5 simple lifestyle adjustments to save you money
Thursday, 12 May 2016 12:17
Do you keep a close eye on your household finances? One survey has shown that as many as 22 per cent of households don't actually track their spending, particularly among blue collar and younger demographics1.
Creating a budget and staying with it can be a key element of financial planning, especially if you're saving for a first home or big holiday. Often, when people fail to stick to their budget, it can be easy to give up, or adjust budget limitations rather than your lifestyle.
But by making a few simple adjustments to your day to day lifestyle, you might be able to save money and get a budget back on track.
Across 2015, Australians spent a total of $2.5 billion online buying tickets to movies, concerts, plays and other types of events2. For a lot of people, that's going to mean using a credit card and incurring the relevant fees.
But where credit card payment is available, consider you other options. Many online outlets offer the option to simply conduct an internet transfer. Inspect the bottom line when buying tickets and the like if credit card fees on these transactions are stacking up, as alternatives could save you a handy amount of money over the course of the year.
Pack it in
What do you eat when you're at work? It turns out that 22 per cent of Australians buy food or coffee every single day of the week, while 74 per cent of us do it at least once per week3. Consider thinking about the savings you could make in this context.
If for example you buy a coffee and a sandwich for $10 every day, that's $50 per working week. That's $2,600 per year. With a smart supermarket spend and time dedicated to making meals in advance, there could be some huge savings in store by packing your own lunch.
Get selective with your ATM
One casual mistake some Australians make is not thinking about where they use an ATM. With some banks charging upwards of $2 per transaction with a competitor's ATM, it could pay off to use machines that won't incur charges.
More cash, fewer problems
When you have your card on you at all times, it is essentially unfiltered access to your money. Succumb to particular impulses, and you might find yourself a few too many dollars short at the end of the month.
But what about carrying small increments of cash around? By withdrawing exactly what you need, you might be able to limit your spending. Of course, the other side of this is that you might inconvenience yourself when surprise costs arise throughout the day.
Go prepaid, if you can
We've covered the bill shock that people can experience in the past, but a shift in terms of how you pay for utilities could also bring you back into the black. A prepaid setup for internet, water, power and even your mobile phone could help you plan much more accurately, help avoid bill shock, and perhaps have more to save at the end of the day.
It doesn't take much of a lifestyle adjustment to see tangible benefits for your finances. When you want to boost your savings or simply stop the drain on your transaction account, try out these tips. For a little bit more help, make sure to talk to the team here at IMB.
2 - Roy Morgan
3 - McCrindle