How to build savings

We have tools and information to help you reach your savings target.

Start a budget

Use a budget to help work out how much money you can save. Then track your spending and see how much money you have left to save after paying your bills and expenses.

Read more about how to budget by managing your money day to day.

Keep your budget clear and simple and review it often. Your savings will build over time as you add to it. It’s important to save for emergencies. Like unexpected dentist visits or car repairs. Having some savings, big or small, will help you cope with whatever the future brings.

Don’t forget to check your bank statements or transaction histories. This will show if you can adjust or cancel direct debits you no longer need.

Example

Valerie was trying to make some small savings so she could buy new school shoes for her daughter. She checked her bank statements and found a direct debit for a gym she hadn’t been to for a year. So she cancelled her gym membership, saving herself $25 per week. She bought the school shoes and put the rest of the money into an online savings account.

Set up goals

A savings plan will help you reach your savings goals. You don’t have to have a large savings goal. Small goals are just as good.

Short term goals

You may reach your short term goals sooner if you:

  • cut back on buying things you don't really need
  • use cash or a debit card instead of your credit card when shopping.

Long term goals

Long term savings can be for larger saving goals, such as:

  • a car
  • house
  • retirement.

It’s never too early to start planning. You may want to think about getting expert advice.

Our video tells you what you need to know when choosing a financial adviser.

Our Financial Information Service helps you make informed decisions about your finances. A Financial Information Service Officer can help you plan for your future financial needs.

Tips and tricks

Here’s some more information to help you budget.

Check your bank statement

Watch the video on ASIC’s MoneySmart website to learn how to check your bank statement. Check your bank statement often to help you better manage and understand how you spend your money.

Do your research

Find the best deal you can get. Whether you’re shopping for clothes, a mortgage or thinking about changing electricity provider, ask for a better deal. It might save you money.

A clever way to make the most of your money is through your super. You can get a Government co-contribution if your income is below a certain amount. ASIC’s MoneySmart website details how you can take advantage of the Government co-contributions.

Save on banking fees

Every little bit counts. If you get a Centrelink payment, you may be able to get a savings account that won’t charge fees. Ask your bank or credit union about fee free accounts.

Many companies and banks charge you each time they send you a paper bill or statement. Choose to get these online and you could save money. The way you get bills can vary depending on the company. You can get them:

  • by email
  • in your online account with that company.

If you can’t get your bills online, you can still choose to get them sent in the mail. You can also ask to  be exempt from the fees they charge to send a paper bill.

Read about savings accounts at ASIC’s MoneySmart website before talking to your bank or credit union. Most banks have online accounts that have better interest rates.

Related subjects

Page last updated: 28 October 2019