The Northern Territory news Tue 16 Feb 2016
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16 2016 BUSINESS 25 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA HQmoney saver MAKE A RENTAL NOTE: Is buying still a better bet? Start a savings revolution Jump in the saddle and save $5000 this year with these tips, writes Anthony Keane BECOMING a better saver is not as daunting as it seems if you break the process down into simple steps. While interest rates paid on most savings accounts are near a low 2 per cent, there are ways to boost your saving power. Heres our step-by-step guide to save more than $5000 this year. 1 You cant work out how and what to save if you have no idea what you spend. Almost half of us dont keep records of monthly expenses or set a budget, research by ME has found. Fortunately electronic payments have made it easier to monitor where our money goes, and there is free help, such as moneysmart.gov.aus TrackMySPEND app. One month of monitoring your spending may show up easy savings, such as cutting out bought lunches, or finding forgotten direct debits. Bring lunch to work and save $1700 a year 2 Dont let money sit in a savings account if you have high-interest debt such as credit or store cards. Its pointless collecting 2-3 per cent interest on deposits if youre paying 15-20 per cent on debt. ME head of deposits and transactions Nic Emery says anyone still struggling with leftover Christmas credit card debt should address it quickly. Set up a repayment plan or consider consolidating debts through a personal loan, he says. Stop paying credit card interest and save $700 a year 3 Lifestyle changes can deliver hefty savings. For example, Emery cycles to work. That gives me money on two levels I pay less for petrol and public transport, and I also save money on (not going to) the gym, he says. Others cut back on coffees, cigarettes or alcohol, reduce spending on communications, or chase grocery discounts. Ride a bike to work instead of driving and save $1300 a year. 4 Most of us spend what we earn, sodivert money to a high-interest savings account before you can get your hands on it. Automatic direct debits from your pay are a good idea. JBS Financial Strategists CEO Jenny Brown says create some inspiration, such as notes or a savings thermometer stuck on a mirror. Have it sitting somewhere you can see it every day, she says. Divert $20 a week into a separate account and save $1040 each year. 5 Shop around for term deposits and online savers. Often there are sixmonth introductory rates where they give you an extra half a per cent or 1 per cent, while mainstream banks have bonus saver accounts, says Brown. A mortgage offset account is a good place to save, because it delivers a riskfree 5-6 per cent return, twice as good as savings accounts and without the craziness of the share market. Have $10,000 sitting in an offset account and save $560.SMART MOVES: Nic Emery, MEs head of deposits and transactional banking, rides to work. Picture: MIKE KEATING
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