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My money leaks and how I plugged them to save hundreds

Published 12 August 2020

Katie Williams finds financial balance, and more than a few spending leaks, during the ANZ Financial Wellbeing program.

I have done a lot of work in recent years prioritising my physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing, and over the past few months, I have been focusing on improving my financial wellbeing.

To do that, I’ve been working with the ANZ Financial Wellbeing Program to take back control of my finances, and I’ve used the skills I’ve learned to better improve my ability to meet my money goals and still experience what I love. When it comes to financial wellbeing, I now understand that it is shaped by my attitudes and behaviours and not just about how much I earn.

I have learned a lot about myself over the past few months and I thought I’d share those learnings to help others on their financial wellbeing journey.

Katie’s money leaks and financial wellbeing tips

Are all my subscriptions necessary?

Because they all add up! I was blown away with my unused subscriptions that were taking money out of my account weekly. I had a company taking out $199 every three months for an app that I never used, it was a free trial that I forgot to cancel. I had a motivation app taking out $15 a month, plus a $5.99 and $9.99 per month for video editing apps that I hadn’t used in months. These subscriptions flew by unnoticed but I am glad I found them so I can free up some of my outgoings.

Are my outgoings less than my income?

I have been observing my weekly bank statement and having a look at my ingoings vs. outgoings and asking myself what can I adjust? I've been highlighting my non essentials. There was a lot there, for example food delivery, vegan cheese, fancy rosé - the things I enjoy but are not essential right now. Essentials for me are rent, health insurance, my phone bill and of course streaming services! My essentials often stay the same, however nonessentials really creep in. When going through my bank statement I made a list of WANTS vs. NEEDS – and a little sacrifice went a long way.

Katie Williams in activewear

Are there luxuries I can stop outsourcing?

I’ve stopped buying takeaway coffee and have been making coffee at home. I'm saving $32.70 a week. That is $1,700 a year saved! It still tastes the same and it’s helping my back pocket. I’ve also started cooking more meals at home instead of getting takeaway, and cooking with kitchen staples rather than splurging. I have gotten more creative in the kitchen plus saved some cash. 

Can I shop smarter?

I'm buying local fruit and veg! I’ve found a fruit and veggie supplier and I’ve halved my weekly grocery spend. I feel great supporting local business and I am only spending $60 a week, while the produce is fresher and better because I’m buying seasonally. Win win.

Understanding my spending triggers

I have been limiting my stress levels, which in turn impacts my spending. The more stressed I am the more I tend to spend. I do meditation, practice breathing techniques and disconnect from technology to manage my stress. All of these practices are free and I can do them at any time of the day to self-regulate and de-stress. My mind leads everything, so if I make sure I take care of it, all aspects of my life improve. For the days that I really can’t meditate, I start by quieting the mind; a walk in nature with no phone or music is a great start for me.

How I respond to money matters

My last tip is changing my money mindset and living in my means. I realised that money comes and goes, it flows in and out. The biggest lesson I had was changing my spending to match my current income and not spending more than I make so I’m not continually tapping into my savings account, plus following my simple budget planner to stay on track!

I now know what I can do to improve and control my financial wellbeing and my spending.

To me, holistic wellbeing is drinking a green smoothie but enjoying a rose with friends, it’s a HIIT workout followed by a restful Sunday, and it’s better understanding my spending habits so where my money is going is totally within my control and within my means.

The ANZ Financial Wellbeing Program has really helped me with my financial confidence this year, so give it a go and see what spending leaks you come up with.

This article was kindly contributed by ANZ financial wellbeing ambassador Katie Williams, former elite athlete and wellness advocate. In between producing her popular podcast, Better For It, she regularly contributes to many health and fitness publications.

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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.