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Simple hack to bank an extra $5k each year

Anastasia Santoreneos
·3-min read
How to save $5,000 in 52 weeks. Source: Getty
How to save $5,000 in 52 weeks. Source: Getty

With the unemployment rate soaring to a 19-year high, and the underemployment rate even higher, Aussies could use an extra $5,000 in their savings now more than ever.

And while saving 20 per cent of your pay-cheque is daunting at the best of times, with many of us facing reduced hours at work or losing our jobs entirely, it’s more difficult to build up your savings than ever before.

But research shows that setting small, incremental goals can lead to a greater chance of success.

So, if your goal is to save yourself a few thousand dollars, Yahoo Finance has just the hack for you.

Yahoo Finance's $5k in 52 weeks savings challenge. Source: Supplied
Yahoo Finance's $5k in 52 weeks savings challenge. Source: Supplied

The challenge is simple: each week, cross off one amount on the bingo board, and transfer that amount into your savings.

To motivate yourself, print off the challenge and stick it on your bedroom wall. Write down exactly what it is you’re saving for, so you know each transfer will be worth it in the end.

Some weeks will see you transfer $200 into your savings, while others nothing at all.

There are 52 boxes correlating to 52 weeks in the year. Once all the boxes are crossed off, you’ll have an extra $5,000 in your savings!

How to increase your savings

If you want your savings to work a little bit harder, there are a few things you can do, said Finder’s banking and investments editor Alison Banney.

“It can be tempting to dip into your savings for impulse purchases, but withdrawing from a bonus savings account can often mean you’re not eligible for bonus interest that month,” she said.

And if you’re thinking of putting your tax return in your savings, perhaps leave a little out.

“Instead of putting your full tax return in your savings, consider leaving a small amount in your everyday account so you don’t need to withdraw from your savings.”

You should also keep an eye out for more competitive savings rates.

“Unlike home loan rates, banks tend to keep it quiet when they drop their savings rates,” Banney said.

“The best savings account one month might no longer be the best rate the following month.”

If you want to make a little more coin

When it comes to making money, you need to think outside the box.

For example, have you ever considered becoming a virtual assistant?

Virtual assistants do everything from schedule management to answering and directing calls on behalf of business executives, and you can set your own rate on freelance platforms like UpWork or Freelancer.com.

If that’s not for you, you could take some paid surveys on YouGov or Survey Junkie, which pay up to $50 for responses.

Alternatively, it could be time to Marie Kondo your home.

Australians have an average of 23 unwanted or unused items just laying around their house, and according to Gumtree, selling them – rather than throwing them out – could see you cash in a whopping $5,300.

That’s the savings challenge completed and more!

Catch up on the Yahoo Finance Breakfast Club.
Catch up on the Yahoo Finance Breakfast Club.

Are you a millennial or Gen Z-er interested in joining a community where you can learn how to take control of your money? Join us at The Broke Millennials Club on Facebook!