Whether you want to save a lot or a little, there are easy things you can do to help improve your finances, such as…
Set a long-term financial goal
Whether it’s retirement, financial freedom, a house, or a world trip, you need to know what you’re working towards so you can save for it.
But remember the saying: a goal without a plan is just a wish. That’s where the next steps come in…
Track your expenses
Keep a spreadsheet of all your transactions or use an app like CashNav. This will help you have greater awareness of what you’re actually spending, and makes it easy to see what can be cut.
Create a budget
One of the most important things you can do to get your money in order is to set limits for everything you spend money on.
A budget lets you work out what’s coming in and out and what you can feasibly save.
Proactively talk to the bank
Don’t wait for them to call you, set up a meeting with your banker to work out the best plan for you today.
They will also help you set up the right accounts to support your plan, including automating savings and creating sub accounts for different savings goals.
If you’re not on KiwiSaver, it’s never too late, but the sooner, the better. It basically gives you an instant pay rise.
And some workplaces also offer their own super scheme, which could be worth looking into.
Pay off your debt as a form of saving
Don’t procrastinate, pay off your debts as soon as you can, even if it’s just a little bit at a time.
While it may be harder in the short term, the interest you avoid will pay off big in the long run.
Organise your online banking
Set up automatic transfers to savings and investment accounts after payday. You won’t have time to miss the money.
Fix the leaks
The easiest thing to cut out of your spending habits may actually be the hardest to let go. But do you really need Netflix, Apple TV, AND Neon? And what about those $4 coffees and $12 lunches during the working week?
Sure the individual purchases may be small, but they add up more than you may realise. Once you have your spreadsheet showing where all the money is going, determine what’s not essential, and cut them out completely.
Consider a financial adviser
If you need that bit of extra motivation, it could be a good idea to get a professional.
Financial Capability: What Westpac do to help
One of the biggest positive impacts we can have as a bank is drawing on our financial expertise to help customers and communities manage their money.