10 tips for a fresh financial start to the new year

Feeling the post-Christmas blues? Cheer up with these easy ways to save in 2018.

10 tips for a fresh financial start

Christmas and summer holiday spending takes a heavy toll on the bank balance, but there are many ways you can get back on track for a fresh financial start to 2018.

Here are 10 tips to save swiftly:

  1. Subscribe to a market research company and get paid to fill out questionnaires or attend focus groups. Some of them offer up to $200 if you travel to one of their panels.
  2. Shop around for a new savings/deposit account. You may discover that some banks are willing to entice you with a bonus interest rate. Canstar’s comparisons will help reveal all.
  3. Put those coupons to good use. Don’t throw away shop dockets until you have scoured the flipside for handy discount offers.
  4. Don’t wait any longer. Energy companies are clambering to offer cheaper electricity prices to win you over. Check them out.
  5. If you forgot to spring clean, now is the time to declutter cupboards and drawers and begin listing them on eBay or Gumtree. One person’s trash is another’s treasure.
  6. Try to put off upgrading an appliance until you spot a good deal. By following your favourite retailers on Twitter and Facebook, you will be the first to know of new deals.
  7. Do you need to refresh your summer wardrobe? Take a day trip to an upmarket seaside suburb and scour the op-shops. Many people on vacation at their holiday homes periodically donate last year’s fashions to charity retailers.
  8. When you discover that one of your non-perishable staples is on special at the supermarket, buy as much of it as you can and stockpile it for savings into the future.
  9. An upscale version of a coin jar, the $5 wallet will have you saving up from your change in no time. Each time you get your hands on a $5 note, set it aside in a wallet you no longer use and watch it fatten over time.
  10. Another easy way to see the cash pile up is to establish a second savings account at your bank and organise a regular direct deposit from your transaction account, say for $25 a week. After 12 months, you will have saved $1300.


What are your favourite tips for saving money? Do you set yourself a savings target at the start of the year? Have you ever surprised yourself by how much money you can accumulate with a couple of savings tricks?

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    COMMENTS

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    Blossom
    29th Dec 2017
    2:40pm
    Don't forget that cash is nor covered in most insurance policies if it is stolen. The Police told a friend of mine that thieves even pull food out of the freezer thinking there be money or other valuables in it. The house of a relative of mine was broken into in broad daylight. All the jets on the gas stove were on-full flow - she had to leave the kids out the front, cover her face with the baby's blanket and run in and turn the gas off. They also poured fruit juice all over the floor which had to be replaced becuse it lifted it. It buckled within 12 hours. Fortunately the next door neighbour was home so she was able to call the police from there and stay there for awhile. Drawers were tipped out everywhere, even small baby clothes. She only left the house for about an hour for a vet appt.
    PlanB
    29th Dec 2017
    4:21pm
    Thats awful Blossom your poor Friend what mongrel these creeps are!
    musicveg
    29th Dec 2017
    4:40pm
    How terrible, I am so grateful I live in a safe area. Unfortunately the robbing is getting worse due to drug addicts, low newstart allowance and strict rules kicking people off welfare so they are forced into crime. You need to keep your place like a fortress in some neigbourhoods. There are new security systems that are scaring the robbers off, even having a dummy camera can scare them off and also a dog, they go to easier targets.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jan 2018
    1:38pm
    Very sad, Blossom.

    A relative had burglars break into her apartment. Luckily, her son lived next door. When a resident in the next-door apartment called to alert him to disturbing noises, his quick reaction caused the intruders to flee before they'd had a chance to find anything of value to steal. Son called the police who interviewed him and the neighbour and checked the place over carefully. As the police were leaving, the son said to them, ''Well, I guess maybe I should wake Mum now and tell her what happened.'' She had slept soundly through the entire ordeal! Thank goodness for neighbours with good hearing!

