Savings hacks

Quick tips to build a savings buffer

5 tips for building up a 3-month savings buffer

Life’s full of twists and turns, so as well as saving for something specific – like clothes, a holiday or a special birthday for example – it could pay to save for the unexpected too. That’s where a savings buffer could help. Whether it’s a big opportunity or little emergency, with a saving buffer behind you, you could be prepared for what’s ahead. Here’s some quick tips to get you started.

1. Set your buffer amount

As a general rule of thumb, a good sized savings buffer will cover normal expenses for 3 months.

Of course, what ‘normal expenses’ are depends on your lifestyle. So doing a budget will help give you a clearer view of what you earn and spend so you know how much to save. This might include reviewing your expenses. Are there things on your list that you need versus want? Can you get a better deal?

When you are adding it all up, online budget calculator like the one here could make it easier.

2. Make a realistic savings plan

Once you work out how big your 3-month buffer should be, you could consider to start saving. Which is where having a plan to save a regular amount – and sticking to it – could really add up.

Think about it: put away just $20 a week and that could be over $1,000 in 12 short months. Bump it up to $50 a week and that’s a $2,600 buffer in a year, and that’s without earning any interest.

To see out how your savings can grow with regular monthly deposits, check out this savings calculator.

3. Automate it so it saves itself

Set, but don’t forget! Saving is much easier when you don’t have to think about it, which is where recurring payments and other tools help.

If it works for you, one way is to ask your employer to deposit part of your salary straight into your savings account each payday so you don’t even see it or have to remember to move it. Another tactic is to set up a recurring transfer for an amount you choose from your regular account into your savings account. You could do this weekly, monthly, or time it when your pay is deposited.

Rounding up is also an option. For instance, ING Everyday Round Up can automatically round up eligible Orange Everyday purchases to the nearest $1 or $5 and deposit the difference into your nominated Savings Maximiser. That way you can save while you spend.

4. Check in from time to time

Times change and so do your finances, so it also pays to review your earnings and expenses now and then to ensure you still have enough in your savings for a 3-month buffer.

If you need to trim down to save up, some good places to start include:

  • gym membership – if you don’t use it, lose it!
  • phone bill – are you paying more for your loyalty?
  • monthly subscriptions – you’ve got how many!?

5. Top up after you dip in

The best thing about having a savings buffer is that you’ll be prepared when an unexpected opportunity or emergency comes your way.

So don’t feel guilty if you need to dip into it because that’s what it’s there for.

Just remember to start topping it up again after you do so you can get back to having a 3-month savings buffer and live life on your terms.

To calculate the payments required to achieve a savings goal within a specific timeframe check out this savings goal calculator.

Looking for more information?

Check out this Moneysmart article here.

Everyday Round Up
Everyday Round Up applies to card purchases using your Orange Everyday bank account. You must opt in to Everyday Round Up and select the round up amount (nearest $1 or $5). When you spend with your Orange Everyday card, we’ll transfer the extra amount from your Orange Everyday to your eligible home loan (e.g. Mortgage Simplifier or Orange Advantage) or Savings Maximiser account. A round up will not be debited if doing so would reduce your Orange Everyday balance below $20. Full details at

Any results generated by a savings calculator are an indicator only and do not guarantee an outcome.

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