Needs, not wants
Question every purchase, and always ask yourself ‘do I really need it?’ Follow the 30-day rule where you diarise what you’re wanting to splurge on. By the time the 30 days are up, you may find you no longer need it.
Pay yourself first
Set up an automatic payment to put away your savings on pay day, and don’t reach for the credit card. Split your money into accounts for different purposes. Make an interesting number, such as your year of birth, your savings goal.
Carry a diary or use a spend-tracking app to jot down every time you splash the cash. At the end of the month, categorise all your spending. A takeaway coffee may feel good at the time, but when you see how much has been spent on coffee in a month, you might change your mind. If you buy a low-value item, transfer the same amount to your savings every time you spend unnecessarily.
Stick a picture of your goal to the fridge or use it as your screensaver. Small things like washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot, unplugging appliances when you’re not using them, and growing your own vegetables all add up. Challenge yourself to make one meal a day that costs less than $5.
Pay all bills such as rent on pay day. Do a shop on that day – of just the basics – no treats allowed. Withdraw the remaining money and split the cash into envelopes for nonessentials, such as new clothes.