Whether you’re 21 or 81, saving for a holiday, house, dream wedding or car, it is crucial to understand how your savings habits could be impacting your financial success.
A recent poll conducted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to coincide with the launch of their new TrackMyGOALS app, has identified that up to 43 per cent of Australians describe themselves as non-savers.
With the price of living steadily increasing each year, it is now more important than ever to establish positive savings habits to ensure your financial security.
To discover how your savings habits, or a lack of, are impacting your financial future, it’s important to determine your savings personality.
How would you describe your savings efforts to date? Are you a dreamer that sets savings goals but doesn't achieve them or are you a slow and steady saver with a solid savings plan? Alternately would you describe yourself as a hit and miss saver that sometimes gets it right, or are you a fast and determined saver that always achieves their savings goals?
Figuring out your savings personality, and the savings mistakes you frequently make, is key to understanding your level of financial literacy and the areas you need to work on.
The five habits of highly successfully savers
To secure your financial future and start achieving your savings goals ASIC have determined the top five techniques used by successful savers.
1. Put a dollar figure on it
No matter what you’re saving for it’s important to know how much money you need to achieve your savings goal. To become a stellar saver start out by working out exactly how much your savings goal costs, when you’re going to need the money by, and how much money you’re going to need to save each week to realise your savings goal.
2. Make a plan and stick to it
Once you’ve worked out how much money is needed to achieve your savings goal it’s time to write a clear savings plan. Start out by committing to a realistic savings goal for each week and stick to it. It doesn’t matter if you’re saving $10 or $100 per week - the key is consistency.
3. Track and review
Stay on target by tracking and regularly reviewing your savings against your savings goal. The easiest way to stay on track is to download ASIC’s free personal finance app – TrackMyGOALS – which enables users to set, track, review and publicly commit to savings goals.
4. Set the clock to ready, set, save!
Setting a deadline for your savings goal is a highly effective way of tracking your progress towards savings success. Make the deadline real by committing to it on paper, setting the end date in your TrackMyGOALS app, or setting a weekly reminder in your calendar with a countdown to your savings deadline.
5. Get social and share
Sharing your savings goal with family, friends or on social media is a great way to stay accountable, committed and motivated. Sharing a photo of your goal and your deadline is another easy way to make sure you’re saving consistently and successfully.
For those who are not currently saving or need help getting started ASIC has a suite of free personal finance tools available through MoneySmart.
The TrackMyGOALS app is one of ASIC’s newest savings tools that enables users to add multiple savings goals, set reminders, and share savings goals with friends and family via Twitter and Facebook.
Visit moneysmart.gov.au to learn more about managing your money and how to achieve your financial goals.