• 7 simple ideas to help you save

    7 simple ideas to help you save

    With the new year in full swing, it’s now a good time to take stock of your finances and put a savings plan into place. This may sound daunting, but it needn’t be. Here are some simple ideas to help get your bank balance looking a little healthier.

    #1 Budget blitz

    The most obvious way to save money is to reduce your spending – and the best way to analyse your spending habits, is to create a budget. Set up a spreadsheet or simply download one of the many budgeting apps out there like TrackMySPEND, Pocketbook or Free2Spend. The RAMS website also has a handy budget calculator. Plug in all of your earnings and outgoings, then play with the numbers to see where you can save the most money each month.

    #2 Healthy habits

    It’s often the little things we do out of habit that can add up over time. Think about the things you regularly spend money on and see if you can cut these down or out altogether. Skip the daily takeaway coffee for a homemade brew. Cut down on books and magazines by borrowing from the library. Or cancel the monthly carwash and do it yourself at home. Tackle one small change at a time and watch your savings grow!

    #3 Food for thought

    Food is the second largest weekly expense (after housing) for most Australian households.1 We all know first hand how expensive groceries can be, but there are lots of ways to shop smart and reduce your weekly grocery spend. Try planning meals in advance and sticking to a list at the supermarket, there are some great shopping list apps out there, check out Grocery IQ, OurGroceries or Out of Milk. Buy in bulk when things are on special and swap out brand name products for generic brands when you can. Meat can be expensive so plan a few vegetarian meals each week – and why not cut down on the veggie bill while you’re at it by growing your own at home! 

    #4 Holiday hacks

    If annual holidays are a must for your family, there are many ways to get away without breaking the budget. If you’re willing to be flexible with flights, you can save money by flying before 8am or after 8pm, on public holidays like Christmas or New Year's Day or during the low season. Hotel deals on comparison sites aren't always the cheapest option – often the hotel offers a better deal direct. Booking an apartment or a house can also be very cost-efficient, especially if you're travelling as a group.

    #5 Free fitness

    Staying fit doesn’t have to come with a hefty monthly price tag. If your gym membership is breaking the budget, explore other ways to stay fit and have fun. Take a walk, go running or find a fun YouTube workout to follow.

    #6 Recycle, reuse, repurpose

    In our consumer society, it’s easy to spend money on shiny new things that we don’t really need. Consider second-hand goods, buying good quality used items is good for the planet and your hip pocket. Take stock of what you have in your wardrobe – alter or mend old favourites then sell any unwanted items online. Or why not spring clean your home and have a garage sale to pocket a little extra cash.

    #7 Credit control

    If you owe money on your credit card, check what interest rate you are paying. Credit card interest rates can vary from less than 10% to more than 22%. Always pay your monthly bill on time to avoid added interest and if this is not possible consider consolidating your card debt in one lower interest loan. Contact your local home loan specialist about the pros and cons of this approach or take a look at our debt consolidation video for more information2.   

    1. Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Expenditure Survey, 2015-16. 

    2. Consolidating short term debt into your home loan means you will be paying these amounts over a longer period of time which may result in paying more interest and fees overall, if you don’t pay additional funds to pay off the fund you consolidated into your home loan.

    Credit criteria, fees and charges apply.

    This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness of the information and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.


     

    About the author

    • Raymond

      Raymond A Ram is the RAMbassador for RAMS Financial Group. Raymond works with the RAMS team to bring simple, helpful and expert information on home loans and savings accounts to life with his down to earth and cheeky personality. He enjoys seeing everyday Australians turn their dreams of saving for a goal or getting into a home a reality. 

      Growing up in Goulburn, NSW, Raymond was brought up with good old-fashioned Aussie values of hard work and a fair go. It soon became apparent that Raymond wasn't content for the conventional path of grazing, producing the very best wool, and finding a nice sheep to settle down with. So it wasn't long before his passion for performing and his talent as a likeable larrikin shone through - landing him a few roles such as 'RAMlet'. He was even tipped to play RAM-bo at one point but chose to become star of the small screen instead as RAMbassador for RAMS. He now finds this role so much more rewarding.

      Contact your local RAMS Home Loan Centre about your home loan options.

      Raymond A Ram

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  • Disclaimer:

    The information here is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute financial or tax advice. You should consult your professional adviser, accountant or taxation expert for advice specific to your personal circumstances.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of RAMS Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 30 105 207 538 (RAMS),  Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) or their related bodies corporate. This article is strictly for information purposes only and neither RAMS, Westpac nor any of their related bodies corporate make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article or endorse the views expressed in it.