A simple routine change when payday rolls around could be all it takes to saving more money every month.
Helen Baker, a financial advisor and founder of On Your Own Two Feet, told FEMAIL you’re more likely to spend money if it’s sitting in one account.
However, many people fall into the mistake of not separating their income into multiple accounts.
‘A lot of people think they’ll save the money that’s left over in their account at the end of their pay cycle,’ Ms Baker, from Brisbane, said.
‘Even if we have the best intention of doing so, it’s a behavioural trait to spend more if it’s seen in one lump sum.’
Helen Baker (pictured), an Australian financial advisor and founder of On Your Own Two Feet, told FEMAIL you’re more likely to spend money if it’s sitting in one account
What should we do with our money after payday?
Following payday, income should be separated into three different ‘money pots’ – one for commitments like debt, rent, bills or mortgage repayments, a spending account for ‘fun money’ and a third for savings.
Ms Baker said: ‘There’s a saying that it’s not about what you earn, it’s about how you manage your money that determines what your outcome is.
‘So someone who’s earning less than an employee on a higher income could in fact be saving more if they manage their finances well.’
While there’s no limit on the number of accounts one person can have, Ms Baker recommends having a minimum of three.
‘If you only have two accounts, it’s very likely to become a grey area and you won’t know precisely how much you’re saving or spending,’ she said.
‘The savings could be a fixed amount towards something you’re working towards or it could be an amount you’re comfortable putting away. It could be invested or put away when it’s needed.
‘You’ll be surprised how much you’ll save by putting the money away every time you’re paid as it accumulates over time.’
How much money should be allocated towards savings each month?
There’s no ‘magic number’ when it comes to how much a person should contribute towards their savings after being paid – and is quite a personal choice.
While most aim to allocate 20 per cent of their income into savings, Ms Baker recommends ‘working with the numbers’ rather than percentages.
She recommends tracking your finances in an excel spreadsheet to determine how much money is left over after expenses, spending and liabilities are considered.
‘By looking at it factually number by number, you’ll be able to determine if you can save even more,’ Ms Baker said.
‘But someone who’s earning a higher wage should dedicate more towards their savings rather than the bare minimum because otherwise they’ll be missing the mark.’
While most aim to allocate 20 per cent of their income into savings, Ms Baker recommends ‘working with the numbers’ rather than percentages (stock image)
What should be considered when payday arrives?
In addition to creating different accounts to separate the money into, Ms Baker also recommends speaking to your employer to set the division for you.
‘A lot of payroll systems allow you to put money into super or salary sacrifice, which is also a great way to save. But they should also allow you several accounts to deposit the split of your pay,’ she said.
‘So it’s all done for you.’
What else can be done to ensure money is being saved?
For those who may struggle saving money, Ms Baker recommends strategies using cash – such as cash stuffing – to physically see what is being spent or saved.
Decades ago employees used to only be paid in cash, but today it’s a completely different world and majority of Australians use cashless systems.
On Thursday it was announced that Macquarie Bank will begin phasing out all cash, cheque and phone payment services in its Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane branches from January as moves to digital-only transactions.
‘Paying in cash makes you understand how much your truly spending and it can be a real eye-opener seeing the money disappear from your wallet,’ Ms Baker said.
‘People can form a better connection with their finances if they physically see it coming and going.’