Money. You love it. You hate it. Either way it seems to make the world go around. Sometimes it can feel like it’s trickling out faster than staying in. We thought we would do a mid-week pick me up with some moolah saving tips:
- When new styles of clothes come out, buy a cheap version first. If you find that it suits you and you will like the style for more than 6 months then purchase something similar in your favourite brand. Nothing worse than dropping a load of money on something that 12 months later, you’re kicking yourself for buying.
- Buy good quality foundation pieces or constant use items the first time round. If you wear black tailored work pants 5 days a week, buy ones that will last the wear and tear and have quality tailoring.
- Buy clothes only when you really need them. Right up to the moment you walk to the checkout or go to click online, think “Do I really need this”. Good rule of thumb is to also check in with yourself and ask if you would regret if you didn’t get it.
- Do a wardrobe clean out so you can refresh your memory of what clothes you have and then sell, donate or clothes swap with your friends the remaining items.
- Get a freezer (if your accommodation has the space) and freeze bulk meals i.e. stews, curries, pasta sauces, quiche, etc. Then on mornings when you are running out the door or when you come in dog tired after a big day, you can run to the freezer and grab something. A great way to label the containers is using electrical tape and a permanent marker and noting what the food is and what date it was made. It’s easy to take the tape off and you know it’s not something that’s been growing babies for the last 2 years.
- If you are a big chocolate, lollies or junk food eater, buy your supplies at Coles or Woolies and take them with you. That way you can avoid paying triple the amount when you go to buy them at the local convenience store during the day.
- Leave some emergency snack foods at your office, school or university so you have food on hand when you need it
- Buy your fruit and veg and then pre-cut what you can so that it makes it easier to reach for and eat at home or to pack smaller containers to take with you. Gives you loads more room in the fridge, encourages you to reach for healthier snacks at home and helps in the morning ‘getting out the door’ rush.
- Learn to price compare when you shop and try cheaper substitutes.
- Reduce the number of takeaway coffee, tea and hot chocolates purchases where possible. Think $5 x 365 days…
- Take bottled water with you.
- Ask friends to do coffee catch ups instead of meals.
- Ask friends around to your house instead of going out i.e. $15 bottle of wine or $15 glass of wine
- If you go to a restaurant, avoid an entrée and/or dessert and you get to come home without feeling like you will spew everywhere. Alternatively share your entree and your main.
- Choose the discounted movie nights.
- Check if you have any discounts through memberships or if you have access to any concessions.
- Make your catch ups an activity instead of sitting down and eating or drinking.
- Don’t spend it!
- Take out cash at the ATM to make it more real. i.e. on a night out, as your weekly food budget or recreation budget.
- Create accounts to put savings into. This can be dependant on what you need but generally people seem to have a long-term, a short-term and possibly a holiday/university/car or donation account. This can take the stress out of feeling cash strapped in an emergency situation.
- Making some of your saving accounts harder to access can be a great deterrent for impulsive money transfers and setting up automatic deductions on the day you receive your pay can be good to keep the savings away from your fingertips.
- Set realistic saving goals. Work out what you want to save and in what time frame. Take that date and work backwards to see what you would need to put away each week to achieve it. This will give you an indication if your saving goal is a reality or a white unicorn that poops rainbow ice-cream.
- Check what memberships you might be paying for and cancel them if they are no longer necessary.
- Save for purchases when possible instead of getting a loan or using a credit card I.e. purchasing a car or holiday.
- Pay your credit card back at the end of each month to avoid paying interest rates.
- Superannuation, accountants, utility suppliers, insurers, banks, phone and internet suppliers. Check in every now and then and just compare what your current rates are to industry standards. You may realise that you are paying way above what you need to be or reassure yourself that you are still getting the best deal.
- Be nice to the above people and ask lots of questions because only then do you find all the back information that they don’t supply in the one line answer they give to the general customer.
Mentally preparing yourself:
- Your budget relates to your needs. You only need to spend what you are okay spending.
- Feel comfortable to say no when you need to.
- If you feel comfortable, you can explain you aren’t able to do something financially.
- If you don’t feel comfortable saying something, then just give an excuse and not join in.
- If you feel stressed about spending the money, then it’s probably a good sign that you shouldn’t be.
- Use your returns policies. Sometimes we stuff up and you can take things back.
- Forgive yourself when you muck up and start again. We ain’t perfect.
Whatever your situation, choose what works for you and dump what doesn’t! It’s all a matter of giving new things a go.