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Your four step ANZ Financial Wellbeing Check-In

With all the plot twists this year has thrown our way, you may be more aware of your finances than ever before. It’s time we gave you the tips and insights to get you through with a firm handle on your finances.

Enter these four practical steps to help you get back on top of your money. Take that 2020.

Read through the steps below, pull out any gold nuggets (sorry, not literally) and reconnect with your spending, saving and splurging. Remember, do what's right for you and your financial circumstances.

 

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1. Plan your budget

 

Here's the thing - it's not just about how much you have, but also learning how to manage it.
 

Wants vs needs

Finding a balance between what you need, and what you really, really want, is what makes a budget work. Go through your most recent bank statement, ask yourself some tough questions, and divide your expenses into “wants” and “needs”, based on what’s actually important to you. The needs will have to stay, but could some of the wants get the chop?

 

calculator icon

Do the 50-30-20

This easy 50-30-20 budget ratio moves with you. It’s based on percentages and not how much you earn, so it’s a great way to discover where you can trim your expenses, and keep working towards your saving goals at the same time. 

It works by splitting your monthly income into three buckets:

  • 50% to your needs – rent, mortgage and other debts, bills, food, petrol, the things you can’t go without 
  • 30% to your wants – clothes, take-away food, concert tickets, the things that make life great, but could be skipped if needed
  • 20% to your savings goal – home deposit, travel, rainy day fund, paying off a debt, the shiny thing you’ve got your heart set on

Remember, nobody’s buckets look the same. Take into account your own unique circumstances when dividing up your expenses. You set the limits you live by.
 

Back to your budget

It’s time to put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, and reset your budget. Look at your income and expenses over the past year (or at least the past few months) to track how much you’ve got coming in and how much you need for your essential costs - think debts, bills, food, education, insurance, etc. Then, work out what you’ll have left over each month and how much you could put into savings. Want a shortcut? Use the ANZ Budget Planner below and download a copy when you’re done!

The ANZ Budget Planner is a tool provided for illustrative purposes only. The results generated by using the ANZ Budget Planner tool are based only on the information you have provided, and are not stored by ANZ.

ANZ Budget Planner

Want to be more accurate? Having the following on hand will help:

  • Three recent bank statements
  • Recent utility bills
  • Information for all loan accounts
  • Credit card statements

Review your budget

Your budget’s not just what you’ve got coming in, it's about learning how to manage where it goes. And that means making sure you’ve stuck to it! Use your transaction history or a spending tracker to help you monitor your expenses on the run.

To make it even easier, most banks have a spend-tracking feature built right into their app – such as ANZ Spendi in the ANZ App, where you can set a daily budget on an account, then ANZ Spendi will show you daily spending at a glance, bonus emojis included. 

 

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2. Reduce expenses

 

We’re all about budgeting smarter, not harder, and looking for ways to reduce, reuse or renegotiate some of your essential spending.
 

Start with the everyday expenses

Reducing your costs doesn’t always have to come with extreme sacrifice. Sometimes, it’s just about changing providers to save a couple of dollars every day, or reconsidering what type of plan you need for a particular service. 

Here are some products and providers you may want to take a second look at:

Mobile phone plan

Insurances - health, car, life, pet, home, etc

Electricity or gas provider

Internet plan

Gym membership

 

Get a little greener

Becoming more conscious of what you’re using, or investing in greener solutions, could provide cost benefits in the long term. Here are some going green tips to take a look at:

  • Replace household lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs  
  • Unplug unused electrical devices entirely (not-so-fun fact: appliances on standby are often still using a lot of electricity)
  • Recycle rainwater or greywater for use on the garden
  • Go meat-free more often and save money on your groceries 
  • Repair clothes or broken furniture where possible instead of repurchasing
  • Before buying something new, try a second-hand store or website first. Vintage is in. 

Clean up your subscriptions

No one likes a lurking subscription that you’ve entirely forgotten about – but getting rid of them is an easy savings win! Audit your monthly debits and make some big calls about which ones you’re really getting value from. Start with:

  • Wellness apps and fitness memberships
  • TV, music and movies
  • Meal subscriptions
  • Game apps, cloud storage, browser extensions
  • Magazines and newspapers
     

More: Cancel or continue? The subscription clean-up you need

A subscriptions sweep could be a savings goldmine when you’re looking to cut your costs and find hidden savings.

