Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Getting ahead with your money doesn’t mean you have to make huge, drastic changes. In fact, tweaking your finances and money habits just a little can reap big returns over time. Let’s take a look at 7 small but powerful money changes you can easily put into action.
Have a ‘no spend’ day each week, fortnight or month
Many of our small weekly spending habits happen on autopilot. These little purchases add up over time and left unchecked can steer us off course from our financial goals.
The idea of a no spend day is exactly what it sounds like. You choose 1 day a week, fortnight or month not to spend anything.
No coffee on the way to work, no cafe lunch or new pair of shoes ‘just because.’ The idea is to plan ahead, so you know which day you’ll need to meal prep at home to avoid takeaway, decline any invites out on that day and stay away from the shops!
Start with just one day a month and see if you can eventually challenge yourself to a ‘no spend’ day each week. Watch the savings really add up.
Use bonus cash to pay down debt, save or invest
It’s a nice surprise when a little windfall comes our way. A bonus from work, a larger than expected tax return or even $20 you found between the couch cushions.
The thing about unexpected money? It’s far to easy to spend. So we do.
Instead, pretend that extra cash never existed. Pay it straight towards debt, invest or save it.
Save every $5 note
Saving your spare change works because it’s easy.
Commit to saving every $5 note that comes back to you as change and put it in an envelope or jar. That’s it! It’s such a simple strategy that adds up quickly.
Once your stash of $5 notes hits $100, deposit the money into your savings account or invest it.
Stick to your grocery list
How you control your grocery spend can make or break your budget. Sometimes things get a little out of hand, throwing stuff into the trolley we think we need…..or because we’ve made the rookie mistake of doing the grocery shop while we’re hungry!
Over the course of a year, consistently overspending on your weekly grocery budget can add up to thousands of dollars. Commit to making your list first and sticking to it to avoid food waste and overspending.
Listen to a financial podcast or read a money book on your commute
Commuting time isn’t wasted time if you’re learning how to manage your finances. Instead of flipping through a magazine or listening to music, choose to read a book or listen to a great podcast about money.
This small habit change just may reap the biggest future rewards of all of the money changes on this list. Educating yourself about your finances and taking action is the key to securing your financial future, no matter where your starting from.
Automate your savings
Automating your finances is a money game-changer. Especially if you’re the type who’s more naturally inclined to spend than save. Automating your entire financial life does mean investing tome upfront to get it done but you can start by making one small change. Automating your savings.
It seems so simple but there’s always a reason to put it off and start next week, next pay or next month. It doesn’t need to be difficult. Open a savings account, if you don’t already have one, and figure out a rough amount of what you can afford to put away each pay day.
Don’t overcommit. It’s better to start with a smaller amount that you won’t notice. Then, set up the direct transfer of this amount to your savings account each pay day.
The goal? Slowly increase the amount you’re saving, raising it a little every couple of months.
Negotiate your bills and annual credit card fees
You could be missing out on some hidden savings by letting fixed expenses like your phone bill and subscriptions tick over without the occasional review.
Spend some time comparing your current plan with others available and see if you can negotiate a better package or switch plans entirely. If you’re billed with an annual fee for using your credit card, give your bank a call and see if you have the fee lowered.
You’d be surprised how many banks agree when you suggest you might move your card elsewhere!
We hope that these tips have simplified the concept of saving and will help you become more conscious about your spending habits. Keep in mind that if you ever require any assistance with your budget and would like to have a no-cost, no-obligation discussion with one of our qualified and friendly financial advisers here at Create and Protect, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 707 955.