Make Your Money Go Further

I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want more money. Whether it’s to have the ability to buy more things for themselves, for their family or for others, or to grow a business, or even to give away, most of us want to have more money in our pockets.

There are only a few ways to get more money; earn it, be given it or win it. For most of us, the likelihood is that you will have resigned yourself to the fact that you are going to have to earn it through working and investing. Some of us may throw a Lotto ticket on every now and then in the hope that we can win it, but you are probably just as likely to win money as you are to be given money, particularly these days with our grandparents spending their retirement funds. Unless of course, one of those emails from overseas, where an unknown billionaire has left us in their will, comes true … Ok, let’s stop dreaming.

What about saving it? What if you could save thousands of dollars per year instead of trying to earn more? Isn’t it smarter to make our dollar go further than trying to get more dollars? If you can do both that is even better of course!

To give you a hand, here are seven ways to save money or to stop wasting it, if that motivates you more:

1. Have a budget.

Most of us shiver at the thought of having the constraints of a budget, but I am sorry to tell you, sister (or brother), that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The way to reach your goal is to have goals in the first place; so work out what you are earning and spending. There are many apps that can help you with a budget, or why not go one step further and visit Kelly Wealth to get your ‘financial world’ under control with the myprosperity app?

2. Bank fees.

Many of us waste a heap of money on bank fee’s, such as credit card fees, ATM fees, dishonoured payment fees and loan fees. Check out what you are spending on fees; avoid ATMs, pay off your credit card in full every month (don’t fall into the trap of just paying the minimum amount) and make sure there is always enough cash in your account to pay direct debits. And of course, go and see the bank or your mortgagee specialist regarding your loans, you could save thousands by reconsolidating these.

3. Overindulging.

This is a big one. One of the biggest holes in people’s wallets is caused by lazy spending; buying coffee or water, buying lunch, eating out, driving unnecessarily and impulse purchases. All these little things add up. If you spend $5.00 on coffee four days a week that is $1,040.00 a year on coffee, add a $15.00 meal three times a week, and that’s another $2,340.00 on top; nearly a family holiday. If you buy your two kids a $2.00 matchbox car every week, that’s over $200.00 a year which could have been better invested in their bank account.

Think of your spending like a leaking tap. It doesn’t seem like much at first, but over a year it can add up to a huge unnecessary expense. So, make your own coffee at home or work, take a water bottle everywhere, take lunch, cook at home more often or have picnics, batch your car trips and watch those sneaky ‘presents’ you gift your kids.

4. Superannuation.

If you haven’t sorted your super, talk to someone and get it done. They can easily search and find all your missing accounts and consolidate it, and whilst they are at it, get them to check that it is geared properly and that you aren’t paying for insurances and fees that are unnecessary.

5. Subscriptions and memberships.

Do you need pay TV? Do you use that gym membership? Do you actually use that App or software? Do you read that subscription? Have a look at all of these things and do a cull or put some on hold. You may be surprised by some of the ones you have actually forgotten about.

6. Groceries.

We waste so much money on food that goes in the bin. Never go food shopping hungry or without a shopping list. Always have a meal plan for the week and buy to that plan. Eat meat-free a couple of times a week; it’s great for your health and it can save you some money too. For example, making your meal meat-free twice a week will save your family approximately $1,500.00 a year (based on meat costing an average of $15.00 per meal).

7. Insurances.

Insurances certainly aren’t going down, so, you always need to question your insurer when your premium goes up and shop around and work out ways to save. Maybe you could increase your excess or decrease the insured value (be careful here though, no one wants to be underinsured).

It may not seem like a lot, but if you saved $500.00 on each of these seven points, that’s $3,500.00 back in your pocket. Sure, there are plenty of ways to earn some extra dollars, and we encourage you to do that too. But fix the leaks first and then get a good budget in play, because what tends to happen when we earn more money is we spend more money. Our cost of living actually goes up, and we are in fact worse off than before.

Good luck, and don’t forget to talk to your kids about saving and why as a family you need to save money and not waste the resources you have invested in… like the milk in their cereal bowls!

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