The average Australian household now owes almost twice as much as it earns, according to a recent report by the Reserve Bank.
The debt headache is now so great that even the retail banks are thinking twice about issuing credit cards to property owners.
And while the RBA hasn’t lifted interest rates this time around, we are sitting on a debt time bomb.
This is why at Really Simple Money we’re dedicated to bringing you money-saving tips every week.
We will be bringing you the best tips we can find – and we’d love you to join in and send us yours. We will publish them with acknowledgement. Just pop them in the comments box below,.
1) Change just one habit. It’s easy to think about making pain-free savings – finding cheaper ways to keep doing and buying the same things. But sometimes you’ll need to make painful savings and consider cutting things out. We’ve dispelled the myth that cutting down on smashed avo on toast will buy you a house. But you will notice a small change, whether it’s visiting the library instead of Amazon, or cancelling your gym membership.
2) Set a goal and save with a buddy. Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest and most financially sensible men of all time, gives the following advice: “Don’t save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.” It can seem lonely bringing lunch to work when everyone else is out for sushi, so set some saving goals with a friend.
3) Slow down your fashion. Not only do clothes contribute to landfill, they also cost money. Op shops are bulging with hardly-worn clothes. If you’re going to buy something new, avoid dry-clean only. And can you wear it with at least two other items?
4) Save on food and groceries. We’ve recently compared supermarkets and meal boxes to bring you the best value. A hot tip is the Imperfect Picks range at Harris Farm Markets and the Odd Bunch at Woollies. Seasonal produce at less than half the price.
6) Reduce the cost of your debt. Buffett cautions against having any credit card debt at all but assuming you’re not a billionaire, calculate how fast you can pay it off. And did you know you can get paid for having a mortgage?.
7) Reduce your bank fees and make your savings work for you. Some banks offer a basic bank account with zero fees. We’ve looked at online savings accounts but also consider lending your money out on Ratesetter, a peer-to-peer lending platform which can offer you a return of up to 9%.
8) Take $5 notes out of your wallet and save them – the old piggy bank idea still works! Set a target and bank them when you reach 200 and start again.
9) Open a savings account at a bank that will deter you from making withdrawals – like a term deposit that has penalties from pulling out before the end of the term
10) Open sub-accounts for different projects – holidays. Home deposits – so you can track your progress.