Whatever you have your heart set on, whether it’s a new car, a beautiful wedding, or something else entirely, saving for it doesn’t have to be difficult.
With some helpful advice and by creating good habits – you can be well on your way to achieving your goals a lot sooner than you thought.
Why have a budget?
Establishing a budget is a simple way of seeing where your money’s coming from, how much you’re spending, and what you could be putting away regularly. It can also help you focus on how and where you spend your hard-earned cash.
Used properly, it helps you set short and long-term financial goals and provides a realistic indication of when you’ll finally be able to realise the goal you’re saving for. Credit Union SA’s budgeting tool can help you get started.
Setting a savings plan
The next step is to take a critical look at your budget and identify how and where you can make changes that allow you to increase your savings.
The usual suggestions of ‘bringing your lunch to work’ and ‘asking your electricity provider for a discount’ do actually work in reducing your day-to-day costs. But if you don’t want to compromise any further on your lifestyle, consider ways of increasing your income - such as getting a second job or negotiating a pay rise.
Each time you reduce your costs or increase your income, you give yourself the ability to add more money into your savings plan and bring your dreams closer.
How much to put away?
Your savings goals are, of course, yours alone. Only you know how important any item is to you and how much you can afford to regularly save. As a general rule, however, it is advisable to be realistic when it comes to deciding how much you can put aside in your plan. The process of saving will be much more enjoyable and therefore likely to remain a positive habit if you don’t commit so much that you’re unable to enjoy other day-to-day activities.
How to maximise your savings
To make the most of your savings, make sure you earn interest on the money you’re putting aside. Credit Union SA has some great options for you, including our:
- Netsave Account, which gives you have the convenience of online access to your money any time you need it
- Bonus Savings Account, which pays a higher rate of interest in any month you make a deposit and no withdrawals
- Term Deposit, which provides a fixed amount of interest over a fixed period of time, although you won’t be able to add or withdraw your money until the deposit matures.
Don’t feel you should only choose one, either. Sometimes the best savings plan incorporates multiple savings accounts.
How else can Credit Union SA help?
We’re glad you asked! Here are a few ideas:
- We could help you set up a regular transfer from your Transaction Account to your Savings Account, so that you never miss a savings deposit.
- When your balance hits $5,000 or more we could transfer some or all of it into a Term Deposit, as this may provide an even better interest rate than your savings account.
- We could create a visual reminder of what you’re saving for and stick it on your fridge. Actually, hang on a minute – that one’s up to you!
Once you’ve saved enough money to achieve your goal, celebrate and reward yourself. It’s a great feeling and something to be genuinely proud of.
INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW
This article is intended as general information only and has been prepared without taking into account the personal financial situation, objectives or needs of the reader. Before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.