20 Easy Ways To Save Money -- Even If You're Bad At It
With the new year come new goals and ambitions.
Saving for a house deposit, dream wedding, or overseas holiday?
Here are 20 easy tips from a financial expert to help boost your bank account.
1. Pack your lunch
This simple habit can put over $2,000 a year right back in your pocket.
2. Swap coffee for tea or water
It's no secret Aussies love coffee. But at an average $5 a cup, that’s a $1800 a year habit. Now might be a good time to revert to the basics.
3. Walk or cycle instead of Uber
Not only is it good for the environment but it’s a great way to squeeze in some exercise into your daily routine, and save some cash while you’re at it.
4. Reduce your bills
A couple of phone calls to check on our home and contents premiums and I saved a whopping $1,300 a year. So set aside some time to shop around for your phone, internet, energy and insurance providers.
5. Swap to a more economical car
If you drive a gigantic fuel-guzzler, it could be time to downsize to a more economical ride.
6. Check your emotional eating, drinking or shopping
Oh yes, retail therapy. Whether we are happy, sad or bored, emotional spending can be a big drain on your savings.
To curb your spending, keep a daily spend journal for a week to check in on your impulse spending and see if you can identify what is driving you to the checkout.
Brainstorm ways to address the emotional trigger behind it so you can put the savings towards a goal that’s important to you.
7. Remove temptation
The problem with the internet is that the temptation to spend can follow you wherever you go with daily specials to your inbox and targeted Google and social media ads.
Now is the time to declutter your inbox and unsubscribe from all the sales.
8. Never shop without a list
Get in the habit of shopping with intent -- this means putting together a list of what you need and only buying what is on that list.
9. Check your bank statement
These days its all too easy to opt-in to a free trial and forget to cancel the subscription. Check your bank statement regularly for any incorrect charges or services you no longer use.
10. Buyer cheaper groceries
Switching to Aldi or no-name brands can shave thousands off your annual grocery bill.
11. Introduce a cooling-off period
Impose a seven-day waiting period before buying something on an impulse. Chances are, once the week has passed, you won’t want it anymore.
12. Start volunteering
Volunteering has to be among the best ways to curb emotional spending. Research has found that volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than those who don’t volunteer.
13. Compromise when going out
A weekend catch-up with your girlfriends can easily set you back $20. That’s $1,040 a year. Try swapping out brunch for coffee or better yet, catching up while going for a walk instead.
14. Negotiate your interest rate
If it’s been a couple of years since you refinanced, one call to your bank can see your interest rate drop by 0.30 per cent or more. On a $500,000 mortgage that’s a $1,500 a year saving.
15. Consolidate your debts
If you are struggling with credit card debt, taking advantage of a balance transfer card or switching to a personal loan could save you thousands in interest.
16. Reduce your energy use
Little things can quickly add up. Simply by switching off unnecessary lights around the home, washing your clothes with cold water you can reduce your energy bill.
If you use a dryer, throwing in a dry towel with a wet load can reduce the drying time by 25 per cent.
17. Rethink your rent
If you are a renter, consider moving to a cheaper area. Alternatively have a look at sub-letting if you aren’t already.
Do you have friends or family you could stay with, even just for a month or two to help kick start the savings?
Perhaps house-sitting is another option.
Take a look around your home and closet and see what items you can afford to sell to kick start your savings -- it’s never been easier.
19. Get a side gig
We live in the age of the gig economy so there’s no excuse not to earn some extra cash. Uber, Airtasker, Airbnb or freelancing are just a few of the options available to you.
20. Shop second hand
If you’re not in the habit of shopping second hand, now is the time to give it a try. You will be amazed at the quality of second-hand goods you can find, whether that’s your car, furniture or clothing.
At the end of the day, no-one but you knows how much you paid for it, so you may as well pocket the savings.