What ever you are saving for, no money feeling beats the awesome feeling of a good saving and spending plan.
- Have a written budget
Really – the easiest way to cut your costs is to know where you are spending your money. Having a written budget and tracking your expenses to ensure that it’s accurate is half the budgetary battle. Here’s how to write a budget.
- Get your partner on board
If you have a partner then making sure that you’re both communicating and agreeing about your financial priorities is important. Here are some tips on avoiding $$ arguments.
- Reduce your vices
Do you smoke (smoking costs in more ways than one)? Drink? Have an addiction to coffee? Whatever your vice, make a conscious effort to cut back. Healthy and wealthy – a double benefit!
- Learn how to cope with stress without spending
Buying things can be an easy way to relieve stress (believe us, we know), but it’s not so good for your wallet or your mental state. Find a healthy and sustainable way to relieve stress and both your mind and your wallet will thank you.
- Say no and don’t feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing
Don’t feel pressured by friends, kids or colleagues into spending money you don’t have. It’s okay to say “no” now and then!
- Stick to one shop a week
Doing one large shop rather than several small ones cuts down on impulse buys, takeaway and wastage. Plan ahead and write a weekly meal menu so you can get all the ingredients you need at once.
- Make use of leftovers
Cook larger portions of your meals and freeze them to use as leftovers. Pizzas, bolognese sauce, curries, lasagne and soup all freeze well and can also be handy lunch options.
- Use a shopping list app
It’s easy to keep a running shopping list on your smartphone. Shopshop is one example of an easy-to-use shopping list.
- Use your own coffee machine
According to a recent businesses.com.au article, the cost per cup from an office coffee machine lies between $0.40 and $0.60. If you compare this to the average price of a cup of café brewed coffee in Australia, which is currently between $3.50-$4.00 per cup, there are definitely savings to be had by brewing coffee at home.
- Taking a cut lunch to work
Packing your own lunch or snacks a few times a week could save you a whole lot of cash. You will also be more inclined to make healthier choices when you prepare your own lunch and could cut back on your calorie intake.
- Make school lunches at home
If you have children, making school lunches at home rather than using the tuckshop could save hundreds of dollars and give you more control over what your child is eating.
- Bottle your own water
There’s something satisfying about bottled water, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy a new bottle every day. Buy the bottle and then subsequently refill it from a tap or water cooler.
- Eat more vegetables
When it comes to meat versus veggies, the latter is both cheaper and more nutritionally valuable. We’re not saying go vegetarian, but eating less meat and more vegetables will help out your weekly budget.
- Drink more water
Drinking water is much cheaper than buying a soft drink, juice, coffee, or alcohol – and it’s also better for you. That’s a win/win.
- Frozen veggies
Frozen veggies can be cheaper than their fresh counterparts and if stored correctly can have a long shelf life. Contrary to popular belief, they are also just as nutritious as fresh vegetables, according to the Dietitians Association of Australia.
- Go grocery shopping on a full stomach
Studies show that hunger may cause you to buy extra or unnecessary items while doing your weekly grocery shop. Save money by eating beforehand.
- Pay your bills on time – avoid late fees & grab a discount
Paying your bills on time is a great way to keep your credit record clean. If you struggle with your bills, consider setting up a regular repayment amount to even out the cash flow. Some energy providers will also offer a discount to customers who pay on time.
- Monitor your bank balance
To avoid paying overdrawn fees, ensure that the interest rate is correct and that you have not been charged for purchases you didn’t make.
- Check how much interest you are paying on your credit card
If you owe money on your credit card, check what interest rate you are paying. Credit card interest rates can vary from less than 10% to more than 22% and on a $3,000 ongoing debt, that difference could save you more than $300 per annum.
- Phone your bank and ask for a discount on your mortgage interest rate
Even a 0.15% discount could save thousands over the life of your loan – and there is currently more than 2% difference between highest and lowest variable home loan rates on Canstar’s database.
- Audit your bank accounts to see if you are not paying fees
If you are, there are plenty of fee-free options available.