The thought of cutting costs to save money shouldn’t feel like a punishment. Quite the opposite – it can feel like a refreshing spring clean! There are a number of different ways to save money without feeling the pinch. There are even ways to save money when you spend money!
Pick 1-2 habits or changes to embed on a daily or weekly basis and you won’t know yourself! Here’s a list of ideas!
1. Get paid for spending. Yes, you read that right! Did you know that there are apps like Kickback, Cashrewards, and Shopback that give you cash back on purchases from certain providers? You receive a set percentage on the value of the purchase. Pretty cool, hey? Remember to get the cash-back money transferred straight into your savings account, so you aren’t tempted to spend it.
2. Spend to save. If willpower is not always your friend, there are bank accounts and investment apps that round up each transaction every time you make a purchase. The difference is then transferred to your savings account or investment account. So, if you buy a coffee for $4.20, your bank will round the transaction up to $5, and transfer 80 cents into your savings account. Saving while you spend!
3. Borrow, not buy. Want to read the latest book from your favourite author? Why not borrow the book from the local library or Borrowbox? Good for your pocket – and the planet!
4. Get new clothes/books without paying for them. That’s right. Organise a book or clothes swap with your friends. After all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
5. Bulk bill. Ask your GP if they will bulk bill or find a doctor that does. You could save up to $60! Read more about bulk billing for medical services here.
6. Use preferred healthcare providers. Most health funds have preferred providers for services like dentists, optometrists, and physios, who will often charge less than non-preferred providers.
7. Bring your own bag. Take your own grocery bags when shopping to avoid paying $0.20 for a paper bag. Every cent counts and it’s another way to care for the planet, and your pocket!
8. Hit the sales. Yup, hit the sales! Make a list of the things you NEED but aren’t urgent. Wait until there is a sale to get them cheaper, then put the amount you have saved into your bank account or investment app.
9. Ignore sales. Ok, we know we just said to hit the sales, but we want to avoid spending money just because there is a sale. You may be tempted to make impulse purchases on frivolous items. It’s tempting to get a bargain, but if the bargain’s no use to you – the money spent is best put toward your goals.
10. DIY. Get creative and make your own gifts and cards for your friends and family. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness – and you can enjoy some mindful creative time and put to use those recycled ribbons, paper and magazines around your home!
11. Go for happy hour. Wanna head out for drinks with your mates? Head out during happy hour for cheaper drinks.
12. Free discounted beauty appointments. Now, we don’t know anyone who would turn this down! Students in beauty colleges often look for people to practice their skills on, so they offer their services for free or heavily discounted prices. These services range from waxing, nails, hair, and massages. You can also find deals on sites like Groupon.
13. Buy second-hand. Nowadays, you can buy just about anything second-hand through platforms like Gumtree, Facebook marketplace, op shops, and second-hand car dealers. Most of these items are usually gently used so that they will be as good as new for less.
14. Buy generic. When it comes to food and medication, buying no-name brand products can save you a tonne. The quality is the same as branded goods, just cheaper. Next time you go to the chemist, ask the pharmacist for the generic option.
15. Workplace benefits / corporate perks. Check if your workplace provides employee benefits like discounted gym memberships, health insurance, travel offers or even free psychology sessions, often referred to as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
16. Unsubscribe from email marketing. While this may seem like common cents (pun intended), it’s easy to underestimate how often we unconsciously make purchases just because we have been offered a discount or coupon. Remove this temptation from your inbox.
17. No-spend challenge. Challenge yourself not to spend money on unnecessary expenses and see how much you can save. You may even turn this into a game with your friends – just like stopping drinking over dry July, sprinting to a savings goal with friends can prove handy for accountability!
18. Share online streaming accounts. If you’re anything like us, you like to unwind with a good ol’ binge on Netflix, Stan or any other streaming platform. Hit up a friend or family member and see if you can share an account between you, so you’re effectively paying half price. Better yet, ditch the streaming service and use YouTube or the free-to-air channel apps online at no cost.
19. Freelance. Do you have a secret skill? Try freelancing to make a few dollars to throw into your savings account. If freelancing isn’t your thing, you could start a side gig instead.
20. Trade your bottles for cash. Cash in your plastic bottles and cans. By recycling them, you get 10 cents per bottle/can in cash or off your grocery bill, kids love doing this! Where’s your closest bottle recycling hub?
21. Heading out to dinner? Check out sites like OpenTable or First Table to access special deals!
- Pick 1-2 daily or weekly habits: As you can see, ways to save money are endless. Many savings tips can enhance rather than restrict your life, and are environmentally friendly habit changes too!. It’s all about perspective – and choosing 1-2 daily or weekly habits to set up or embed – that over a year or 20 years, add up!
- Stash the cash: Remember, it’s not a saving until the money is in your savings account. When you receive a discount, cash-back, or are told how much you’ve saved from buying from a sale, the trick is to make sure you physically transfer the amount you saved into your savings or investment account.
- Stay focussed on your why! Saving money for the sake of saving money feels like a chore. Identify what you are saving for to give you a purpose and celebrate milestones along the way. Some goals can take a long time to achieve, but these are often the life changing memories or lifestyle choices that you will look back and be proud of, forever.
Here’s to being imaginative with your money!