Budgeting & Saving

If you find your finances are stretched, our Budgeting & Saving section is a good place to start. When it comes to being motivated to budget and save, it all comes down to your goals – working out what you want to achieve, realising what you′re currently spending your money on, pinpointing ways to save, and setting money aside.

Parents with kids can save on your kids′ school fees wherever possible, such as buying secondhand uniforms and textbooks whenever possible. But buy good quality school shoes! Label all of their clothes and books so you can get them back from lost property if you lose them. Raise your children to be money smart kids and money smart teens.

Teenagers can learn about budgeting before they even get their first job. Uni students will find our guide to budgeting while studying useful. Getting a part-time job, buying secondhand textbooks, and getting government Youth Allowance or Rent Assistance can make a big difference.

Canstar has amassed a collection of invaluable household budgeting tips, such as:

  1. Frugal living: 70 tips to live a more thrifty life.
  2. Save on your grocery expenses by sticking to your grocery list.
  3. Make your own meals and coffees and carry a refillable water bottle instead of buying out every day.
  4. Check the interest rate on your mortgage and credit card. And pay off your credit card, so you′re not paying interest.
  5. Check the premiums are low for your car insurance, health insurance, home and contents insurance.
  6. Never go over your cap on your mobile phone plan, or switch to a pre-paid plan.
  7. Consolidate your superannuation funds to save on fees.
  8. Sell your old stuff on eBay, Gumtree, or Craigslist.
  9. If you have a fluctuating income or work in a creative industry, read our guide to taking care of your finances.
  10. Follow the golden rules for buying a car, and save money on petrol.
  11. Cut a vice for Dry July, and make sure you survive the Christmas season without a budget blowout.
  12. Take care of your pet without treating them like a human.
  13. Getting married? Recognise how much weddings can cost and make an achievable and realistic budget.

If you already have bad money habits, never fear – there are ways to turn things around. Fixing your finances won′t just help your bank balance – financial fitness is even good for your health! You can also grow your savings by remembering the financial lessons you learned from your parents.