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Today’s guest post is by the team at MyLife. MyLife is a friendly, but professional financial planning firm, that specialises in helping families. MyLife aim to help people pay off their mortgage in up to half the time and invest safely for their future. They are based in Blackburn (Melbourne) but also helps people throughout Australia.
1. Be a Smart Supermarket Shopper
Supermarkets often know our shopping habits better than some of us know ourselves!
- The easiest items to reach are often the most expensive. Look on higher or lower shelves.
- Deli items are often cheaper than prepackaged foods, such as bacon and chicken.
- Sometimes bread or milk from the local shop is cheaper when you consider the time, petrol and extra temptations of going to the supermarket.
2. Learn to love your budget – What??!!
Your budget is simply a process of figuring out how, when and what you can afford.
- Watch the timing of expenses – big expenses in the same month may cause problems even if your annual budget works.
- Estimate higher bills than the previous year.
- Involve the family. A team approach can bring the family closer as the responsibility is shared, and everyone is aware of what funds are available.
3. Beware – most of us eat our savings…
People are often surprised to find that they spend most of their excess money (after bills, taxes and mortgage) on takeaway, lunches, coffees, dining out and groceries.
- Pre-pack snacks/lunches/drinks and create menu plans for meals at home – it often makes food choices easier, healthier and cheaper.
- “Live off the pantry” for a week and use your week’s food money for un-budgeted expenses.
4. Haggle – the nice way…
Many of us do not like haggling. However, on bigger ticket items it’s worth it.
- Go through the catalogues, phone around for other prices, then visit one or two stores and ask them face to face.
- Don’t be afraid to ask “Is that your best price?” and then let them know that you are shopping around, and thank them for their time.
5. Keep a wish list
Using a wish list helps avoid the temptation of buying what you want, every time.
- Keep a list with you every time you go out (or use your mobile phone tasks/camera).
- Teach your kids to be savvy shoppers as well. When they ask for something, instead of saying “No”, say “Let’s add that to your wish list’.
- Helps avoid impulse buys as you compare the items on your list.
6. Use the 50/50 Rule
Most of us lose half of our income to taxes and mortgage payments. We’ll give our children a great start if we can teach our children to only spend half their income.
- Put half of their pocket money into a savings account and the other half in their piggy bank, for their spending.
- When they are ready to buy a car or a home, they will already have the habit of spending only half of their income and will have savings in place.
7. Pay Yourself an Allowance
Life is too short to not enjoy it! Set aside some money for yourself each week. Even $5 per week, can make a weekly coffee feel like a guilt free indulgence.
8. Use more than one bank account
Having just one account for your income and expenses, is a hard way to track your budget progress and is too easy to be tempted.
- Find low fee or no fee accounts.
- Have an account for your pay deposits, and another account each for budgeted item category such as bills, savings and other expenses.
- Setup regular transfers into your expense accounts every time your pay is deposited.
9. Budget for giving or donations
Generosity seems to breed generosity, so be prepared for an enriched life (monetary or non-monetary) when you start giving!
- Make giving part of your budget and choose as a family, who you will give to.
- Giving builds character in your children.
- It’s surprising how enjoyable giving can be.
10. Surround yourself with experts
Successful people often list “rely on the expert advice of others” as one of their top tips.
- It’s too hard to be good at everything.
- If finances are not your strength, then find someone who is an expert.
- They can show you how to make your hard earned cash work harder for you, and are often surprisingly affordable.
What are your top money saving tips?
Now for the little print:
*Financial Planning activities only are provided by My Life (Aust) Pty Ltd t/a My Life Financial Planning, a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 Australian Financial Services Licence No. 236523
Information contained in this document is General Advice and does not take into account any person’s particular financial objectives, situation or particular needs. Before making a financial decision based on this advice you should consider, with or without the assistance of a financial adviser, whether it is appropriate to your particular needs, objectives and circumstances.