Save up those lump sums
Whether they’re work bonuses, tax returns or cash gifts, treat any unexpected windfalls or lump sums you might get during the year like forced savings. They can really add up in the long run.
Think before you buy
'Mindful consumption' is a good habit to get into. It's not just to help you save in the short term. It can also help you stick to a budget once you have larger financial responsibilities.
Avoiding temptation can be tricky (especially during sales time). But remember, just because something's on sale doesn't mean it's cheap.
To help avoid impulse shopping, if you see something you like, walk away. Go and think about it, even if it’s just for an hour. Chances are you'll realise you really don't need it after all, or can do without it in the long run.
Sell unwanted goods
Cleaning out your cupboards and getting rid of things you don't use or need doesn’t just clear up your space it can even lead to some extra savings.
You could sell what you don’t want on Ebay or Gumtree. Or even try a good old-fashioned garage sale. If you haven’t done one before, there's a nationwide garage sale trail every October, which might make things easier.
Cut back on the extra stuff
What can you really make do without? Trips to the movies? Eating out? Collecting comics or vintage cars?
Remember, the short-term pain of giving up what you love will be worth it when you've saved for your first home deposit or that overseas trip you’ve been dreaming of.
And even if you feel like there are things you just can't do without, there are still ways to cut costs, why not:
- Compare shopping on sites like myshopping, shopbot and getprice.
- See how things like gym memberships and insurances stack up online to find better deals.
- Compare the cost of your gym membership with group personal training sessions.
- Car pool – or leave the car at home altogether, and use public transport.
- Reduce the amount of magazine subscriptions you may have and view online instead.
There are plenty of more helpful tips in our article - the secrets of a successful saver.
Get organised and creative
More often than not it's the smaller, everyday purchases that start eating into your budget. Do you buy your lunch and coffees every day? That could be as much as $100 a week you could save by bringing your own.
Get into the habit of creating your lunch and dinner menu each week when you do your shopping list. It’ll save you both time and money. You'll be more likely to take your lunch to work and be organised for dinner and less tempted to get take away.
Weekends can be trickier, especially if you like socialising. So get creative. Instead of going out for dinner, why not take turns with friends to host a casual dinner at home, or have a movie or games night with family or friends? Chances are you’ll have just as much fun.