Despite challenging economic news, Australians are feeling more comfortable with their financial position than they have in seven years. According to the 15th Household Financial Comfort Report from ME Bank, we’re seeing income gains, easing living costs, more cash savings and reduced overspending.
The improvement comes despite broader economic concerns from falling property prices in most capital cities and significant volatility in the domestic and international share markets. The ME Bank report also indicates that our belt-tightening may be an indication of continued slowing economic growth.
If you’re among the people who are increasing your household savings, you are taking a positive step toward a more secure financial future. Every little bit helps!
Have a little extra flexibility in your budget? Here are a few things you can do to make that money go even further.
Put your savings on autopilot
In his book, The Automatic Millionaire, financial writer David Bach says that sending a portion of your pay automatically into savings or investment accounts (like your super) means you won’t be tempted to skimp on saving because you won’t even miss it.
It’s like they say: out of sight, out of mind.
Ditch the morning coffee
It starts with one coffee. Then it turns into a coffee with toast (or the morning banana bread special). Then it’s a second coffee.
Bach calls it the “Latte Factor”; the idea that just $5 every day adds up very quickly, thanks to compound interest. $5 per day is $35 per week or about $150 each month. Invested on the assumption of an average annual return of 10%, notes Bach, adds up to an astonishing $948,611 over 40 years.
All that for a cup of coffee.
It’s all about looking at your little, potentially unnecessary, expenses and seeing how they add up. Small changes to your behaviour can add up very quickly.
Save any unexpected cash
Got your tax refund back, scored a birthday gift or even found $20 in some pants in the back of your wardrobe? Pretend that money never existed and stick it straight into your super or savings.
The Savings Room expert, Penina Petersen, suggests that this behaviour is consistent with how some of ‘the other half’ live. Peterson says, “Some rich people continue to drive an old car even once they’ve created wealth. They continue to count their pennies and put money away for a rainy day. Their value systems and focus may be different.”
You’ll never miss found money since you didn’t know you had it in the first place!
Putting this money into your super, savings or emergency fund may not seem like it makes much of a difference but, over time, these contributions can really add up.
Track your spending
Lots of people don’t realise exactly where their money goes. Sound like you? You are not alone. A lot of banks offer ways to automatically track your spending so you can identify areas that you may need to address, like excessive amount spent eating lunch out (or that banana bread special).
You don’t have to revolutionise your finances overnight, instead make small changes like bringing in lunch one day per week to cut down those costs.
Unless you win the lottery, you’re probably not going to get rich overnight. Sorry But, little moves over many years can make a massive difference to your financial position.
Want a hand planning for success? You don’t need to be wealthy or in trouble with debts to see the benefits of a financial plan. An adviser can help you create a roadmap for long-term success.
We can help. Give us a call to talk through your needs on 1300 658 776.