Use a budget to help work out how much money you can save. Then track your spending and see how much money you have left to save after paying your bills and expenses.
Read about how to budget by managing your money day to day.
Keep your budget clear and simple and review it often. Your savings will build over time as you add to them.
It’s important to save for emergencies, like unexpected dentist visits or car repairs. Having some savings, big or small, will help you cope with whatever the future brings.
Don’t forget to check your bank statements or transaction histories. This will show if you can adjust or cancel direct debits you no longer need.
Valerie was trying to make some small savings so she could buy new school shoes for her daughter. She checked her bank statements and noticed her monthly phone bill was quite expensive. She found a cheaper deal that met her needs and was able to reduce her phone bill, saving herself $30 a month. She bought the school shoes and put the rest of the money into an online savings account.
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 saving goals, such as:
- a car
- a house
It’s never too early to start planning. You may want to think about getting expert advice.
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.