Building savings can be a slow and steady game.
Which is fine. You know how the fable ends *spoiler alert*.
The tortoise wins.
That’s because when it comes to reaching goals, nothing beats consistency. One foot in front of another, over and over, will get you there every time.
But here’s a secret that you don’t get from the fable.
When it comes to savings, you can be both the hare and the tortoise.
You can set up a savings plan where you consistently pay yourself first. That’s the very successful tortoise approach.
But you can also make like a hare and boost your savings in fits and starts.
9 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR SAVINGS
Give your savings and your motivation a quick boost with one or more of these ideas.
1. CHANGE TO A HIGH-INTEREST SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Maximise your savings by getting the highest return possible.
Just like you should shop around when you buy something, you should also shop around every now and then to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your savings account.
Use a comparison site to see if you’re getting the best interest on your savings or whether switching will get you to your savings destination a little bit quicker.
As a side note, if you have a mortgage, you might be better off using an offset account rather than a savings account. You won’t boost your savings in the short term but over time, you could save yourself thousands on interest on your mortgage.
2. DEPOSIT YOUR SAVINGS
You’ve made the effort to shave $40 off your electricity bill. Don’t blow the savings! ‘Pay’ the full amount by paying what you owe the electricity company and transferring the spare $40 straight into your savings account.
You would have spent that $40 on the bill anyway (if you hadn’t made the savings), so you won’t miss the money by putting it into your savings account.
In fact, when it comes to boosting your savings, every time you save some money or ‘beat your budget’ get into the habit of depositing the savings into your savings account rather than spending the savings on something else.
Reducing the budget and spending less will only boost your savings if you actually put the spare cash towards your savings account.
3. SELL YOUR STUFF
We all have spare cash in the form of clutter lying around the house. Selling your stuff is one of the quickest and easiest ways of earning extra money and boosting your savings. Phone apps make this process super quick and easy – simply snap a photo and upload it straight on to the eBay or Gumtree app.
Phone apps make this process super quick and easy – simply snap a photo and upload it straight on to the eBay or Gumtree app.
And by selling the extra stuff that you no longer need, not only do you get extra cash, the item goes to good use rather than being wasted sitting unused in the cupboard.
If your workplace offers over time, it can be an easy way to pick up some short term extra cash to boost your savings. Alternatively, picking up an extra casual job or temp work, even for just a short term, is another way of boosting your savings.
5. SIDE HUSTLE
The downside to picking up extra work is it’s not always that easy to come by! That’s where the side hustle comes in.
A side hustle is taking a skill that you have and using it to earn money in your spare time.
For example, I once started an ironing service to make some extra cash. I’ve heard of people cooking homemade meals for families so they have a healthy home-cooked meal to come home to when they’re too busy to cook.
Maybe you can walk people’s dogs or do garden maintenance.
You could also look on Fiverr to see if there are skills you can freelance online.
6. KEEP A CHANGE JAR
One time at the bank, a girl rocked up to the coin deposit machine and proceeded to pull 3 vodka bottles out of her backpack. Not 1-litre bottles mind you, big jug sized bottles absolutely full of five cent pieces. It must have weighed a tonne and it took ages for her to shake all that change out into the machine.
It is surprising just how quickly spare change can add up.
Make a habit of emptying your purse every night into a change jar and then depositing the change into the bank on a regular basis.
Not only does collecting your change add up, not carrying small amounts of cash and change can help stop impulse buying.
7. SAVE YOUR PAY RISE
A pay rise is always welcome, but if you’ve survived this far on the income you’ve been earning, you won’t miss the extra cash if you deposit it straight into your savings account.
Using your pay rise to increase your regular savings plan will have a dramatic effect on your savings balance by the end of the year.
8. SAVE YOUR BONUSES, WINDFALLS AND TAX RETURNS
Spending a windfall is so much fun and there’s nothing wrong with a splurge!
However, if you’re trying to reach savings goals that you know will be better than a short-term splurge, then put your windfalls and bonuses to your savings.
Don’t forget to save leave loading and overtime bonuses.
9. CASH IN GIFT CARDS
Have you ever gotten gift cards you don’t really want?
You could consider selling them at a discount on places like Gumtree or Cardhub and putting the cash towards your savings.
Alternatively, you could on-gift the card (just make sure it’s not too close to its use-by date), and put the money you would have spent on a gift towards your savings or use the card to buy gifts.
10. Convert your credit card repayments to savings once you’re debt free
If you’ve been making regular repayments on a credit card, once you’ve paid down the balance, continue to make the automatic payments to your savings account instead.
And don’t forget to avoid more debt in the future.
It’s important to have a tortoise style plan in place to grow your savings. But that’ doesn’t mean you can’t take a leaf out of hare’s book and give your savings (and your motivation) a quick boost every now and then.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.