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Make your money grow

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Although spring is just around the corner, there is no time like the present to avoid the chill and jet off to an island paradise. St.George Bank has found that nearly one in two Aussies chose holidays as their number one reason for saving their money.

General manager St.George Retail Banking Andy Fell has provided Your Home readers with some handy tips to help you save for that much needed break.

‘‘It’s no surprise that Australians say their main motivation for saving is so they can go on their next holiday,’’ Mr Fell said. ‘‘Holidays are a great way to spend uninterrupted time with the family, recharge the batteries or do something you’ve never done before. But saving isn’t always as easy as it seems and for many people, there never seems to be a good time to start.”

St.George’s top tips for saving money are:

  • Set a budget - ‘‘This is the most important step for anyone wanting to save money and improve their financial situation,’’ Mr Fell said. ‘‘Ensure it includes all types of income such as quarterly bills and general expenses so nothing crops up unexpectedly.’’
  • Set achievable goals - Savings goals need to be realistic, even if it feels like a slow process; but allow yourself occasional treats.
  • Change a habit - Choose something you pay for regularly and see if you can cut back. For example, make your lunch at home or buy one less coffee a day.
  • Reward yourself - A small reward once you reach set milestones will help boost your motivation to keep saving.
  • Reduce your debt - When possible, try to make extra repayments on your loans and remember to shop around to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
  • High interest savings account - ‘‘Choose a savings account that gives you the highest interest rate and deposit a set percentage of your income in your savings account each week,’’ Mr Fell said.
  • Get competitive - ‘‘Find a friend or family member who wants to save as well, and start a bit of friendly rivalry to help boost your motivation,’’ Mr Fell said.
  • Keep a track of your spending - Online and mobile banking make it easier to keep track of your spending.

*As appeared in Fairfax Community Newspapers.