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& My money

Bad money habits to break

Young woman selecting an item from the fridge in a supermarket

We all have habits. Some are good for us, some habits are not, that’s why we’ve put together a list of some common money habits that you should try and break for the benefit of your bank account.

Not saving money

Not paying yourself first every time you get paid? You should start doing it – now! If you can afford to save 10% of every paycheck, that’s a great starting point, but if not, remember that when it comes to saving, even small amounts make a difference over time.

Ten dollars saved every week adds up to $520 after a year, and with P&N Bank’s Pay&Save it’s easy to save without even thinking about it. Pay&Save automatically rounds up your everyday purchases to the nearest one, five, or ten dollars and the difference is added to your savings account.

Auto-renewing insurance

Whether it is car, home or health insurance, if you just let your policy renew every year, it’s likely you’re spending more than you need to. It may take an hour or so of your time at renewal time to get some quotes from other insurers, but it will be worth the effort if you save yourself some money. Right?

Not using a shopping list

We’ve all done it. Gone to the supermarket without a list and come home having spent far more than we expected and missing items we needed. It’s a waste of money, as well as being incredibly frustrating. Help your future self out and make a shopping list before grabbing your reusable shopping bags.

By taking the time to check the pantry, fridge and freezer for what you need and writing it down, you’ll not only see what you don’t have but what you do – which can be very helpful when meal planning. Following a list when you are in the grocery store will keep you out of the aisles you don’t need to visit and ensure you only spend what you really need to on your shop.

Only fuelling up on empty

If you only ever fill up when your car’s tank is empty, then you could be spending a lot more than you need to on petrol. In Perth, we have a fortnightly fuel cycle (previously weekly) which means that fuel will be cheaper at the beginning of the cycle and then get more expensive over the next two weeks.

Filling up on the cheap day, whether you need a full tank or not, will save you money. Use FuelWatch to find the cheapest fuel near you and save a few dollars.

Not checking your account statements

Regularly reviewing your statements and transactions can help you make the most of your money. Not only will you be able to spot any suspicious transactions, but you’ll also see where your money is going and recognise the regular spending that you can maybe cut-back on (multiple streaming service subscriptions, anyone?). You’ll also know exactly how much money you have.

If you have multiple accounts with different banks, it can take some effort to keep track of them all. Thanks to Open Banking this has become far easier – and P&N Bank’s new app, mymo, can help. Use mymo to link all your accounts into the one place and keep track of your spending and saving. It’s easy to use and free to download, plus it will remind you about any upcoming bills so you can ensure you have funds available.

Buying bottled water

Not only is it are the plastic bottles bad for the environment, buying bottled water also takes its toll on your bank account. Unlike some neighbouring countries, we’re lucky to have safe drinking water available out of the tap here in Australia. Invest in reusable drinking bottles and you won’t need to buy bottled water ever again.

Water filters and jugs are available relatively cheaply, and if you prefer your H2O with a bubble, you can make your own at home with a soda-maker. Not only will you be doing your bit for the planet, you’ll also be saving yourself some money.

Not talking about finances

It’s not true that you shouldn’t talk about money in polite company. Being open and honest with those close to you about your finances can be very beneficial. Whether you’re asking for advice, or sharing your money stresses it’s good to talk, but if you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, then speak with a professional.

Financial planners and advisors can help with a wide range of money matters, including budgeting, saving and investing. A good one will get to know you, your personal situation, and your financial goals before helping you create a plan for the future.

Using sales as an excuse to shop

It’s an excuse for buying something that you have probably used at least once in your life: “It was on sale!”. Purchasing something on sale is saving money, right? Wrong – especially if it’s something you didn’t really need.

The traditional ‘sale season’ isn’t a thing anymore, so if you’re not careful you could end up buying things all year round, just because it’s at a discounted price. Before ‘adding to cart’ think about whether you really can afford to make the purchase and whether it’s a necessity. If you do decide to go ahead and buy, consider putting the difference in your savings account – you’ll soon see your savings grow!

Not washing on cold

When it comes to laundry, some washing machines are constantly in use – and others, not so much (no judgement here), but whether you’re a seven-loads-a-week household or just one, washing on cold will save you money. Heating water up uses more energy, and with energy prices rising it’s only going to cost you more to do your laundry.

Whilst we’re talking about laundry, we can’t go past the electric dryer. If you want to make savings on your energy costs, switch from the dryer to line drying your clothes. We’re lucky to live in WA where we get to enjoy a lot of dry days, making it easy to ditch the electricity guzzling machine.

Relying on credit cards

Credit cards can be great if you pay the balance off every month but relying too heavily on your credit card is risky – especially if you have multiple. As the funds don’t come directly out of your bank account, it’s common for people to feel like it’s not ‘real’ money. And with that comes the temptation to spend beyond your means.

Combine that with high interest rates and late payment fees and it’s easy to see how your credit card could soon turn into your financial enemy and land you with large debts. Before spending too much, always bear in mind the damage that credit card debt could do to your credit score. The same applies to ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ plans – always make sure you can afford the repayments to avoid added interest and fees being added to your outstanding balance.

Not shopping around

It pays to compare prices – and it’s quick and easy to do, thanks to the internet. If you need to make a purchase, whether big or small, it’s always worth seeing if you can get it cheaper elsewhere. For large purchases such as household appliances or furniture, don’t be embarrassed about doing a quick Google search whilst you’re in the shop or showroom – if it ends up saving you money, it was worth it.

 

Banking and Credit products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (P&N Bank) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701. Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant Product Terms and Condition, before acquiring this product in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The target market determination (TMD) is available on request.

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