10 money tips from Australia's best female savers

A smart saving strategy is just one element of achieving financial security – you
also need a deliberate plan to manage and make the most of what you have. Check out the essential Guide For Australian Women

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Millionaires know that diversification is the key to building wealth – they typically have multiple income streams. If you’re serious about securing your financial future, it makes sense to follow their lead. There are plenty of options – think property, shares, bonds, superannuation, your own business or a ‘side hustle’. Treat your finances as a portfolio and start to spread the opportunities and the risk – even if it’s on a small scale – and you’ll be on your way.

Emma IsaacsEmma IsaacsFounder and Global CEO, Business Chicks

Develop smarter spending habits

I was never bothered about budgeting until I fell pregnant and wanted to take a year off with my baby. Cutting back on expenses was a shock to the system, but only because I wasn’t used to it. Develop smarter spending habits – comparing prices, finding cheaper alternatives, setting budgets for activities and outings and so on – and it soon becomes possible to live on a lower income without feeling like you’re missing out. Continuing to do those things, even after I returned to work, has made a big difference to our financial position.

Jade CerfontyneJade CerfontyneProject Manager

Pause before you purchase

In today’s world, there’s a lot of pressure to buy everything new and it’s killing our finances. Most fashion purchases are only worn a handful of times and many women discard clothes after a single wear, or even unworn. The best solution to wasteful impulse purchasing is to write down the thing you think you want and wait – for 24 hours, or two days, or longer. Whatever works for you. I call it PauseB4UPurchase. If you practise it regularly, you’ll be left with a lot more in your wallet for the things you really want and need.

Rachel Smith Rachel Smith Author of Underspent: how I broke my shopping addiction and buying habit without dramatically changing my life

Seek advice – and follow it!

I spent my twenties and thirties with my head in the sand when it came to money. That finally changed when I was in my early forties and my accountant sent me to see a financial planner. If you’re not comfortable managing money and you don’t know where to get started, professional advice can be so valuable. Work with them to create a plan and start following it. Doing this has helped me to see where I’m heading financially for the first time in my life, and that’s very empowering.

Dale PopeDale PopeFounder, Dance by Dale Pope

Track your spending – even if only once

Until recently I hadn’t tracked or reflected on exactly what I spend for many, many years. All of those little things…well they really do add up! Between a simple Excel spreadsheet and a mobile app, my actual spending came to life in front of me. What I thought was just a coffee (or two) a day, some Thai on a Friday night, a few (or a few too many) subscriptions – well you get the picture! Seeing it there in black and white, you can decide whether there’s anything you’d do differently. Even if you only do it once, it’s a ‘no regrets’ move.

Jenneke MillsJenneke MillsManager, Adviser Technical Support, MLC

Don’t leave your financial future in someone else’s hands

During the course of a long marriage, I allowed my former husband to manage all the money matters. That meant I had an extremely steep learning curve when the relationship broke down and I had to take responsibility for myself and my four sons. Maintaining ownership of your finances through your life is the smartest thing you can do, regardless of whether you’re single or in a relationship. Your financial future is too important to leave in someone else’s hands.

Anthea WoodhillAnthea WoodhillFlight Attendant

Set your sights on buying your own home

There are lots of ways to build wealth but, in the long-term, the
security of your own home is hard to beat. Striving to get a foothold in the property market, however modest, while you’re young is something you’ll really thank yourself for a couple of decades down the track. My friends were shocked when I bought a house at 21, but I am where I am today because I took that first step.

Joanne KeJoanne KeSelf-funded Retiree

Educate yourself about the financial products you use

It’s difficult to manage your money effectively if you don’t understand the way things work. Getting to grips with the financial products you use – your mortgage, personal loans, credit cards and superannuation – will help you make better decisions. Get good information that explains it in a straightforward way and you’ll find it’s not as complex as you expect. If you don’t take control, you may end up losing some of your own money – I don’t think any of us want that!

Jenny Rolfe-WallaceJenny Rolfe-WallaceFinancial Educator and Founder of Sprout Education Group

Stash as much as you can into super

Working for many years for a company that made additional contributions on my behalf helped me to accumulate a healthy super balance. It’s made a big difference to the lifestyle I can enjoy in retirement. That’s what super is really all about – freedom and choices – and that’s why keeping it front of mind from the start of your working life is so important. Sixty comes around very quickly, and if you don’t make building your balance a priority, it may not happen.

Melanie SchwarzmanMelanie SchwarzmanSelf-funded Retiree

Make money management a daily activity

Starting my own business was a calculated risk, and maintaining tight control of my finances has helped me to make it a success financially. I look at my bank account every day and allocate all the money I earn to different accounts, for different purposes. Know exactly where you stand with your finances at all times and there’ll be no nasty surprises. That’s a really good feeling!

Georgia Norton LodgeGeorgia Norton Lodge Lodge, Founder, Georgia Draws a House

Check out the essential Guide For Australian Women

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