Increasing your savings without decreasing quality of life…

It seems not too many days pass in the Australian media without a debate on the savings habits of the younger generation. This seemed to reach fever pitch when last year an article suggested that giving up the café lifestyle such as expensive lunch orders with smashed avocado, can be a useful method to contribute funds towards a housing deposit.

I am sure you have come across numerous savings articles suggesting stopping spending on your takeaway coffees every day. They are often exaggerated and extreme in nature. Suddenly it assumes we all consume a minimum of three cups, they must be large, and the prices are $5.50 or higher. Supposedly there is $6,000 a year there that we are wasting and we need to quit cold turkey as of this afternoon. Other suggested measures often include never travelling outside of the country, and that a “smart” phone is always extravagant. Reading such articles can be a deterrent in making any effort to save and possibly result in giving up altogether.

Many of us love our coffee and it can be a social habit. In some cases, a chat at a café may replace an alternative more expensive form of pastime. Maybe a less extreme measure is to ask ourselves if we are grabbing a second take away cup ourselves each day, are we enjoying that as much, and could we sacrifice this? Regarding overseas travel, are there some cheaper destinations that we haven’t yet considered, that could be just as interesting as what we initially had our minds set out on? When it comes to phones, rather than give up our “smart” phone, have we shopped around for the best deals and data plans before committing? Likewise, with services such as banking and electricity it is generally only after shopping around and asking that you can get a better deal. With other areas that you spend on you may be able to have the savings come to you, by being on email distribution lists that alert you to bargains.

Are there some areas to save that many years ago we traditionally wouldn’t have thought about? Whilst sharing your accommodation may be considered a sacrifice to your lifestyle, Airbnb has at least made the process less of a long-term commitment to try. Classified websites may be a way where we can monetize items that otherwise we wouldn’t have used again. Owning a car has always been a major cost in our budget, but car sharing websites have come along way.

Increasing your savings does not always have to decrease the quality of your life and we don’t have to take an all or nothing approach, some small steps are better than nothing. Finally, automatically redirecting some of your pay over to a bank account where you can’t access as easily, can be a more modern way to help with the discipline needed to improve your savings habits.

An article created by Infocus Securities