At Fortress we often set our clients some homework: to tighten up their household budget to see how much surplus cash they really have. Remember, it’s the money left over at the end of the month that you can use to start building your wealth.
Having surplus cash to add to your investments is not a pipe dream. But if having your money working harder for you is not motivation enough to tighten your budget, here are some handy tips.
Remember, cutting back may mean a bigger investment portfolio, being debt free sooner or even a more lavish retirement.
Usually the biggest bill in any household, but luckily, it’s one of the easiest to diminish. Many families can reduce their weekly food bill by as much as 50% by menu planning. Also, look beyond the supermarket. Taking the time to shop around your local butcher and greengrocer can result in valuable savings.
The answer to saving here is to review and compare. Do your research and check out deals from different providers. This is not the most exciting task, but one to two hours on the phone or online could save you several hundred dollars a year.
Potentially another large household expense. The best way to cut-back on petrol is not to use it. Walk, ride or use public transport whenever possible. Car-pooling is also a great cost-saver. Make a list of your errands over a fortnight and try to get them done in the same area at once.
Everyone automatically reaches for their wallet here, but fun can be reasonably priced, or even free. Check out exhibitions, markets, walks and local fairs. Host a movie or games night or pack a picnic and head to the beach or a national park. See our list of fun (cost effective) activities to keep the kids busy here.
More thrifty hints…
If you’re terrible with money, downloading an app to track spending could be your salvation. At Fortress, we use & recommend the Fortress Wealth Hub. This smart tool syncs with your bank account to track where your money goes, and automatically categorises your spending for you.
Finally, if you really struggle with self-control, many banks offer accounts with online-only access, or require you to go in to make a withdrawal. This can prevent you going on mad sprees with your EFTPOS.
The important thing is to take the first step. Aim as big or small as you like. Cancel your newspaper subscription. Take your own lunch to work. Or think big by downsizing to a smaller (cheaper) home next time your lease is up. Any saving is a good saving.
Fortress Financial Solutions founder Chris Black is an award-winning financial planner based in Toowoomba who specialises in superannuation, investing, business succession, cash flow management, retirement planning and personal insurances (including life insurance, income protection, total permanent disability and trauma insurance).
Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557.
This market update was compiled by BTFG Research.
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