READER REPORT:

Budgeting tips: Every little bit counts

SUE CLARK
Last updated 05:00 26/07/2013
coffee plunger
MAKE YOUR OWN: Save the shop-bought espresso for when you want to meet a friend.

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What's the best way to start saving? Our readers share their budgeting tips.

I think it's all about starting small. Small things make a difference, such as breaking some habitual behaviour and making choices.

$6.70 for a pack of freshly ground coffee and a small plunger from Briscoes (when they are on special) and you've got fresh coffee when you want it. It's horrifying to see how much people spend on coffee. Save the shop-bought espresso for when you want to meet a friend.

Have some AFDs (alcohol free days) - post-earthquake habits can become a bit expensive - save the wine for relaxing with friends at the weekend.

Use some of the saving tools the banks offer; at ASB there is Track Your Money. You can see where your money is going, compare months and see how easy it is to get back on track. We all go overboard from time to time but when you actually see where it's going it makes you stop and think. ASB also has a Save Your Change function where you can round off the amount you spend to, say the nearest $10, and save the balance - so if the coffee was $3.50 you'll have $6.50 go into your designated saving account. This stops you using your card for small items and starts to grow a little bit of savings for a treat later.

Walk to the shop rather than simply hopping in the car. Just leaving the car in the garage one or two days makes a big difference to your fuel bills.


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