Are you constantly living on the brink of bankruptcy? Do you have trouble saying no to a new pair of shoes? It’s probably time you developed some healthy spending habits. Budgeting and saving can take effort, but it all starts by being aware of your everyday financial activity, and cutting out the little things. Here are a few tips to help sort your savings, that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
1. Don’t be hasty
Some people call it the 30-day rule: if you see something you like, don’t buy it immediately. Wait 30 days and if you still want it, you have earned your permission to buy it. Why wait? Because given some time, you may have realised that the hot pink crop top was actually a terrible idea and if you didn’t buy it, you could have paid your phone bill on time! It helps prevent impulse purchasing and, therefore, unnecessary spending!
2. Make lists
A shopping list isn’t just help jog your failing memory. It can also stop you from buying things you don’t need. When it comes to grocery shopping, you might also want to make a weekly meal plan in order to get the exact ingredients you need, saving you from doubling-up, missing out, and having to return to the supermarket several times a week.
3. Log your spending
This should be the first thing you do if you want to monitor and cut back your spending. Start by logging your daily expenses, and pin point where you need to cut back. For example, I spend too much money eating out. Therefore, I’ve made a conscious decision to limit the number of times I get take-away, take my lunch to work, and if I know I have a big night out coming up, I’ll find other ways to save that week.
4. Cut back on treats for the kids
If you have kids, keep in mind that, despite what advertisers tell you, it doesn’t take the latest toys and gadgets to entertain them. A healthy child should have a healthy imagination, and being resourceful during play time is not only beneficial for your child’s development, but also for your budget. While most of us will know how easy it is to give in to an epic tantrum at the mall, try to take these things in your stride, don’t yield to poor behaviour (reward them when they’re good), and remember that it will all be over soon, and your kids will find other things to do.
5. Turn off the TV
This is not only great for saving on electricity bills, you will also avoid the constant onslaught of television advertising and product placement that piques your desire to shop! Added bonus: You will have more time to spend doing things you enjoy and are practical. Using your time efficiently is invaluable.
Since the Federal Budget was announced last month, families have been left feeling short changed and everyone is searching for ways to save money wherever they can. Some savings can seem so insignificant but when you add that to all of the other money you can salvage, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more money you have in your pocket.
Buy second-hand or borrow from friends
Especially when it comes to new baby items, think about buying them second hand or borrowing from friends if you’ll only be using them for a short period of time. A lot of second hand items have only been used a handful of times and you’ll be paying a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Sell unused items that you no longer need
Getting rid of those baby items that are collecting dust in the cupboard is an easy way to put some extra money back in your pocket. If you find your house needs a general clean out, consider a garage sale – you’ll be surprised at what you think is junk, is actually someone else’s treasure.
Shop at markets and buy home brands at the supermarkets
Fruit and vegetables are generally cheaper if you can purchase them from farmers markets rather than supermarkets. When you do shop at the supermarket purchase the home brands which are generally cheaper than the well-known brands and are almost identical in quality.
Shop around for suppliers
When your insurance products come up for renewal, shop around to see if you are getting the best value for money. While you’re at it, check on your home loan, electricity, phone, internet and gas suppliers.
Buy non-perishables in bulk
Look out for specials and buy non-perishable items such as nappies and wipes in bulk where possible. Think twice about buying fruit and vegetables in bulk though as sometimes they tend to go off before you’ve had a chance to use them and that’s just money going straight into your rubbish bin.
Layby for Christmas/birthdays
Be organised early and start a layby for those big Christmas or birthday presents. Taking a small amount out of your income each week is far easier to manage than shopping last minute for expensive items.
Sign up to a toy library
Toy libraries are a great way to get new toys, books or educational resources for your children without having to purchase them. For a fee you can hire the items for a set amount of time then return them for new ones once you are finished with them.
Buy a water purifier
If you’re buying a large bottle of water every day, over the course of the year it could cost you around $1500. Consider purchasing a water purifier at a fraction of the cost which you can use time and time again.
Buy a coffee machine
Again, if you’re paying $5 for a takeaway coffee every day (which doesn’t even include those extra shots) it equates to $1825 each year. The cost of purchasing a basic espresso coffee machine and some ground coffee will normally work out considerably cheaper in the long run.
Use a piggy bank
Some people think piggy banks are only for children – not true! Each week put your loose change into a piggy bank and after a year you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the hundreds of dollars you’ve saved within.
Image via thinkglink.com/2013/02/26/10-simple-easy-ways-save-money/
By Karyn Miller