    29th Dec 2017
    3:11pm
    Best advice? Don't spend more than your net income. Savings will then accumulate automatically.
    ericbevan
    29th Dec 2017
    3:42pm
    Mr Micawber gave some great advice happy New Year to all
    KSS
    29th Dec 2017
    3:46pm
    Every week I put any loose change in a piggy bank (literally). When I can't fit anymore change in, I count it up, bag it and take it to the bank to change into notes. Each time I amass around $200+. Sort of 'free money' since you don't miss the change at the time but it soon adds up.

    The other thing I do is have an automatic transfer from my bank account to an on-line savings account. Again you don't miss the regular amount going out but is soon adds up in the savings account.
    musicveg
    29th Dec 2017
    4:41pm
    Great ideas, thanks
    KB
    29th Dec 2017
    3:54pm
    An envelope system where you put a certain aside each pay day for entertainment transport groceries and Christmas, A good friend set me up with this. Works well/ For Christmas and birthdays I always shop for bargains rather than pay full price,
    musicveg
    29th Dec 2017
    4:44pm
    Quickest way to save, is to stop spending, question everything you buy 'do I really need it? is there something else I can make do with?' we need to be more frugal if you want to save for bigger and better things. I did not buy Christmas presents this year because I believe in giving when I can not when I can't. I do birthdays instead. Although I did buy my mum a lottery ticket. Don't buy anything unless it is on sale, yeah you might have to wait for some things but it is worth it.
    Old Geezer
    29th Dec 2017
    7:27pm
    I ask myself three question.

    Do I need it?
    Can I afford it?
    The biggie for me is where will I put it?

    If I can answer those three question I will buy if not then I leave it.
    Old Geezer
    29th Dec 2017
    7:30pm
    Most people will spend not what they need to spend but what their income will allow them to. I have no idea of my income per week so I have no idea what the maximum I can spend is. So I only spend what I need to spend not what my income allows me to spend.

    2nd Jan 2018
    1:34pm
    I usually stay away from online shopping sites and ignore advertising on the web or that appears in my ''in box'', but I took advice from a friend and signed up as a member of Rivers Online. They offer some excellent quality clothing and shoes at very favourable prices. By buying online, you get the best that's on offer and can choose from the full range rather than limited stocks in your local store. Check ''pick up from store'' in delivery options and it costs nothing for delivery, and when you get to the store you can try on what you've bought and if it doesn't suit, they give you an immediately refund. No questions asked. They also email you the best specials. $9 for a lovely pair of good quality sandals has to be a good deal! Their regular price is $45, and having bought the same type before, I know they last well.

    The other site I find offers amazing deals sometimes is eBay. I only go to it when there is something specific I intend to buy and I've checked prices in stores. I often find the same product is very much cheaper on eBay, and often with free delivery. Plus eBay and Paypal provide good security and back up warranties. You can also often get a good used product on eBay or Gumtree. A friend just bought a $1200 swing set on Gumtree for $299, in perfect used condition.

    I chose a credit card that has a generous reward program attached, and good purchase and travel insurance and warranty extension. I use it for convenience only, paying the full balance every month before the due date. But I've benefited enormously from the rewards program and the free insurance.

    And finally, I use a simple, low-cost personal finance software program to track all my income and spending. Knowing what you are spending from month to month enables you to easily see where reductions are possible if you want to save more, and seeing those savings mount up can inspire better saving habits - especially if you are saving for something in particular and you can see yourself getting closer and closer to the goal. If you see that the savings are mounting up, you can then decide if you want to spend a little more on some luxuries. The program even sounds an alert if you exceed your monthly budget for a given expense category.
    musicveg
    2nd Jan 2018
    2:18pm
    Good tips Rainey. I do a lot of online shopping, but you really have to research first. I also sign up to my favourite stores who often offer free shipping days or special discounts, or I use a site that offers free shipping if you spend so much if I need to spend that amount. I buy most of my dry goods in bulk. But one thing I really try to do is to support Australian produce and manufacturers. Ebay I buy those little things we need that I can't find anywhere else and often China is the cheapest's sadly. What peeves me is that China can send something through our postal system so cheaply and an Australian seller can't. You can buy things for $1 with free post but if you bought it in Australia postage would be $7.60! Wonder why China is prospering.