Lately, I’ve read a lot about the interest rate going down & who the real winners & losers are. It makes pretty interesting fodder during my lunch break.
I thought I’d share a bit about the my savings habits throughout the years, which I think might help out. Please read this with a pinch of salt, what works for me, might not necessarily work for you & bear in mind that I am not a licensed financial planner or do I even work in finance. Now with all the legalities out of the way, here’s my tips on building some savings.
1. Write down your earnings & spending
Do this how ever you are comfortable with – pen & paper, app or even a wall chart. I started out documenting it all in a simple notebook when I first moved to Perth & it’s evolved since, but now I use an app to quantify things. Being able to see what I spend my money on is usually the first step in constructing a functional budget.
2. Save at least 10% of your earnings
This might sound hard, but trust me it is possible. I worked 2 days a week during uni & saved 10% then, which was quite a big portion as a student. Having that 10% in a high interest savings account & term deposits (back then it was almost 7%), made my meagre savings work for me. I have a modified version of that savings plan currently. All my excess money sits in my mortgage offset account, making my money work for me again.
3. Work out a functional budget
When I say functional, I mean don’t tie yourself down with being rigid about everything you spend each week/month, but be flexible & allow yourself some leeway to buy things or services you might want every now & then. For example, I lobbed my hair off over the weekend, which isn’t normally in my budget but I allow a small amount of money to be able to do stuff with. A girl’s gotta live ya know!
Hope these tips help somewhat in sorting out your finances!
It’s without a doubt that I spend a lot of my time on my phone (my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 4) each day, reading stuff on blogs, going on social media, as well as making phone calls. I figured, that given that the majority of you will own a smartphone, I’d review a few of my favourite apps for the Android OS. Sorry iPhone users, I don’t use one anymore & can’t review any!
I tweeted this week about the money tracker app that I recently purchased, Monefy. I tried the free version for a while & liked it & decided to fork over the money for the full version (AUD$2.58). I’ve been doing Google surveys & have earned quite a nice sum in the Play store, hence the decision to buy it was a pretty easy one.
The full version has the ability to password lock, sync to Dropbox & a few other features. I particularly like the visual display & the pastel colours of the app. I’m a bit of a visual person, and being able to see the percentage of my money being allocated to certain categories is really handy.
Please forgive the stickers, I’d rather keep my actual balance sheet private. The balance at the bottom shows you how much is left after you spend stuff. The ability to categorise spending works well for the librarian in me, there isn’t a shortage of categories to choose from either – going from house, bills, eating out, groceries, right to entertainment, taxis, toiletries & clothes. Now if you’re not like Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) & makes excuses to categorise dining tables from a trip away as essential items, I think you’ll survive.
You can view your spending in daily, weekly, monthly or yearly modes & even go into a budget mode where every dollar is allocated to something – including savings. I’m by no mean a financial expert but I love dealing with figures & coming up with ways to challenge myself to save more & pay off my mortgage sooner. That would be another post for another day.
The ability to be able to enter purchases or bills in advance is really handy if you’re short on time or forget to account for recurring expenditure or bills. I’ve entered my mortgage payments in a few times & also my utilities. It’s been a pretty good visual representation of how each dollar is spent. You can also enter if you paid cash or card for certain things. Helpful if you need to keep track of how much plastic gets used in planning for potential credit card spend control.
There are many more features to this app & I’ll be playing around with it some more & might report back at a later date. So far, I’d give it a 4.5/5. Just cause I can’t set recurring expenses like mortgage payments to occur. Other than that, a fantastic app!
What’s your favourite money tracker app? Let me know!