Finances in February

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Last year we touched on ways you could alleviate some of your financial pressure by ways of making a few small daily now lets take it one step further. Let's work on how you can build up your bank balance.

Let's begin with paying yourself first; put the money into a savings account that is separate from your normal, everyday account - before it disappears by other expenses, bills.....or you’re tempted to spend it.

When you've have started to eliminate those extra expenses, start putting all (or part) into your savings account. Same goes for any bonuses you receive, or your tax refund etc.

You can also save your 'loose change' – put it into a jar/piggy bank (yes, I'm old school)! I am now into the habit of every time I have two five dollar notes, I will automatically put one aside so I can put into my trusted piggy bank. I also put my fifty cent coins to one side as well (this may or may not surprise you, but I have a separate piggy for my fifty cent pieces...I'm abit OCD in how I save my change it seems). But whatever way you choose, you will soon see your change adding up.

I've also read that if you put aside $84 a month, you will have just over $1,000 (depending of course, you put this aside for 12 months....handy tip for Christmas, don't you think?)

Now is the time to start making better, more informed decisions - whenever you are tempted to make a big purchase, wait three days. While you’re waiting, consider whether or not you ACTUALLY need what you want to buy. After the rush of impulse shopping wears off, you will know if it’s something you actually want to purchase.

Whenever you want to make a purchase, consider the “true cost” to you. You can work out the true cost by calculating how many hours it would take you to earn the money to pay for what you want to buy......for example, if you make $20 per hour and you spend over $100 to go out and eat, you just spent five hours of work. By converting the monetary value to an hourly one, it may help serve as a deterrent from making purchases you might regret. Possibly a bit extreme, but sometimes you just need a jolt to put things into perspective.

Set yourself some challenges; start small....with something like not buying your lunch for a week or two, then progress to no online shopping for a month (resist the urge to after pay or zip pay any purchases). Soon, one month will grow into two and so forth and so on.

If you would like to try a no-spend week (or longer) yourself, start by setting the ‘rules’ and decide on the 'essentials' you can spend on, after all – you still need to eat, pay bills etc. The the idea is to limit spending outside of these essentials and make savings where you can. To be as successful as possible in this challenge, here are some tips to help you on your way;

  • Be organised (being organised is key, plan your week/month out to cover all your bases)

  • Avoid temptation (be strong, don't give in to any urges – it's time to break old habits)

  • Get others on board (the more the merrier and will help you keep on track)

  • Think outside the box (you don't have to spend money to have fun, look for free will be surprised at what's on offer)

  • Make it sustainable (keep your challenge as realistic as possible, you don't want to be falling off the wagon)

To help arm you with the necessary information, you can check out the following websites that will assist in you achieving your financial goals and no spending challenge;

If you are experiencing financial difficulty, there are organisations you can contact for support, advice or assistance. Organisations such as:


Salvation Army


St Vincent de Paul Society

National Debt Hotline

So now that we've helped plant the savings your bank balance grow and prosper. Whatever direction you decide to take – we have every confidence in can do this. Good luck!