and understand how you spend your money.
Do your research
Find the best deal you can get. Whether you’re shopping for clothes or a mortgage, or thinking about changing electricity provider, ask for a better deal. It might save you money.
A clever way to make the most of your money is through your super. You can get a government co-contribution if your income is below a certain amount. The Moneysmart website details how you can take advantage of the government co-contributions.
Save on banking fees
Every little bit counts. If you get a Centrelink payment, you may be able to get a savings account that won’t charge fees. Ask your bank or credit union about fee free accounts.
Many companies and banks charge you each time they send you a paper bill or statement. Choose to get these online and you could save money. The way you get bills can vary depending on the company. You can get them either:
- by email
- in your online account with that company.
If you can’t get your bills online, you can still choose to get them sent in the mail. You can also ask to be exempt from the fees they charge to send a paper bill.
Read about savings accounts on the Moneysmart website before talking to your bank or credit union. Most banks have online accounts that have better interest rates.