If you can, treat savings like an essential expense. Putting away even a little every week makes a difference. Use a jar or piggy bank and put your coins in it every night when you get home. Before you know it, the jar will be full, and you can take it to the bank to deposit.
Also, consider keeping your savings separate from your everyday money. Keep it in a separate bank or don't link the account to your debit card. If it's harder to access the money, then it will be easier to keep your savings growing. Make your savings automatic by setting up a regular direct debit so the money is never in your account long enough to be spent. It also often means you earn more interest as the banks reward you for not making withdrawals.
Shop around for the best savings account. Websites like Mozo will show you all the different types of bank accounts and what interest they are paying. Don't be afraid to move your savings from one bank to another if you can get a better deal.
When you're saving money it's important to set goals and try to stick to them:
- First, you need to determine what your goal is and how much you need to save. Do your research and consider if the amount you need may be higher in the future than today. Your budget will help you with this.
- Second, set a time-frame to achieve your goal, but be realistic. Consider the budget you've prepared – how much can you afford to save? Do you need to save more?
- Finally, stick to your goal – there's no hard and fast rule for how to do this unfortunately; it's something you learn with experience. Think about the important things you've done in life and how sometimes those have required a sacrifice, like maybe not going out with your friends. Use these skills to help you stay focused on your savings goal and to not get side-tracked.
Further information on savings can be found at the MoneySmart website.