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Getting into a savings frame of mind

It can be difficult to get into the habit of saving, no matter what stage of life you’re at. However, if you’ve got something you’d like to save for in mind, with a bit of planning you could soon be on your way.

Understand your spending behaviour

For people who have difficulty saving, understanding exactly what they spend could be a first step to changing their spending behaviour. This isn’t about giving yourself a hard time, it’s about knowing what you spend and why so you can be realistic about any changes.

Keep a spending diary

One of the best ways to understand your spending behaviour may be to keep a spending diary. This can take as little as five minutes a day, but could have a huge impact when you look back over what you’ve written.

 

Here’s how you do it:

  • Get a notepad or download an app to your phone
  • Decide how long to track, for example, two weeks if you get paid fortnightly
  • Ask for receipts to help you stay on top of your spending
  • Write down everything you spend, no matter how small, every day.

 

You may also find it helpful to gather entries into spending categories like travel, dining out or clothes.

Shift your spending perspective

Keeping a spending diary is a reality check. After you’ve done this for a few weeks, look back over the entries to get a sense of where your money goes. For example, you’ll see how even small expenses – such as buying lunch every day – quickly add up.

Tricks to curb impulsive spending

Relying on self-control can sometimes be hard, but there are some other tricks that might help you think twice before indulging in an impulse purchase.

 

  • Don’t store your credit or debit card information online – having all the payment information pre-populated makes it a bit easy to just click ‘buy’
  • Wait 30 days before buying anything - you may find you don’t want it quite that much anymore.

Start saving small

It can be tempting to throw yourself into a really ambitious savings plan when you first start saving, but sometimes it makes sense to start small. Saving at the same time as a friend who is also trying to save could be a really good way of sticking to your goals. You might even find you get a bit competitive about it!