Put your savings on autopilot: 4 money hacks for lazy people
Saving money shouldn't feel like a chore. Here are four ways you can save more money while basically doing nothing at all.
We can all be a bit lazy with managing our money. When it's time to sort out our finances and get a proper savings plan in place, it's easy to put it in the too hard basket and promise ourselves we'll do it tomorrow. But then tomorrow comes, and we quickly find another excuse.
Luckily, there are plenty of apps and digital tools available to help set your savings on autopilot, without needing to lift a finger. A few quick changes now means you can sit back, relax and let your money manage itself.
Here are four money hacks for lazy people.
Hack #1: Set up automatic savings
Have you opened a savings account in the past, but forgot to actually add money into it on a regular basis? Sometimes the biggest barrier to saving money is simply remembering to do it. One option is to set up an automatic payment from your bank account into your savings account at the end of each month (or weekly, if you get paid every week).
But if you get paid inconsistently (for example, if you're a casual shift worker, contractor or freelancer) or your expenses change month to month, it can be hard to commit to a regular savings amount. Some banks offer tools that scan your bank account and savings account, and move money between each account depending on your capacity to save.
One example is the MyState's Auto-Savings feature available in the mobile banking app for MyState transaction account holders. This feature will look at your regular transactions and spending habits. When you've got some extra money you can put away, it will move it into your savings account where it can earn a high bonus interest rate.
Hack #2: Put your spare change to good use
Remember collecting your loose change in a jar as a kid, and being excited to eventually empty it and count the contents when it was full? It was always surprising just how much money you could save by putting your leftover silver and gold coins aside.
Well, we may not be using much cash anymore, but this doesn't mean you can't put your spare change to good use. There are a number of apps on the market that round up your daily transactions to the closest $1 amount and collect the remaining digital change for you.
Some micro-investing apps will collect your spare change from digital transactions and invests it in the sharemarket on your behalf, and others allow you to make regular, small contributions and automatic transfers. You'll be gradually growing your investment portfolio and won't even notice it's happening.
Hack #3: Use spending categorisation tools
Not many people get excited by the idea of creating a spreadsheet to manually track their spending and expenses. This is especially true if you're a self-confessed lazy person, like me. But in order to save money, you need to have a clear understanding of what you've got coming in and what's going out (and exactly where it's going).
An easy way to do this is to use an app that automatically groups your transactions into categories for you. A lot of banks are rolling out this feature in their mobile banking apps, with MyState's app being one example. There are also external apps like the Finder app that do this too.
Using a spending categorisation tool can show you how much you're spending on eating out, on groceries, at cafes or online shopping. Seeing it in categories will help you realise where you're overspending, and where you have the most capacity to save.
Hack #4: Check your savings rate
Not only is compound interest the eighth wonder of the world, it's also the ultimate gift for lazy people. This is because it allows you to earn interest on your interest (even while you sleep). If you haven't checked your savings account rate in a while, you could be missing out on a whole bunch of interest.
To make your money work as hard as it possibly can, and to take full advantage of the wonder of compound interest, make sure you're getting a competitive interest rate on your savings. You can do this by comparing your current rate with others in the market.
By opening a high interest savings account that offers bonus interest for regular deposits, you'll be able to earn much more interest with very little extra effort on your part.