Saving money doesn’t always mean creating restricting budgets and stripping back your spending. From improving your credit card habits and cutting back on convenience spending to avoiding impulse spending, here are three habits you need to ditch so you can start saving today.
1. Only paying the minimum on your credit card statement
Each month, you’re required to pay the minimum on your credit card statement. But only paying the minimum is an easy way to fall into debt. The minimum payment is usually only around 2-3% of your closing balance, leaving the remainder to collect interest. Paying the minimum will help you avoid late fees, but it won’t help you avoid interest or pay off your debt quickly.
Instead, you should pay your balance in full each statement period to avoid interest altogether. Otherwise, you should aim to pay as much as you can to reduce your interest costs. You can use the credit card repayment calculator on finder to calculate how much interest you’ll collect with your current monthly payments, debt and interest rate. You can also enter when you’d like to pay off your debt to determine how much you’ll need to pay off each month to meet your goal.
2. Forking out for food delivery
Ordering Uber Eats from your bed is convenient, but how much is it eating into your budget? According to research from finder.com.au, the average Australian spends $1,590 on food delivery each year. That boils down to roughly $30 spent on food delivery each week.
If you’re guilty of splurging on food to your door, you’re not alone. The same study showed that one-third of Australians living in capital cities use online food-delivery services like Menulog, Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Foodora.
To combat your dependency on delivered pizza, set yourself a goal to cut back. If you order food at least once a week, try making it a fortnightly treat instead. To save on costs, you can also look at ordering food directly from the restaurant to avoid the delivery fees that come with using services like Uber Eats.
3. Avoid impulse buying
Whether it’s a perfect pair of shoes or a cheap flight sale, most of us have given into an impulse purchase at some point. We all deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while, but giving into spontaneous spending can easily derail your budget.
A simple way to stop yourself from impulse spending is to calculate the value of the item in working hours before you reach the checkout. If you know how much you make each year after tax, divide that by the number of working days in a year. Then you can divide this by the number of hours you work each day. If you have an hourly wage, it will be even easier. You can then use this figure to determine how many hours of work it would take you to buy that item. If it’s not a necessary purchase, quantifying the splurge by the number of work hours it would take to earn it could make it easier to say no.
From creating a budget to using cash over card, you can check out more strategies to curb impulse buying on Money Smart.
Not every budgeting tactic is going to work for every Aussie, but these are three easy ways you can cut back on your everyday costs to help you get started.