What if I told you it was possible to save money in the region of $20 grand in a year, just by tweaking the things we do every day? With our lives becoming ever more fast paced and intertwined with technology, it’s easier and more convenient to spend our hard-earned without a second thought.
I hear you – “I work so hard, I rely on my nights out/morning & afternoon coffee/multiple data and streaming subscriptions to get me through!” They’re valid justifications, but the reality is, saving money doesn’t just happen – it relies on you being motivated and clever enough.
So, whether your goal is a deposit for a house, a new car, or a holiday abroad, what are some of the best ways to save money without feeling like you’ve become a hermit? How do we strike the balance and avoid bad money habits while staying sane?
How we eat
So many of us shop at our local supermarket, but one of the best ways to save money is to visit your local farmers/fresh food market when you can. Not only is the produce usually fresher, you’d be amazed at how much you could reduce your weekly grocery bill.
And look, when your friends are putting the heat on you to come for dinner & drinks on a Friday night, don’t just resign yourself to spending $100 just to be social. Take advantage of handy apps like Groupon or Clipp to find bargains near you, or suggest hosting a “$5 dinner party,” where you ask each guest to bring a course with a $5 spend limit.
How we travel
OK, so Uber might not be available everywhere in this country yet, but if it’s hit your hood, it’s one of many easy ways to cut costs. Fares are substantially cheaper, and you can earn extra ride credit by referring friends. What’s more, if you’ve got your own wheels and some free time, you can earn more money towards your savings by becoming a driver.
And if we’re talking travel for pleasure, please at least look into Airbnb before booking into a $$$ hotel. Leave yourself more money for the good stuff on holidays, and again (like Uber), if you know you’ll be out of town for a few days/weeks, why not list your own place and put it to work in your absence?
How we shop
The way we shop has changed – we’re heading online but we still spend too much with existing retail chains. Ebay, Etsy and similar sites are literally crammed with bargains, whether you’re in the market for fashion, beauty, sporting goods – you name it.
And while we’re talking ways to save money, if your place is slowly starting to resemble an episode of hoarders, upcycle your old stuff by listing it on Ebay. Any $$ you make can be kicked straight into your Greater Bank savings account.
How we pay our bills
Ah… the fun stuff. They’re always gonna be there, but do they have to be so large? Hell no. If you’re really wondering how to save money, you owe it to future you to compare your current providers at bill time – we’re talking car insurance, phone/data plan, energy provider.
Head online and try to find a better price for a similar quality service, and if you can’t find one, call your existing supplier and try to negotiate. If you’re a loyal customer, you might be surprised how flexible they can be.
How we chill
Of all the money saving tips, this one gets old quick – “just spend less on having fun.”
OK – ignoring that buzzkill vibe, there’s a grain of truth to be found, here. It’s a big world out there – getting out and exploring some of it in your free time will not only force you to become more active and healthy, it will open your eyes to what’s going on in the place you call home.
And if you need to lash out for sanity’s sake, set yourself a weekly budget for recreation, or use things like Optus Perks and similar offerings from Telstra and other providers to find deals on events, movie tickets and more.