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7 ways to get into the habit of saving money

If you’re not a natural born saver, don’t worry, applying some simple ground rules could be all you need to create a lifelong savings habit. For a lucky few, saving comes easily. The rest of us have to work a little harder. But even if you feel you’re a natural spender rather than a natural saver, building great savings habits can be easier than you think.

Research shows it only takes on average, 66 days for a learned behaviour to become automatic.¹ Here are some tips for changing spending patterns into healthy savings habits.

Ok, this sounds like giving yourself permission to go on a spending spree. What it means is setting a savings goal; a deposit for a house, an education fund for the kids, that dream sports car or a relaxing yoga holiday and then ‘paying’ yourself a set amount each week/ fortnight/ month from your salary into your savings account.

If you’re not sure where your money goes, get into the habit of writing down what you spend. You can use My Spend in NetBank to help you do this. You could make some surprising discoveries, for example, that daily takeaway lunch could be setting you back roughly $750 a year. Money that could go into your savings account instead.  

Review your subscriptions, whether it’s a gym membership or an online magazine or video subscription, and work out the true cost over time. Something advertised at just $2 a day still adds up to a potential saving of $730 a year. Can you replace these with something cheaper? Some activities cost very little, such as running or cycling and you can now find large catalogues of free to air TV online.

It’s tempting to splurge unexpected windfalls or fritter them away. But by making a habit of saving each bonus, overtime payment or tax refund, you could be earning a reward in years to come. Even saving a portion of these payments can make a big difference. You could also consider investing to boost your savings

It’s surprising what loose coins can add up to and this is a savings habit that is very easy to set up. Placing your savings jar/ tin in a prominent place means you will be more inclined to empty your pockets regularly into it. When full take it into a CommBank branch. Many have a coin deposit machine that will lodge your money straight into your account.   

If you have $100 or $10 left over the day before payday, you could transfer it to your savings account via NetBank or the CommBank mobile app. A small habit that can help build up your savings and take you closer to your goal.

Finished paying off that loan? You're now used to not having that money to spend each month. By transferring the ‘payments’ into your savings account instead you've created another way to pledge an amount to save each week/month rather than spending it.

These are just a few suggestions that could help you build better savings habits. Whether you adaopt some or all, you’ll be able to grow your savings and reach the goal you have set yourself.

How to form a good savings habit

Things to know before you Can

 ¹ How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world, European Journal of Social Psychology. Phillipa Lally, 2009.

The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, please consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Financial Services Guide.

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