How to Save Money
Whilst Not Compromising Your Lifestyle
Saving money is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to suck all the fun out of life. We’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to make saving easy.
Saving money is an important part of being financially literate. By picking up the following habits, you’ll be saving like a champion and have more money to spend on the things important to you.
None of these techniques are oppressive, nor will they make your life boring. Saving money shouldn't be approached with the mentality of constraining your life. Instead, saving money is a way to increase your financial freedom. With a budget that promotes frugality, you will have more freedom to save and spend on things you truly care about.
It can sometimes be tough, but by adopting these techniques you’ll be surprised at just how much your savings account grows. Here’s how to save money whilst not compromising your lifestyle.
Cut Down on Your Subscriptions and Memberships
If you trawl through your bank statement, you might be surprised at what you find. Too often we subscribe to something, and then forget about it. Make sure you take the time to study your account and look for any charges coming out each month that you can cut back on.
Do you really use that gym membership? Do you really need three streaming subscriptions? Carefully consider each subscription and membership to decide whether it’s really worth it. Even saving ten or twenty dollars a month on a subscription can go a long way towards growing your savings account.
Meal Prep for Your Week
It goes without saying that eating out less and at home more will help you save money. The first step is to cut back on eating out at restaurants, but you can take it one step further by meal prepping for the week ahead. Find a few recipes that are easy to make, and you enjoy eating, and spend some time on the weekend preparing ahead. That means cooking in big batches and freezing meals so that they’re ready to go when you need them. Buying things in bulk is always cheaper, and you’ll save time during your week as well.
Use a Credit Card with Perks
If you regularly use a credit card, investigate whether it comes with any perks, rewards, and bonuses that are relevant for you. Nowadays there are a lot of credit cards that come with these attractive perks, which if used correctly can save you a tidy bundle. If you’re a big traveller, find a card that puts points towards a frequent flyer program. If you frequently drive around town, maybe a card that gets you discounts on petrol is best. Do your research and make sure you’re getting a card that’s right for you, and you’ll have more money to throw into your savings account.
It may be obvious but it’s important to note that you must pay off your credit card each month to avoid being charged interest. If you fail to make your repayments, credit cards can get quite costly, and will actually lose you money, so tread carefully.
Refinance Your Mortgage
If you’ve bought your home and are paying off a mortgage, it could be possible to save some money by refinancing. Essentially, that means taking out a loan to pay off the original mortgage. This second loan has a lower interest rate which will save you in the long run. It might not be a possibility for everyone, but it’s worth investigating if you’re serious about savings. For those looking at mortgages for the first time, Westpac Bank have a handy home mortgage calculator – view it here.
Get Crafty and DIY
An easy way to save money is to get crafty and start on some DIY projects. And that doesn’t mean you have to build all your own furniture – there are plenty of things you can make at home. You can easily whip up cheap cleaning supplies, skin and beauty products, gifts, and more. By fuelling your creative side, you’re even enhancing your lifestyle whilst saving money. Now that’s a good deal.
If you’re really talented, you might even consider starting a side-hustle with your DIY skills. Find something you enjoy making and try your hand at selling it online or in your community. The opportunities are endless, and a second income is one of the best ways to save more.
Sell Off What You Don’t Need
If you’ve got an old camera lying around the house, or a coffee machine you no longer use, why not try to sell them on an auction site like Grays? There’s a big market for second-hand gear, and it’s a good feeling to tuck away some money after getting rid of something you no longer needed. Next time you’re about to throw something away, ask yourself if someone might buy it. There’s a whole host of apps and websites where you can put things up for sale, quickly making a buck or two for your savings. Another added bonus is that for big things, like old furniture pieces, people will even come and pick it up if they want to buy it. Not only are you making money, but you’re getting it removed for free!
Get Your Happy Hour On
Part of any good lifestyle involves going out, meeting with friends and family, and enjoying a few drinks. Rather than give this up altogether for the sake of your savings, instead, why not become a happy hour connoisseur? Knowing where to get the cheapest drinks will let you still enjoy a night out on the town without shattering your financial goals. Win win.
Finally, with the price of petrol more expensive than ever, there’s never been a better time to drive less. Of course, it’s not possible all the time, but by walking to the corner shop instead of driving, riding your bike to a friend’s house, or catching a bus to work, you’ll be saving and be sitting pretty on a healthy bank account before you know it.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
This four-part guide takes you through the basics of numeracy from arithmetic to algebra, with stops in between at fractions, decimals, geometry and statistics.
Whether you want to brush up on your basics, or help your children with their learning, this is the book for you.