In this blog we’ll take a look at some practical ways you can make changes to your spending and saving habits. At this time in your life, you’re likely in full time work and may have just bought your first home or investment property. You may even be thinking about starting a family. Whatever your personal situation, read on for simple ways on how to save money.

Have a Personal Budget

Check out our blog on budgeting tools and tips to get started on a budget. It is important to list your income and expenses honestly to get a good grasp on where you need to cut back and save on.

Get rid of your debt

Car loans and credit cards are typical debts for people in the under 30 age category. A great money saving tip is to pay these off quickly and reasonably. The key is to set up a recurring direct debit from your pay. This also means committing to paying off more than the minimum monthly balance. Paying off credit card balances in full and on time is essential to avoid extra interest charges and late payment fees.

Track how much you spend

Sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking spending on big ticket items is what gets us into trouble, when often it’s the little recurring, everyday purchases that end up costing us more. For example, regular takeaway coffee, lunches and parking costs all add up at the end of the month.

This is why it’s important to keep track of your day-to-day spending, so you’re keeping on top of your personal finances and not living beyond your means. There are plenty of apps for this, check out ASIC’s MoneySmart app. Your bank statement is a good place to start and will tell you how much money is going into your bank account and how much is going out. You can then compare this with your budget to see whether you’re sticking to it or not, making it easier to identify areas you need to save.

If you find yourself impulse buying, consider how long you have to work for to pay for that product. This will help you evaluate if it is worth the money.

Saving & investing your money now

The best money saving tips and savings plans are forward thinking with the future in mind. Working hard and saving money will enable you to have a comfortable lifestyle if you decide to expand your family with children. There are many ways to invest spare savings that all provide different returns. ASIC’s MoneySmart website has more information on investing. Alternatively, seeking advice from a financial planner is useful at any age to create an investment plan that will set you up for the future.

Plan ongoing expenditure

Having a plan for your expenses is a great way to save money and automate many of life’s everyday tasks. ‘Bill Smoothing’ is offered by some electricity and gas companies which allows consumers to pay off bills fortnightly or monthly. This can be included in your budget planner and it works well for people on tight budgets and avoids ‘bill shock’ where you’re required to pay off one large bill. Planning meals is another great way to avoid overspending on the weekly shop. Planned meals means you know exactly what groceries to purchase and this will avoid random visits to the supermarket.

Get started on your savings journey by using our budget planner calculator.

Horizon Bank has a branch network spanning the Illawarra and South Coast with offices at: Thirroul, Wollongong, Albion Park, Berry, Nowra, Ulladulla, Moruya, Bega, Bermagui and Merimbula.

The content in this article has been prepared by Horizon Bank for general information only and it is not intended to be professional advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should seek your own legal, accounting, financial or other professional advice where appropriate, and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Terms and Conditions before deciding whether to acquire any products or services offered by Horizon Bank and/or its affiliated partners. We do not recommend any third party products or services referred to in this article unless otherwise stated and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information and we do not endorse any content on those sites. Horizon Credit Union Ltd ABN 66 087 650 173 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence Number 240573 trading as Horizon Bank.