Budgeting, saving, expense tracking. – managing your money is just like getting fit, it takes consistency and commitment. You don't go to the gym once and expect to walk out an athlete, and the same goes for your finances.
Lucky for you, we've got a few tips to help you get your bank bod ready.
1. Give your spending a once over
Things change fast. New jobs, new homes, new expenses – even the most meticulous budgeters know it doesn’t take long for your spending to get out of control. That's why it helps to do a regular check-up.
Lock in some time every 6-12 months to take a good look at your financial situation. Go wide so you can get the full picture of where your money is going.
Keep an eye out for weak spots and areas for improvement. Can you cut back somewhere? Can you give your income a boost? Are you saving yourself enough cash for the fun stuff? Identify where you can make quick savings and start working on long-term improvements.
2. Set goals you can stick to
We need to be realistic when setting our goals, otherwise, we’re only setting ourselves up to fail. It’s easier to save when you know what you’re saving for too, so be sure to get specific about what you want to achieve.
Get granular. Why is it important to you? What will it unlock? When you reach your goal, how are you going to feel? Knowing the ins and outs of your savings goals will give you the best chance of reaching them.
3. Make a game plan
Budgeting doesn’t need to be boring or restrictive. In fact, there are different ways to style your budget to best suit your needs.
If you like to know exactly where your money is going, you might consider a zero-based budget, where every dollar has a job. When you get paid, you would split your funds into various categories like living expenses, savings, everyday spending, and maybe even a splurge fund. You allocate every last dollar until you reach zero, making conscious decisions on where to spend your money.
If you prefer a more relaxed approach, try the pay-yourself-first budget style, where you set aside a certain amount of each pay for future you. You might stash the money in your savings, or invest it, then you can use what’s left over for everything else. Make sure you hold onto enough to cover your bills and essential spending, so you don’t find yourself dipping into your future you fund.
Whichever way you choose to set your budget game plan, don't make it too hard for yourself. The most important things to consider are what you earn, what you need to spend and what you want to save – use this as a starting point to create a budget that works for you. And be sure to make use of budgeting tools and spend-tracking apps designed to help you streamline your saving process.
4. Find smart ways to save money
You can cut back on your streaming services, avoid dining out, and pull the plug on any “fun” spending you've allocated in your budget – but the real trick is making the most of the money you have.
Keep an eye out for specials and rewards programs, round up your purchases1, and embrace every discount code you can find. The savings are out there – you might as well make the most of them.
5. Grow your balance with a high interest savings account
Remember the phrase 'work smarter, not harder'? With a high interest savings account, you can boost your balance, get clever insights and real time alerts to help you build good money habits. Hello, next holiday!
So, are you ready to get your bank bod into fighting shape? Don't wait until next week, next month or next year. Start flexing those financial muscles today.
1. Round-ups are transfers that you can elect to activate on your Go Accounts. By enabling this feature on your Go Account, funds are transferred from the selected Go Account to your nominated savings account each time you make a debit card transaction. The amount of the transfer will be up to the nearest $1 of the amount that the transaction takes place. Round-up transactions will not take place if by making the transaction your account would be Overdrawn. You can disable the round-up feature through the Mobile app at any time.