Money experts are advising savers to check their bank statements. Many budgeting advisors believe ths is the best way to spot waste and identify savings.

The first thing to look at are the set-and-forget automatic payments you’ve set up. Many automatic deductions can be for things you no longer need. One of the worst offenders was gym membership fees regularly deducted when the person paying them never used the gym.

For those looking to save money the second thing to look at is whether to use cash or card for purchases. Financial services expert Lisa Montgomery, believes paying by cash is the best way to keep on top of your finances.

“Plastic is not emotional,” she said. “When you hand over cash it is.”

Of course the other side of the argument, as pointed out by Westpac digital general manager Harry Wendt, is that using a card generates an automatic entry on your statement. Unless you’re very disciplined you can lose track of where you spend your cash.

The problem with this argument is that by the time you get your statement the damage has been done. Thinking twice before handing over your hard-earned at least raises the possibility of resisting the purchase.

Third, always check your statements. “If,” says executive manager of saving and transaction accounts, Bruce Rush says, “there are any transactions on the statements the customer doesn’t recognise, they should be getting hold of the bank to make sure there isn’t anything untoward on their accounts.”

 

Budgeting experts issued these tips as banks continue to push their clients to switch from paper to e-statements. While the information they each contain is absolutely identical a customer’s relationship to each may differ dramatically. And as the relationship changes so too do their understanding.

As the economic climate worsens finance experts are pleading with Australians to exercise diligence and restraint. Be watchful of the withdrawals from your accounts and understand the dire consequences of credit default.

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