Does it feel like your expenses are growing far more quickly than your income? It seems like staying on top of the bills and still being able to live a rewarding life gets harder and harder every year. There is plenty of advice out there, but the difficulty is working out how to save money without making drastic lifestyle changes.
Well, fortunately some help is at hand. We’ve compiled a list of 17 practical, easy to implement ways to save money.
How to Save Money at Home
Use a Written Budget
Budgeting is actually way easier than it sounds. Having a written household budget can help you to plan, save, and limit your spending on luxury items. With a simple spreadsheet you can even break down annual and monthly costs into your regular pay cycle. Find out how to budget in 5 easy steps.
Plan Meals in Advance
Planning meals doesn’t just take away the stress of coming home from work after a long day and hunting around for something to cook (because we know this often leads to costly takeout). It also helps cut down your grocery bill. When you start planning your meals, you’ll stop buying excess items, and you’ll even make better use of the fresh produce you buy.
Choose Energy Efficient Appliances
We understand that not everybody can dash out to the shops and buy new whitegoods. However, when you do find yourself in the market for a new washing machine or fridge, pay special attention to the efficiency rating. Many of these items are major offenders when it comes to power usage, so paying a little extra up-front for an energy efficient model can save you plenty in the long run.
How to Save Money on Gas, Electricity and Water
With a little commitment to changing some household habits, you can drastically reduce your energy costs and start saving money. Here’s just a few small changes you can make around the home:
- Take shorter showers – pick a time limit and even use a stopwatch alarm
- Only heat/cool the rooms you are using
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load
- Turns lights out when you’re not in a room, and use energy efficient lightbulbs
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Turn appliances off at the wall when not in use
A few simple changes will have you shaving dollars from your power and water bills!
Eat a More Plant-Based Diet
Many people believe in the health benefits of avoiding meat in their diet. But we know there’s plenty of meat lovers out there too. The facts are, meat is expensive, and you can save money by choosing more plant-based options. We wouldn’t expect people to completely turn vegetarian, but cutting down meat consumption will definitely help your hip pocket.
Research Health, Car and Home Insurance
We recommend reviewing your insurance policies regularly. If you have health, car or home/contents insurance, there are often better deals out there to suit your needs. Comparison sites do a great job of finding you a great deal, but bear in mind they don’t feature every single insurance provider in Australia, so make sure you do your own research too.
How to Save Money – Shopping
Save on Clothes
If you love a clothes shopping spree every now and then, it might be time to think about ways to do it more cost effectively. Some tips include:
- Check op-shops to update your wardrobe
- Buy items you can wear in multiple situations
- Shop for clothing out of season to get significant bargains
- Shop online for cheaper alternatives
You don’t need to stop shopping – you can just do it a lot smarter.
Do the Maths Before Impulse Buying
Impulse buying often leads to buyer’s remorse and a hefty credit card bill or depleted bank balance. Before you buy anything, stop to think about how many hours you would need to pay for each item. Ask yourself whether it’s really worth it, and do you need it.
Another great tip is to never buy something when you first see it. Especially for larger purchases, force yourself to think about it for 24 hours before handing over your hard-earned cash.
Always Buy Groceries on a Full Stomach
This is another tip for how to save money by reducing impulse purchases. When you hit the supermarket and you’re hungry, everything looks like a great idea. When your stomach is growling, all food looks more appealing, and this often leads you to buying food you really don’t need. So always have a feed before you get the groceries, and you can avoid some of those unnecessary food items!
Sell Pre-Loved Items Online
Want more money for shopping but don’t want to dip into other areas of your budget? The best thing you can do is sell pre-loved items online. We bet if you went through your wardrobe, you’d find more than a few items you never wear, or things around the home you simply don’t use.
Selling those unwanted items can put some money straight back into your pocket.
Extra Savings All Around
Change One Habit
It’s amazing how much you can save with one simple change. Let’s say you buy two coffees every day at around $4 each. If you can’t give up the coffee altogether, why not cut that back to one coffee a day? There’s $4 saved each day, $20 each week, and around $1,000 each year. It’s crazy to think how these smaller items add up, but they really do.
Keep Your Car Serviced
While regular car servicing can seem like an irritating expense at the time, it can definitely save you money in the long run. Regular maintenance and checks can help you avoid serious issues with your car – costly issues. When something goes wrong with your car and you haven’t budgeted for it, there’s a real risk of putting the repair costs on a credit card. This puts you under more financial hardship, but many vehicle costs can be avoided with regular servicing.
Look for Holiday Bargains
Travel is a huge part of people’s lives these days. But the reality is, it can also be a very expensive part of people’s lives. The good news is, with so many airlines, hotels and travel companies battling it out for your holiday dollar, there’s always bargains to be found.
Many of the best travel bargains come at short notice, so if you can build some flexibility into your lifestyle, you can save big-time by taking advantage of great travel deals.
Choose Free Exercise Instead of the Gym
If you’re spending money each week on an expensive gym membership, now might be the time to re-think that expense. There’s so much physical activity you can do without being confined to a gym, such as walking, running hiking or cycling.
You could also save money long term by investing in some weights and checking out some exercise tips on YouTube – you’ll find there’s not much you can do at a gym that you can’t replicate at home.
Use Public Transport
This one is a no-brainer with petrol costs the way they are. If you’re burning through fuel, paying for parking and putting wear and tear on your car with a daily commute, why not consider public transport instead. Not only will you save money, you can ignore the traffic and make your trip to work a lot more peaceful!
Secret Santa Savings
Everybody gets excited at Christmas. We love to give gifts and we love to receive. But in reality, gift-giving often leads to a pile of unwanted and unnecessary gifts. Rather than every family member buying for every other family member, why not start a Secret Santa instead? That means you’re only buying one present – but everyone is happy as they all get something.
Socialise on a Budget
One of the best money saving tips is to cut back on your social life. But that can sometimes seem like a pretty big ask. Instead of cutting back, why not think of cheaper ways to maintain your social life. This might include taking advantage of happy hours, or entertaining at home rather than going out. The best times with friends don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Get Help with Debt
While all of these tips on how to save money are great, and easy to implement, there may be another issue clouding your financial freedom. It’s that nasty ‘D’ word – debt. It can be hard to get ahead when you’re always chasing your tail financially, and many people simply can’t work out how to get out of debt.
At Debt Negotiators, we help everyday Australians take control of their finances by assisting with debt relief, debt consolidation, and a range of other options to help you get back on your feet. So, if you want to stop debt from ruling your life, contact us today to find out how we can help.