Finance focus
Are you a good saver? Take the quiz to find out!

2020 has been a year like no other! With the new year upon us, now is the perfect time to consider your financial goals for the next 12 months, and the best place to start is with a good money management plan. We’ll share some great tips in this article.

But first, complete this quiz to see how good your saving skills are. It’s important you don’t think about the answers too long, select the first one that comes to your mind. Ready? Here we go.

It’s payday! You just received your salary in your account. What do you first do?

When you go grocery shopping you:

How often to you cook at home?

It’s been a tiring month at work. To your surprise, you received a bonus from your last project. Congratulations! What would you do with the money?

You found a perfect apartment; however, the rent is way out of your price range. What do you do?

It’s your mum’s birthday this weekend. Your father decided to arrange a surprise celebration for her. You agreed on splitting up the expenses with your siblings.

When your bill comes, you

How often do you borrow money?

How does your bank account look like the day before payday?

Please note that this test is not very scientific and is intended for fun, but it should give you an insight into how you feel about money and your behaviour towards handling your finances.

Let’s see how you did:

If you answered mostly A’s

Money, for you, is for spending and leading an enjoyable life. You have a great life – until your overspending catches up. If you’re in the spender category, know that you’re far from alone but it’s not too late to make some changes. As much as you may loathe the idea of a budget, there is no doubt that drawing one up is the best place to start. Read further for our top ways to cut your expenses and increase your savings.

If you answered mostly B’s

You live and breathe the ‘B’ word. Budgeting is one of the most important financial habits you can adopt, so you are off to a great start! Read further to amp up your money saving skills.

Here are some top ways to cut your expenses and increase your savings

Is the key to saving a home deposit as simple as giving up smashed avo toast for breakfast? Well not quite, but spending less does make a difference. 

On top of a budget, a savings plan and strategies such as a high-interest savings account, an effective way to save is to reduce or eliminate expenses. 

Start by understanding what you spend money on

It can be easy to lose track of how you’re spending money, especially due to cashless payments and credit cards. 

Many online banking systems include tools to categorise debits and make a budget – take advantage of them. Or download an app that helps you track your personal expenses on the go, like ASIC’s TrackMySPEND

Find savings in the essentials 

Some costs can’t be avoided – but many everyday expenses can be reduced. For example, you could:

You’ll be amazed at how quickly it all adds up to savings.  

Make sure you’re paying off debts or credit cards completely each month or as much as possible, to avoid the added expense of paying interest.  

Reduce common overspending 

If you spend excessively on things like buying clothes, going out or expensive hobbies, it may be unrealistic to cut the expense entirely. Set a weekly or monthly limit and reduce that limit over time.  

A survey of more than 1000 Australians showed that 73 per cent have a problem with overspending. In particular, people tend to go overboard when Christmas rolls around.  

To reduce gift expenses, be like Santa: make a list (and a budget). Buy only planned items within your allocated budget – then stop! Ask your family for support; it’s easier to put a cap on gift values if everyone else does too.  

Another common way Aussies overspend is on holidays. CommBank research has shown that a third of holidaymakers spent more on their trip than planned. Do your research and set a daily budget. 

Costs that could be eliminated 

Look for opportunities to eliminate costs. Cancel unused services. Update your internet or mobile plans if you’re always paying for excess data.  

Ask yourself: are you really using that gym membership? Are you getting value from your subscriptions? Remember, every wasted dollar is money you could be spending on your own home.  

Finally, review and revise.

Our lives are constantly changing and with this, so do our financial needs. To make the most of your budget it is important to schedule regular reviews. Assess your spending habits and make adjustments where necessary. By reviewing your spending habits, you may find areas where you are not sticking to the budget and areas where you can easily reduce spending. It may be something small like working out at home instead of heading to the gym, or cooking at home instead of ordering take-away. These small changes will make a big difference over a 12-month period and will set you well on your way to achieving your financial goals.

The information provided is general information only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product. This article does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice and you should always seek professional advice in relation to your individual circumstances. Subject to lenders terms and conditions, fees and charges and eligibility criteria apply.