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Automate your savings habits

Actually knowing where your money goes is the clever first step to gaining more control over your money.

Sometimes it’s the habit you make rather than the amount you save that’s really useful.

Read in this article

Just start

The secret to building a savings buffer is to start small and save regularly. It doesn't really matter how much - or how little - you save; you just need to make a start, develop a habit and then keep going.

  • Saving as little as $10 or $20 per week, you'll have $520 or even $1,040 by the end of the year.

That's the start of a solid base from which to start saving and give yourself some financial breathing space. More importantly, it’s the start of a habit that can make saving automatic.

Having a saving goal increases your success of actually saving

The best goals are the ones written down rather than just committed to memory. The act of writing something down and being accountable for it, seeing the numbers and seeing the progress, really helps.

Having a financial goal is a clever way of telling your money what you want it to do for you in the future.

Have a look at a free Savings Goal Calculator ...

Free Budget App from ASIC

The government's SmartMoney website offers a useful Savings Goal Calculator that’s a good place to start writing down your savings goals.

Get yourself a free Budget App ...

A budget can help you get a better picture of your finances, allowing you to plug any spending leaks you might find. Most banks now provide this option as part of their customer mobile app to help you sort out what your household expenses are.

Four ways to a set and forget savings plan

  1. Where possible have your wages paid directly into your account and automatically transfer some funds to a separate high-interest account with a credit union or a bank. Don’t link your high-interest savings account to your day-to-day transactional account if you're tempted to spend more than you plan.
  2. Alternatively, ask your employer's payroll department to transfer part of your wage to your nominated high-interest savings account. What you don’t see you might not be tempted to try and intercept and spend on a big night out. When the ATM displays ‘insufficient funds’ you know it’s time to go home
  3. Find a savings account that offers bonus interest for each month you don't make a withdrawal, you'll be less likely to touch the money unless it's an emergency.
  4. Make your money work hard for you before you spend it. If you have a home loan with an offset account, you can use this account to hold your savings while helping reduce the interest you pay on your mortgage. If you have more than 1 offset account consider using the other another to hold your emergency savings. That way, your money will be working to reduce your interest payments and will be available to use if you need it.

Save your spare change

Get your spare coin out of your car. Get an empty container and collect your spare change at the end of the week. When the container is full, on even months you can reward yourself with something nice, and on odd months deposit the money into your emergency fund. It’s the habit you’re cultivating that’s often more important than the money you're initially savings

... then set yourself a 30-day challenge

Set yourself a 30-day challenge to actually see where your money goes. Do that with a friend and compare numbers and notes at the end of the month. You’ll be amazed with the results.

author pic drew browneDrew Browne is a specialty Financial Risk Advisor working with Small Business Owners & their Families, Dual Income Professional Couples, and diverse families. He's an award-winning writer, speaker, financial adviser and business strategy mentor. His business Sapience Financial Group is committed to using business solutions for good in the community. In 2015 he was certified as a B Corp., and in 2017 was recognised in the inaugural Australian National Businesses of Tomorrow Awards. Today he advises Small Business Owners and their families, on how to protect themselves, from their businesses.  He writes for successful Small Business Owners and Industry publications. You can read his Modern Small Business Leadership Blog here. You can connect with him on LinkedIn Any information provided is general advice only and we have not considered your personal circumstances. Before making any decision on the basis of this advice you should consider if the advice is appropriate for you based on your particular circumstance.

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