Top tips: Real-life money smarts from everyday Aussies

Dec 05, 2019
It's time to make a list and check it twice when it comes to your money saving habits over this festive season! Source: Getty.

Fuss-free money advice can be hard to come by, which is why Starts at 60 and Westpac have joined forces to ask everyday over-60s what their best pieces of advice are in just a few sentences. With so many genius money-saving hacks submitted, these are just a handful of the best things to consider when trying to readjust your everyday spending habits.

Advice on shopping

Lots of people have trouble trying to rein in their spending habits, particularly when it comes to distinguishing between the things they want from the things they need. From groceries to gifts, it can be easy to go overboard when you walk into a shopping centre, so here are some easy ways to make sure you’re making the most of your money.

  • “Just because something is cheap in price or on special, doesn’t make it a bargain if you really don’t need it.”
  • “Buy groceries online and get them delivered so that you only buy what’s on the list. No chocolates or impulse buys.
  • “Reuse, recycle, repurpose. Grow, make, bake. Buy quality, longer-lasting products.”
  • “Work out a menu for the week and find out what is needed. Purchase those items only, then there will be no wastage.”
  • “Always wait a while to buy new cars or technology such as mobile phones and televisions rather than when they are first released. Price reduces considerably.”
  • “Spending is about shopping – shop when you need to, shop with a list and shop around. To save grow your own where you can.”
  • “Want or need the item? Calculate the cost of the item as to how many hours you have to work to pay for it.
  • “Check out sales and op shops for gift shopping all through the year.”

Advice on paying bills

Bills are those staple payments that you just can’t avoid. Although there are ways to reduce electricity costs, save water and cut down on credit card payments – some bills are simply unavoidable. Mortgages, insurances and rent will come out of your account regardless of how much you cut your costs, so finding an approach that works for you will not only help you to save money overall but also alleviate the stress of lump sums coming out of your account all at once.

  • “Compare quotes annually on house and car insurance and change providers to reap savings. Don’t assume this years provider will still be best next year.”
  • “Set a day each year to review all direct debits, recurring payments and renegotiate plans or choose new providers.”
  • “Pay off your mortgage as soon as possible. Put extra in your superannuation account.”
  • “Set up automatic payments for bills and pay credit cards completely each month.”

Advice on budgeting

Determining a budget that fits your lifestyle can be difficult. In most cases it’s recognising those areas in life where you tend to splurge and finding ways to reduce those costs. Budgeting can also be made easier when there’s a goal and timeframe in mind, for instance some people save to travel, others want to pay off their debts, and settling on that aim will give you something substantial to work towards.

  • “Determine your requirements and ‘would-likes’, list in priority order, decide on a time-frame. Set realistic goals of amounts to be saved regularly.”
  • “The cheapest money you will ever have is your own. It ALWAYS costs when you borrow. Budget within your means.”
  • “Work out your annual accounts, add 15 per cent then divide by 52 and save this amount. This ensures you always have enough to cover your debts.”
  • “Always pay yourself first when you are self-employed.”
  • “Always save 10 per cent for a rainy day.”

Advice on superannuation

It’s one of the most important parts of heading into retirement, but superannuation is too often overlooked when considering personal finances. Rather than sticking with the average 9.5 per cent of your pay check, actively increasing your super input could be your greatest asset when you reach retirement and something you’ll thank yourself for doing in preparation.

  • “Superannuation and salary sacrifice – especially when you get a raise, put that into salary sacrifice and you don’t notice, as you never had it before.”
  • “Put aside more than required in super via salary sacrifice which is a forced saving and can result in valuable retirement income.”
  • “Before you get paid put a small amount into an online savings account, a small amount into superannuation and extra into tax. Only seeing what you have left, it is easier to budget on than the net value of your take home pay.”

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.

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