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The biggest saving mistakes

Christmas can be a stressful time if you haven’t saved cash in time for the festive period.
Christmas can be a stressful time if you haven’t saved cash in time for the festive period.

AUSTRALIANS are regularly dipping into their stashed cash - some as frequently as weekly - which is delaying their savings goals and adding further financial pressure.

As Christmas edges closer savers are being warned to think twice before they dip into their hard-earned cash, particularly as new research found 70 per cent of people have average credit card debts of about $3300.

Christmas can be a testing time of year on budgets so it pays to have some stashed cash.
Christmas can be a testing time of year on budgets so it pays to have some stashed cash.

The analysis from online bank UBank, which quizzed 1000 people, has revealed half of Australians dip into their savings regularly despite setting realistic savings goals.

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But many people are dreaming big - about 62 per cent are saving for big-ticket items such as an overseas holiday or a new car.

UBank's chief executive officer Lee Hatton says having a pool of cash in savings is critical particularly as rising cost of living pressures burden households.

Ubank chief executive officer Lee Hatton urges people to try and avoid dipping into savings.
Ubank chief executive officer Lee Hatton urges people to try and avoid dipping into savings.

"About 11 per cent of people are willing to dip into their savings weekly, it actually becomes a habit for it to be OK to break goals,'' she said.

"We are heading into a time of year that sees increased financial pressures for many from gifts to holidays to hosting Christmas get-togethers."

Ms Hatton has urged consumers to be careful before splashing cash over the summer months and suggests doing things such as Secret Santa instead of buying every family member a gift.

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But the key to achieving successful savings goals is discipline, and the figures have revealed despite people having grand plans only about one in 10 people have a strict budget in place.

Tribeca Financial's chief executive officer Ryan Watson says it's important to always save for a "rainy day" and this should be taught to children from a young age so it flows through to adulthood.

Tribeca Financial’s Ryan Watson said having a savings plan is critical to achieving those goals.
Tribeca Financial’s Ryan Watson said having a savings plan is critical to achieving those goals.

"A savings plan is essential, as a rule we encourage our clients to have at least three months (preferably four) worth of pay in an 'emergency' account and I do mean an emergency,'' he said.

"We need to get back to being a nation of savers, instead of spenders.

"Heading into Christmas, your savings plan simply shouldn't be affected, in fact, Christmas costings should be worked into your household cashflow each year."

Another good to tactic is to have a separate "spending" and "savings" account to separate the two and ensure they are used accordingly.

Ms Hatton said Australians should understand the difference between good debt such as a home loans and investment debt and bad debts such as credit cards.

UBank is about to revamp its smartphone app to allow users to easily track their savings progress over 1 week, 1, 3, 6 and 12 month periods.

@sophieelsworth

Topics:  editors picks money savings



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