If you’re feeling it’s a stretch to make it from pay to pay, that you aren’t always able to buy the things you want, or simply need a greater level of comfort when it comes to your finances, it means its time for a change.

You should ensure your savings can see you through any unexpected expense such as a car repair, a high energy bill or a medical bill. If you don’t think your savings could stand this test, then it may be time to top them up. Use these practical, everyday ways to put some extra dollars back in your pocket.

1. Cut up your credit card if you don’t repay the balance in full each month. According the ASIC’s Money Smart, the average cardholder is paying around $700 each year in interest, removing the temptation to spend money you don’t have could quickly save you money. Alternatively, switch to a credit card with a low ongoing rate so that if you don’t pay it off, you aren’t paying more than you have to. The Easy Low Rate credit card from Easy Street is a good example.

2. Buy groceries, not takeaway. Cooking at home is not only a lot cheaper, it’s better for your health. And if it gets to the end of the week when you would usually get takeaway, batch cook and freeze. So when you don’t feel like cooking, you can grab something out of the freezer – it will only cost you a fraction of the cost of buying it. Your food choices can have a huge impact on your savings. See our recent article on food and savings here>

3. When buying groceries, write a list, and plan your meals and stick to it. If you have a list you will avoid impulse purchases and nothing will go to waste. You should also build your list based on ingredients you already have in your cupboard. While you’re at it, get cash out at the register instead of the ATM – it’s more convenient and will save you transaction fees from using other bank ATMs. Don’t forget the rewards programs at your grocery store if they are available too as small rewards can add up over time.

4. Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Are you really getting the value out of your gym membership? Can you turn off your Foxtel and use another streaming service? Do you really need that magazine subscription? If you need to tighten the purse strings to get back on top of your spending, going without some of these luxuries for a little while can help you get back on track. To stay on top of your spending, you can utilise accounts that send you balance alerts, such as your balance at the end of the day or a low balance alert. By staying aware of your balance regularly you are more likely to think twice about each purchase and not go overboard. Easy Street offers 14 different free account alerts for transaction and savings accounts.

5. Sell any unwanted items that are still in good condition. You would be surprised how quickly clothes, devices, appliances, DVDs and second hand furniture add up. $20 here and there may not seem like a lot, but collectively, this could add up to a tidy sum that can help to boost your savings. Again, you can choose an account that alerts you when you reach your savings goal. 

What do you do with your extra savings? Park it in a high interest savings account and keep adding to it each week. With an account like the Easy Savings Account*, you’ll earn a great rate, currently 3.00%p.a. for 6 months, and then 2.00%p.a. after that. By doing this, you will earn interest over the year just for keeping your savings here! Add your existing savings and increase the regular amount saved, and the bonus gets even more attractive, simply for using a different type of account.

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To calculate your savings, click here >>

Our product Conditions of Use are available at www.easystreet.com.au. You should read and consider these Terms and Conditions when deciding to use any product. Offer terms and conditions: Rates are current as at 01/08/17 and subject to change without notice. This information is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs (your “personal circumstances”). Before deciding whether to buy any product you should consider your personal circumstances *Offer commenced 01/08/17 and is available on our Easy Savings Account for new accounts and new deposits only. The introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. includes a 1.00% p.a. bonus in addition to the standard variable rate of 2.00% p.a. available only for the first 6 months from opening the Easy Savings Account. Offer is available on all balances.  This introductory rate offer can change or be withdrawn at any time. Offer ends 31/10/17. **Standard variable rate applies after 6 months. Easy Street is a division of Community First Credit Union Limited ABN 80 087 649 938, AFSL/Australian credit licence 231204.

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