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How to achieve your financial goals in a cost-of-living crisis

28 March 2023
• 5 minute read
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Towards the end of last year, we surveyed a selection of our customers about their financial hopes and fears for 2023. Saving for an overseas trip was the most popular aspiration but, perhaps unsurprisingly given the economic climate, top of the list of concerns was rising interest rates and its implications both for people with mortgages and those who rent their homes.

When you factor in cost increases to everything from groceries to petrol to electrical goods, it’s clear that most household budgets will be more stretched this year than last.

But rather than simply point out what you already know, this article aims to offer some possible solutions. We recently launched Money Meditations to showcase how Great Southern Bank’s products and tools can help you achieve your financial goals even in these uncertain times.

Clever savings tools

Just about everyone knows what it’s like to look at their bank balance and wonder how they managed to spend so much. But unless you’ve got a well-off fairy godmother, you’re less likely to have ever looked at your savings account and thought, “Where did all that come from?”

But believe it or not, there is a way to make saving as easy as spending. It’s called The Boost and it works like this.

The first step is to choose an amount from as little as $0.01 up to $5 (the amount can be changed whenever you want) to be automatically transferred to your Great Southern Bank Savings Account every time you use your Visa Debit card.

You can boost up to three separate savings account in this way.

Then, well, there isn’t really a second step. Just use your transaction account as normal and watch as your savings grow slowly but surely.

There’s no need to worry about not having enough in your account to cover The Boost transfer either. If the funds aren’t there, they won’t come out! And if you want to stop for any reason, you can switch off The Boost at any time.

So, whether you’re buying groceries, clothes, or just a takeaway coffee in the morning, you’ll be adding to your savings or, if you choose The Boost for Home Loans, paying down your mortgage.

You might be surprised how quickly this can add up. On average, our customers have saved an extra $2,000 a year simply by setting up a $2 Boost on their Great Southern Bank Everyday Account and making three transactions a day.

There can, however, be an issue with watching your savings grow. It’s called temptation and we’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Just when you’ve got a nice little lump sum together, an uninvited thought flashes across your brain. “You’ve got enough for the motorbike/designer handbag/trip to Vegas you’ve always wanted now…”, it says.

The trouble is, once that thought creeps in, it’s almost impossible to get rid of. And after that, all it takes is one moment of weakness to undo all your good work.

Luckily, we have a solution. When you set up The Vault on your savings account, the balance will be hidden from you. Your regular payments and transfers will work as usual, you just won’t be able to see how much is in there. You can even give your account a nickname such as ‘Holiday fund – DO NOT TOUCH!’ to help keep you motivated.

With temptation removed, it should be much easier to keep growing your savings until you’ve reached your true goal.

Don’t worry though, it isn’t a real vault. You can still view your balance and access your cash in a hurry if necessary!

Smart savings accounts

While we’re on the subject of helping you reach your financial goals quicker, Great Southern Bank has a range of savings accounts which offer bonus interest when certain conditions are met.

Goal Saver is for 18 to 24-year-olds who might be saving for their first car or overseas trip. As long as you’re in the eligible age range, all you need to do to qualify for bonus interest is deposit at least $500 into a linked Everyday Edge Account and make five or more Visa Debit card transactions per month.

Home Saver, on the other hand, is for anyone saving for a home deposit. To get your hands on that lovely bonus interest, you simply need to deposit at least $2,000 into a linked Everyday Edge Account and make five or more Visa Debit card transactions per month.

Last but not least is Advantage Saver. This works best for people lucky enough to have a balance of more than $100,000 (up to a limit of $750,000). The only thing you need to do to qualify for bonus interest is ensure your balance increases by at least $250 per month.

Whichever of these works for you, an online budget calculator can be a useful way to identify possible cuts to your expenses which can then help further grow your savings.

Debt consolidation

If you’ve got multiple debts (e.g. credit cards, store cards), another way to reduce your outgoings might be to merge them into a single, manageable repayment in the form of a Great Southern Bank Personal Loan.

Not only is the interest rate likely to be lower than you’re paying on your plastic, but those with exceptionally good credit scores could also be looking at even bigger savings thanks to the personalised rate offered on our personal loans.

And as if that weren’t enough, there are $0 monthly fees, you can make unlimited fee-free extra repayments, and there’s no penalty for early payout!

Why not see how much you could save by crunching the numbers on our personal loan repayment calculator?

We’re here to help

Although using the right products and tools wisely will inevitably result in an improvement to your finances, there’s a lot to be said for everyday money-saving tips. In which case, please allow us to draw your attention to our Thrifty Thursdays page, which is packed full of them! As we saw earlier with The Boost, a little can add up to a lot surprisingly quickly.

If you would like more information about any of the products or tools in this article, feel free to give us a call on 133 282.

Alternatively, you can always pop into your local branch for a chat.

Important Information

Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence Number 238317. Conditions, fees and charges apply. This is general information and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider the appropriateness of the information, including the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) booklet, before acting on it. The Financial Claims Scheme may apply to this product; refer to the T&Cs for more information.

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