Get cleaning

 

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3. Spend carefully

 

It’s near impossible to cut your spending entirely, but you can be extra aware of where your hard-earned money goes.

It all adds up, and it’s worth treading carefully instead of spending without a second thought. You don’t have to be restrictive, you can just get a little savvier.
 

Save on your grocery shop

Keeping your grocery costs to a minimum can be a massive savings win. And you don’t have to ruin what you love about your shopping list in order to cut back. Marinated goat's cheese anyone? Here are some savvy supermarket hacks

  • Buy in bulk
  • Say yes to specials
  • Stick to your list
  • Buy home brand
  • Stay in season
  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach

Look for rewards

Very few things in life are free, but a lot of things are on special. Look out for savings and deals on your weekly shop and tap into the world of discount codes, coupons and loyalty cards. Use cheap ticket nights. Download apps that give member discounts. Subscribe to all the newsletters and be the first to hear about sales. 

 

Mind tricks

Bring attention to your spending habits by stopping and making a more conscious decision before you tap your card. Try these mindful spending tips to keep your spending…well, in mind!

  • Find your unhealthy shopping patterns and try to avoid them, such as purchasing through social media
  • Replace mindless shopping with something else, like phoning a friend
  • Fill your online cart but don’t actually check out - save it as a wish list and delay buying anything until you’re sure you really want it
  • Keep your long-term savings goal in mind - or better yet make it your phone background! - to remind you of what you’re really working towards
     

More: Treat yo’self: How to become your own rewards program

Celebrate your savings wins along the way to keep you motivated and working towards your goals.

Find out how

 

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4. Save for a rainy day

 

Did you know that approximately 22% of Australians have no savings, at all?

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that it might be time to prepare for the day the ground shifts beneath you, whether that’s an accident or sickness, or a global economic recession.

 

How much should you put in your emergency fund?

It really depends on how much rain you’re expecting. You could aim for six months’ worth of essential expenses as a minimum, but keep in mind your ongoing expenses and level of debt repayments. Remember, even starting with the smallest amount can help. Research shows that having just $1,000 in the bank as a buffer can make a huge difference to your financial wellbeing.
 

How to save $10k for a rainy day

Even a small savings contribution can have a major impact in the long term. Take a look at how much you’d need to save each fortnight to get to $10k within the next few years: 
 

Save $10k infographic
In one year: Save $384.62 every fortnight or $833.33 every month In two years: Save $192.31 every fortnight or $416.67 every month In three years: Save $128.21 every fortnight or $277.78 every month

 

When to use your emergency fund

There’s no need to crack open your umbrella if it isn’t raining. Some events that could call for dipping into your savings include:

  • Unexpected medical expenses for you, a pet or a family member
  • Critical repairs to your house or car
  • Replacing important items such as household appliances
  • Day to day expenses if your income dries up
     

Save on auto-pilot

To help your savings grow even faster, set it aside the day you get paid. You could even set up automatic monthly transfers so you don’t have to think about it. It’s like it was never there…
 

More: Set a savings goal

From $1,000 to $10,000 we all have a magic number we want to save for a rainy day. See how long it will take you to get there.

Set it to get it

 

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Get even more with the ANZ Financial Wellbeing Program

Packed with tools and tips, the full six step ANZ Financial Wellbeing Program will help you improve your financial behaviours. Step one? Find out your Financial Wellbeing Score!

Get my score

More support

Financial hardship

We may be able to provide you with hardship assistance depending on your circumstances.

Learn more

Saver Plus Program

Eligible participants can develop a savings habit with this matched savings program.

Learn more

COVID-19 support

Go to our Covid-19 Hub for information on our support measures.

Learn more

MoneyMinded

New to money management? Get started with these basics.

Learn more

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations.  You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.

The ANZ Budget Planner is a tool provided for illustrative purposes only. The results generated by using the ANZ Budget Planner tool are based only on the information you have provided. It does not constitute a quote or financial advice, and ANZ does not endorse or approve any budget created using the ANZ Budget Planner. Before considering if any product is right for you, you should take into account your objectives, personal needs and financial circumstances and consider whether it is appropriate for you. 

ANZ does not use the information you provide for the purpose of assessing any application.

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