You may be keen to put more money aside to achieve your goals. But it can be hard to know where to start making savings.
If you can get in the habit of tracking your spending, you’ll be on your way to creating a budget and savings plan that may help you reach your goals faster and with more confidence.
Read our money saving tips below to get started.
What are you saving for?
The first step to saving money is to figure out your goal.
It could be a short-term aspiration like buying a car, booking a holiday or installing a new kitchen. Or it could be one of life’s big milestones, like buying a property, having a baby, funding your kids’ education or enjoying a comfortable retirement. Once you’ve decided what you’re trying to achieve, you can work out how much you need to save to reach this goal, and by when. Once you have your goal, write it down, tell a friend, or both. Writing your goals down, sharing them and tracking them could help you to achieve them.
What are some common tips to save money?
Once you’ve decided what you’d like to save for, how much you need to reach your goal, and when you need to reach it by, the next step to consider is where your money will come from. One of the most common ways to save money is to create a surplus between how much you earn and how much you spend each month.
If you’re spending every cent that comes in, you may need to identify extra income sources to help you earn more money, or think about reducing your spending to free up money for your savings goals. These tips could be helpful to you get started:
Create and track your budget
Creating a money smart budget is often seen as the best way to save money. By tracking your income and your spending, you can identify where your money goes, and from this you can avoid some non-essentials or reduce expenses.
For example, if you buy your lunch every day, you could make your own lunch instead. If you spend on non-essentials like pay TV, gym memberships, entertainment and eating out, you could either cut back completely or find more affordable options.
In the end, every bit adds up. It’s your lifestyle so you don’t need to deprive yourself of every bit of fun, but even cutting back a little here and there could make a difference.
Review your bill providers
Unfortunately, bills are a part of life, but it’s possible you may not be getting the best deals out there, especially if it’s been a while since you last contacted your providers. Reach out to your gas, electricity, mobile phone and broadband providers, and see if they have better deals to help you save more money.
Another option could be shopping around for a new provider, especially if your contract is due to expire. There are plenty of product and service comparison sites online to help you make an informed decision that suits your lifestyle and your budget.
Think green and cut wastage
Thinking green doesn’t just help the environment—it can also be one of the best ways to save money. For example, if you find you’re throwing out food at the end of every week, you might be able to reduce your grocery spending and your food waste. Likewise, instead of replacing household goods, you could consider repairing, reusing or upcycling them for another purpose.
If you’re a two-car household, it may help to think about whether you can do without the second car. You may spend more on public transport and taxis, but the upside is the environmental benefit, plus you could save money on petrol, tolls, parking, registration, insurance and maintenance.
Consolidate your debts
If you have a number of debts, consolidating them into one may save you money and make budgeting and money management easier. Having multiple debts, such as credit card debt, personal loans and a home loan could mean you’re paying more in interest rates and fees than you have to.
There are plenty of debt consolidation loans out there, so if you’re considering this option it may be beneficial to look on a comparison website for the best deal or speak to a financial adviser.
What’s the best way to save money?
The best way to save money may depend on whether your saving goals are long term or short term. For example, a separate savings account where your money is readily accessible might be useful for a short-term goal. On the other hand, a term deposit, where your money is tied up for a set period of time in return for higher interest, could be a more suitable option for a longer-term goal.
When you’re looking for a suitable savings product, you’ll need to factor in many things, such as the fees charged, interest rates, how accessible your money is, whether you can set up an automatic direct debit and whether there’s a minimum amount you need to deposit each month. If you’re looking for ways to save money, here are some of the most common options out there:
Save money in a transaction or savings account
Most banks in Australia offer a variety of options for transaction and savings accounts. Standard savings accounts usually offer low fees and access to your money, but you may get a lower interest rate. High interest savings accounts typically have higher interest rates, but there may be penalties for withdrawing your money before a set period of time has passed, or if you don’t meet ongoing minimum deposit requirements.
Save money in an offset account
An offset account can help you save money by minimising the interest you pay on your home loan. Offset accounts allow you to put extra money into your account to offset your home loan balance, so you only pay interest on the remaining portion of your loan.
Save money using a term deposit
As well as transaction, offset and savings accounts, many banks also offer a term deposit option. Term deposits work by locking your money away for a certain timeframe (or ‘term’) in exchange for a guaranteed interest rate return during that time. A general rule of thumb is the longer the timeframe, the higher the interest rate.
Term deposits are generally low in fees, typically require a minimum initial deposit, and sometimes also a minimum ongoing deposit. If you withdraw money from your term deposit account before the timeframe is over, you could pay additional fees.
Save money through investment bonds in Australia
Investment bonds can be a tax-effective way of saving for the long term (longer than 10 years). Australian investment bonds typically require either a minimum deposit or minimum ongoing deposits, and you can choose how your money is invested.
Other ways to save money
You could also consider investing your money to save over the longer term. Some ways to invest money in Australia include shares, property, exchange traded funds, and making additional super contributions. But your best option will depend on your lifestyle, the amount you aim to save and your risk tolerance.
Before investing your savings, it might be useful to speak to a financial adviser to help you make the right choice for your goals.
What you need to know
The credit provider for all banking products is AMP Bank Limited ABN 15 081 596 009, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 234517. Approval is subject to AMP Bank guidelines. Terms and conditions apply and are available at amp.com.au/bankterms or by calling 13 30 30. Fees and charges are payable.
Any advice and information is provided by AWM Services Pty Ltd ABN 15 139 353 496, AFSL No. 366121 (AWM Services) and is general in nature. It hasn’t taken your financial or personal circumstances into account.
It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and read the relevant product disclosure statement, Target Market Determination or terms and conditions, available from AMP at amp.com.au, or by calling 131 267, before deciding what’s right for you.
You can read our Financial Services Guide online for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you. You can also ask us for a hardcopy.
All information on this website is subject to change without notice. AWM Services is part of the AMP group.