3 ways to become a conscious spender in 2021

The tree’s been packed away, the holidays are officially over, and now you’re back at work wondering how on earth it’s mid-January already?

And if you’re like many other Aussies who are filled with regret after checking their post-Christmas credit card statement, then we’re here to tell you to kick those regrets to the curb!

We get it. You lived it up a little (or a lot) over the silly season. But so what? Don’t get it twisted. We’re not encouraging you to spend recklessly or make poor financial decisions. But, we also don’t want you to beat yourself up over it. Why? Because we’ve all been there.

Now, unless you’ve done some serious damage and wracked up a tonne of Christmas credit card debt (in which case, you should make a plan to pay it off ASAP), then leave the past in the past and start striving for a better financial future.

What matters most is that you learn from your mistakes, so history doesn’t repeat itself. Make it your new year's resolution to stop spending mindlessly and start spending mindfully. And we’ve got all the tips to get you started!

Make the switch to a low-rate credit card

But first, you’ll want to avoid wracking up any more credit card debt so you can start the year off with a clean financial slate. So, if you’re currently copping high-interest charges, then take a look at these low-rate credit card alternatives:

Virgin Money - Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Purchase Rate and Balance Transfer Offer
  • 0% p.a. purchase rate offer for 14 months (then 20.74% p.a.)
  • Score a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher each year
  • Low $64 annual fee in the first year ($129 each year after)
Find out more
The details:

Interest-free spending never looked so good with the Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card Purchase Rate Offer! This little gem hits the ground running with a lengthy 0% p.a. purchase rate offer for 14 months (20.74% p.a. revert purchase rate), so you’ll be able to shop ‘til you drop without having to cop interest charges! Plus, it even comes with a 0% balance transfer offer for 6 months. Talk about a double-debt-blaster! On top of all this, you’ll also score a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher each year!

Great Southern Bank - Low Rate Credit Card
  • Competitive 11.99% p.a. purchase rate
  • $0 annual fee in the first year ($49 after)
  • A generous 55 interest free days
Find out more
The details:

With the CUA Low Rate Credit Card, the name really says it all, folks! This piece of plastic offers a sweet 11.99% p.a. purchase rate, a generous 55 interest-free days, plus zero annual fees in the first year ($49 each year after)! But this card isn’t just budget-friendly. It’s convenient too! The CUA Low Rate Credit Card allows up to 9 additional cardholders and comes with loads of flexible payment options, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay.

NAB - Low Rate Card
  • Low $59 annual card fee
  • 0% p.a. purchase rate for 6 months (low 13.99% p.a. revert rate)
  • Up to 55 interest free days
Find out more
The details:

On the hunt for a low rate credit card? Well, with a 0% p.a. introductory purchase rate for 6 months (then a 13.99% p.a. revert rate), plus a solid 55 interest-free days, the NAB Low Rate Credit Card just might do the trick! The NAB Low Rate Card comes with payment options galore, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin and Fitbit, plus, so thanks to Visa payWave on your connected Visa card, you’ll have the freedom to Tap and Go for purchases under $100.

3 ways to become a conscious spender:

Right, so now that we’ve taken a look at some of the different options you have to help keep the credit card debt at bay, let’s dive into our top three tips to help you turn over a new leaf in 2021!

1. Identify your impulse-spending triggers

The first step towards building a better financial future is identifying where the issue lies. Go through your bank statement for clues on where things started to go wrong. If you can work out what triggers your impulse spending, you can find a solution.

Ask yourself, did generosity really get the better of you this Christmas? Or did you just forget to set a budget and wind up splurging on gifts you couldn’t afford? 

Or maybe it goes a little deeper. The holidays can be the happiest time of the year for some people and the loneliest for others. Maybe your impulse spending over Christmas was actually just a classic case of comfort spending?

Whatever your trigger is, just know that once you become aware of it, you can control it by making a plan and setting some boundaries. That way, the next time that you get triggered, you’ll be ready for it with a game plan. 

2. Set some positive savings goals

If you’re trying to ditch mindless spending for good and start spending more wisely, then you’ll need to set some clear goals. Seriously, what’s the point in saving without a purpose? 

So sit down and think long and hard about what you want so you can set some positive savings goals! Nothing’s off-limits, folks. A multi-million-dollar mansion in Point Piper? A cherry-red Ferrari? The biggest misconception in life is that dreaming is a ‘waste of time’. 

The key is to start with one big end goal and then work your way back until you’ve broken it down into small practical steps.

3. Budget your way to better habits

Once you’ve identified your triggers and set some positive savings goals, it’s time to seal the deal with a solid budget. 

They say it takes at least 21 days of conscious effort and consistency to form a new habit. The keyword here is consistency, people! But good intentions aren’t good enough on their own.

To break your old, bad spending habits and replace them with good ones, you’ll need a plan to get you there. Which means you’ve gotta budget, baby!

First things first, head over to our handy free budget calculator and pop in all your regular bills, expenses and income. Once you’ve done this, go back and reflect on those new savings goals so you can create a budget to help you achieve them.

It’s important to break each goal down into small achievable steps so you can gradually work towards your bigger goals.

Check out our credit card comparison table for more hot credit card deals, or head over to our family finances hub for more top tips and tricks to help you take control of your finances in 2021!

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