Who wouldn’t like to save $10,000 in a year? I’m not going to tell you to eat baked beans on toast every night, or walk to work. Here are 10 real-life ways to save the cash without feeling like a pauper.
1. Cash in your frequent flyer points
If you’re planning a holiday, look into your frequent flyer balance. You may have more than you know, and even if the points won’t cover the total amount, you can now pay for most travel items with points plus cash.
2. Say goodbye to the landline
Very few of us really need a landline anymore. Keep your mobile on you and you can save a minimum $700 a year.
3. Change from weekly to fortnightly
Most savings guides tell you to be ruthless with your expenses. I don’t want you to cut everything out of your life, but consider changing weekly expenses to fortnightly, for example, the cleaners, the mani-pedi, for savings up to $2000.
4. Deal or no deal
You might think those deal sites are a great way to save money, but really, do you need six laser treatments at a salon that’s out of your way, or a dozen cupcakes when you don’t really like cupcakes? And how many of us snap up deals, only to have them sit around until they expire? This is lost money. Don’t get dazzled by potential savings, think of it as a purchase like any other.
5. Gift giving
My friend loves to give gifts, but in an effort to save money, decided she would only give gifts once a year – on birthdays. “I discussed it with my family, and we thought it was a great idea,” said Katie. “We tried it at Christmas two years ago, and we didn’t miss the gifts, we’re just happy to be together.”
6. Dining out
It’s easy to make smarter choices about dining out. More restaurants are offering prix fixe menus, which offer excellent value. Explore exotic cuisines and neighbourhoods where there are real bargains to be had. And remember, cocktails are a budget killer: $15+ for one drink is not great value.
7. Cut back on concerts.
There’s been a massive collective jaw-dropping over the price of concerts these days. So cut back to 1-2 must-sees a year, and seek out smaller, free events in your neighborhood.
8. Switch banks and credit cards
Yes, you’ve heard this one before. But there’s a reason why – one afternoon of research can save you $500+ a year in bank and credit card fees. And remember, credit unions aren’t for hippies – their fees are generally lower so worth comparing with the banks.
9. Spring clean
You officially have a week left of spring, but you can spring clean your home – and sell unwanted items – anytime of the year. A few times a year, go through all your things and have a virtual garage sale on eBay or Gumtree.
10. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk can save you a lot of money – in more ways than one. By stocking up on the things you use the most, you save by getting a cheaper unit price, and you don’t have to run to the store as much (which is when you tend to buy things you don’t need). See if your friends want to go in with you. Check out Costco as well as online shopping.
What’s your favourite way to save money?