Getting better at managing your money means making incremental changes and forming new habits. But, good news, this doesn’t have to take a long time. You can make changes for the better starting today.

Whether you’ve got fifteen minutes or half an hour to spend on the task, we’ve got some simple and powerful ways to help you be better off.

If you’ve got 15 minutes…

Make a list of what you owe

If you’re in debt, jot it all down so you can look at it in one place. Don’t forget to include the interest rates. Creating a quick snapshot of what you’re working to pay down helps you to plan and prioritise your financial goals.

Plan where your next pay packet is going

The best time to do this is the day before you get paid. Don’t wait until the day—by the time the cash hits your account, you should already know where it’s going, including what’s headed into savings. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing this each time you get paid.

Automate your savings

Once you know what you’re going to be saving from your pay packet, set up an automatic payment to move money into your savings account directly. Until you get into the habit of saving this money, make it hard to access. You might consider moving it to savings account in a bank that you don’t usually use. At a minimum, make sure this savings account isn’t linked to a debit card.

Start using Moneytree

When it comes to your finances, knowledge is power; but getting a full and accurate picture of your financial position isn’t easy. Moneytree brings all the information you need to make better decisions into one place, safely and securely. It even includes information about your superannuation and loyalty programmes.

Learn more about Moneytree’s policies around security and privacy.

If you’ve got 30 minutes…

Create a meal plan for the week

Eating out and buying lunch is an easy way to blow your budget. But when life’s busy these feel like the easiest option. Meal planning cuts down on food and money waste. Plan before you shop, and take into consideration what you already have and what you actually need. You’ll buy less, use more of what you’ve already paid for, and probably eat a little healthier, too.

Audit your recurring payments

All those payments you’re making, from in-app purchases, streaming services, extra storage, and other ‘little’ expenses can really add up. Spend a half hour going through your accounts and put all of these into a list. Look at the apps and services that you’re not using, and cancel them. If you live with other people, check whether you can split the cost by changing to a group or family plan for some of your services.

Shop around

Dealing with service providers, whether it’s your power company, health insurer or phone plan, doesn’t seem like a fun use of your lunch break. However, you might be surprised by what you can save purely by checking in to see whether you’re on the best plan for your needs. Try asking your existing company for a better deal, or shop around to see what you can get elsewhere. While you may not save cash, you could find loyalty points or miles. Regardless, it’ll be a half hour well spent once you make some savings.

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Author: Moneytree Team

Giving you the skinny on spending, saving, and everything in between. We're sharing our favourite tips, trips, tools, and insights, to help you get more out of your money.