Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
Skip to access and inclusion page Skip to search input

Developing good money habits

It might seem that good money habits don’t always come naturally, but the good news is with practice and a bit of determination they can develop over time. Here are some tips.

Have a budget

A good budget could give you a realistic idea about how much money you spend compared to how much money you’ve got coming in. And once you know where your money goes, you’ll likely be in a better situation to see where you can make any changes.

Keep a spending diary

Where does your money go? Sometimes it can seem like it flies out of your wallet. Maybe you’re in the habit of buying your lunch everyday – plus a morning coffee (and the afternoon one) – or can’t go past a sale without heading in and coming out with a purchase or two.

None of these things are bad on their own, but they can add up. One idea is to keep a spending diary for a month or so – simply write down every purchase you make, no matter how big or small. It’s a great way to monitor where your money goes and find areas where you could cut back. You can either go old school and write it down, or choose from a variety of spending diary apps you can download on your phone.

Pay your bills on time (and know how much they are)

Do you know how much your bills come to each month? How much on phone, Internet, electricity and the like? If you don’t, take the time to work them out. Some will likely stay the same each month (such as a gym membership) but some may vary (your electricity or gas bill). For those that vary, just add up them up from the past year and average it out.

Now that you know how much you’re spending, make a point of paying them on time – it’s a sure-fire way to make sure you won’t get behind and have bills mounting up. You may choose to set up direct debits for your bills so they go out automatically.

Have financial goals?

Having both short term and long term goals is a great way to keep motivated.

What goals do you have in mind? Whatever they are, write them down. They might include saving up for a holiday or car, or perhaps they involve paying down debt.

Once you’ve got them onto paper you can divide them into short and longer goals and start prioritising which one’s you’d like to work towards first.

Look for a savings account that’ll pay bonus interest. For example, a Westpac Life account offers both a competitive base rate as well as bonus interest at the end of each month when you make a deposit into the account and the account balance has grown by the end of the month..

If you’ve got a longer term goal in mind and already have some savings, you might want to consider a term deposit – not only will a term deposit give you the certainty of knowing exactly what the return on your savings will be, it can also remove the temptation of dipping into your savings as your money will be locked away for the length of the term you’ve chosen.

Find out more about Term Deposits

Get financial advice

Not sure about what’s the best long-term strategy to build your wealth? Whatever your financial goals are, good financial advice could help you achieve them and a qualified adviser could help you decide what you can do now to help you prepare for your future.

Celebrate milestones

Finally, when you kick a financial goal (such as reaching a certain amount in your savings), take some time to celebrate. That doesn’t mean of course blowing the lot and being back at square one, but take the time to treat yourself when you reach a milestone.

Things you should know

This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general in nature. It is intended as an overview only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.