1. Try a working bee

What better excuse to have a barbecue than with a working bee? Get family, friends, neighbours and co-workers together to turn mundane jobs into an afternoon of fun (and toil). Get them painting bedrooms, polishing decks or hammering shelveswhile you repay them with a drink and a BBQ.

2. Check out display homes

It’s one thing having an idea in your head—it’s quite another when you see it in front of you. A little known fact about display homes is that when they're sold, so is the furniture. That's right—premium furniture and accessories sold at heavily reduced prices. Don’t forget to leave your email address with the builders so you don’t miss their sales.

3. Check out the flash new buildings in town

Most of these establishments hire architects and interior decorators which are beyond the budgets of most of us. But scribbling down a few ideas from a new restaurant or bar is free.

4. Barter at garage sales

It’s amazing what people get rid of. Items are a fraction of the retail cost, people are desperate to sell and haggling is expected. Find sales through your local newspaper, or keep an eye out for posters stuck on lamp posts around your neighbourhood.

5. Visit trade fairs

Trade fairs take place all over Australia, opens in new window at different times of the year. Sellers showcase their goods and buyers get the chance to buy stuff at cost price. Be mindful that some fairs require you to have a business registration, or work in that particular trade.

6. Hire a handyperson

They’re inexpensive, experienced and perfect for all kinds of odd jobs – especially the ones you’ve been putting off because you don’t have the time or skills to complete them. Get your handyperson to build a shed, mount a shelf, or even paint a room.

7. Choose the right season of the year

When travelling, saving money means avoiding peak seasons like Christmas, Easter and school holidays and the same rules apply for renovations. For instance, if you’re planning to install air conditioning, do it in winter when demand is low.

8. Buy from alternative markets

Do flea markets, trash and treasure and car boot sales sound familiar? They’re like garage sales, but on a mighty scale. People gather in large halls or vacant outdoor areas to sell their unwanted goods. Most items are second hand, some even faulty (be careful), but they’re super cheap.

9. Get help from family, friends and online marketplaces

You can ask your family and friends to lend you their time to complete renovation jobs. They may even have equipment you can use instead of having to buy it brand new. If you have to buy, you can look for cheaper options like buying things second-hand.

10. Wait for hard collections

Twice a year some local councils invite residents to throw out large items that can’t be accepted in weekly collections. People ditch all sorts of stuff like mattresses, beds, wood, white goods and appliances. Before you start lugging an oversized piece of wood over your shoulder, just remember to ask permission from the owner (and don’t pick up anything that has a council sticker on it).

11. Buy from a tip

We don’t want you to scavenge through the trash — but instead visit the tip’s shop-front. Some pretty cool stuff gets reused and sold there. You'll find recycled household material and plants, which means your landscaping might cost you a few gold coins instead of a few hundred bucks.

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The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.