How to get better at saving money
When it comes to saving, everyone is different -- some of us are great at it, and some of us are, well, not so great. No matter where you fall on the saving spectrum, there are plenty of ways to go about improving (or creating) your saving habit. We’ve come up with this short quiz that’s designed to get you thinking about your saving mindset and provide a few tips at the end.
1. Saving is hard, especially if you have pressing bills, low income or a lack of willpower -- everyone is different. How do you save money?
2. Credit cards can be a wonderful tool or your worst enemy depending on how you use them. How do you use your credit card?
3. Sometimes our attitude to money gets in the way of our saving and it becomes all too easy to fall into the ‘easy come, easy go’ trap. So, if you end up with small windfall from a scratchie, what do you do with it?
4. Sometimes we don’t realise exactly how much money we spend each month on those little things. It all mounts up and soon the money’s run out and payday is days away. Keeping a closer eye on all these things is the key to saving when money is tight. Each month when the bank statement arrives, what do you do with it?
5. You’re saving for a new car and you’re doing well -- halfway there. But you get invited by friends to go on a long weekend trip to Melbourne that requires spending a big chunk of those savings. What do you do?
6. Retirement may seem a long way off for many of us, but the sooner you start planning for it, the more money you’ll have in your old age. How are you saving for retirement?
The results are in.
The Total Rookie Saver [mostly A’s]
You have good intentions, but money just seems to disappear as soon as it arrives. Instead of beating yourself up over your lack of willpower, why not start small and build up? Everyone has to start somewhere and it’s always better late than never when it comes to saving.
Tip: Open a savings account and set up and automatic transfer that comes out of your pay packet on pay day to get yourself on the savings bandwagon. Chances are you’ll never know it’s missing.
The Amateur Saver [mostly B’s]
You’re good at stashing money away under the mattress, but you don’t think out of the box when it comes to making those savings work harder for you. Savings work best when they’re working for you. Check out your bank’s various savings accounts and find one that suits your goals. New technology, such as mobile and internet banking, can help spur your savings by creating a greater awareness of exactly how your money is used.
Tip: Set a savings goal using mobile banking, it’s way more interesting than the jar on the fridge.
The Semi-Pro Saver [mostly C’s]
You pay attention to your finances and aren’t an extravagant spender, but saving is hard because there always seems to be one more bill. All the pieces are there for you to take the next step with saving money, so it’s time to sit down and make a plan. Start by setting up a budget to help trim the fat from your monthly outgoings then put those savings to work. Look into ways to grow your savings through tools such as term deposits and high performance savings accounts, then take a look at how your Kiwisaver is operating.
Tip: Making a budget seems daunting, but we’ve got your back. Start with our guide to setting up a budget.
The Pro Saver [mostly D’s]
Every single bit of spare cash goes straight into your dedicated savings schemes where it is busy growing ready for when you need it most. You’re disciplined when it comes to spending and use all the banking tools at your disposal to their fullest. Well done!
Tip: As good as you are at saving, there might still be room for improvement. We suggest regularly evaluating the structure of your bank accounts and savings instruments to ensure you stay at the top of your game.