Simple Ways To Start Saving Money Now

Small changes make a big difference one habit at a time

Saving money doesn’t have to be complicated – although it often feels that way. Whether you're stashing cash for your next holiday, or just need a few extra bucks in the bank, there are surprisingly thrifty ways to take the sting out of saving, explains Effie Zahos from Money Magazine. “It’s the small incidental spending we do that does the most damage,” she says. But we can stop - and when we do the world will quickly become a different place - one in which you're actually doing okay - hopefully better than.  Follow these money-saving tips to reach your financial goals faster.

Open a savings account

If you haven’t done so already, open a separate saving account. A second bank account provides better control over spending by allowing you to dedicate specific amounts to saving.

And don’t worry about additional fees. MoneySmart says some financial institutions offer basic bank accounts with no account keeping fees, free monthly statements, no minimum deposit amounts and zero fees if you should overdraw.

Give up the daily grind

While it might sound scary, giving up your daily coffee will save you big bucks in the long run. “You’re not going to be rich by making your own coffee instead of buying,” Effie explains. “But if you can save that $4 a day and put it into a super fund, if you’re aged 30, you’ll have an extra $60,000 in retirement. So it’s the little things.” To calculate how much money you can save on incidentals, visit superguru.com.au.

Have an alcohol free day

Most doctors will tell you it’s wise to have at least two to three alcohol free days a week – oops! But if increased energy and improved clarity alone aren’t enough for you, consider your bank balance.

Effie says it’s easy to sink a lot of money on booze when you don’t limit yourself. “If you do want to drink, consider cleanskins,” she advises. They're a lot more affordable than branded bottles of wine.” Alternatively, opt for a mocktail instead.

Don’t buy anything new

Effie says the average Aussie home spends about $163 per week on groceries – although you may even spend more. “There’s so much food that we have in our home, so why not give yourself a challenge this week to not buy anything new,” she suggests.

While you might have to buy the occasional staple, using what you’ve already got is a great way to cut costs at the supermarket. “Have a look at what you’ve got in your fridge and pantry. These days, there are so many apps that can tell you you’ve only got four ingredients, and what you can make with those items,” she says.

Take your lunch to work

It’s all too convenient to buy a sandwich or salad for lunch every day. But as Effie explains, bringing your own lunch to work is not only cheaper but also healthier. “Try and get that food out of the fridge or pantry and detox what stock you’ve got,” she says.

To save time, why not dedicate some time on Sunday to meal prepping. It’s a terrific way to maintain your mid-week sanity when schedules typically go awry. It also ensures you continue to eat well for the remainder of the week.

Feature image: Getty.