1. Live below your means
Although you might be able to afford a fancy dinner with friends on a Friday night, or buying new clothes because you feel like it, choose not to. Live life as though you earn less than you do, and put the savings into a high-interest savings account.
2. Get a rewards card
Everyone needs to buy groceries, so why not use the weekly shop as an opportunity to put money back into your pocket? The Woolworths Rewards card offers shoppers a $10 discount off their shop for every $2000 spent. It’s not much, but every cent counts, and seeing as the Woolworths Rewards card can be scanned at Caltex, BWS and Big W, too, the money soon adds up. Flybuys offer a similar set up with Coles.
On that note..
Don’t underestimate the power of a loyalty card at your favourite café. A free coffee is a free coffee after all!
3. Buy frozen vegetables
Frozen vegetables have been proven to be just as nutritious as the fresh variety, according to the Dietitians Association of Australia. Plus, they’re cheaper and last longer. Buy in bulk and save money.
4. Grocery shop at night
Shopping for the groceries at night is a nifty little budget hack. This is when most fresh meat and bakery goods are discounted because they need to go before the end of the day.
5. Pay your bills on time
One way to lose money quickly is to pay your bills late, which often includes a late fee. However, if you have a long history of paying your bills on time, you might want to do some research into providers who supply pay-on-time discounts, such as Red Energy.
6. Never pay the full retail price
This is one tip for all the shopaholics out there. Only shop the end-of-season sales, and when shopping online, add things to your basket, but wait 24-48 hours before pulling the trigger on your purchase. You may find you no longer want the item. Take your shopping one step further, and make note of any product names, brands and models of items you want to buy, and search the web to check if any other retailer is selling it cheaper. In fact 90% of the products listed on eBay are now brand new, and at discounted prices.
7. Do a fee audit
There’s no better time than now to check the fees being charged on your bank accounts. If you find money going down the drain thanks to fees, it might be time to move to a new bank. Similarly, check your superannuation account and check that you aren’t paying a premium for an extensive insurance policy you don’t need.
8. Go vegetarian
There’s no denying the fact that meat is more expensive to eat than plants. Try going vegetarian one day per week, or even for a whole week, and see your grocery bill shrink.
9. Go generic
Where you can, buy homebrand food at the supermarket and generic pharmaceuticals to save precious dollars and cents.
10. Borrow books, music, movies, clothes and tech
Do you require a fancy dress for a one-time event? Or perhaps you need a new book to read? Try hitting up your library for free reading material, and asking friends and family to borrow items that you’ll only use once.
11. Consolidate your credit card debt
Struggling to pay off debt? If you can, have your credit card or loans rolled into one, easy-to-manage debt. This way, you aren’t paying interest rates and account fees on multiple cards or accounts, and you’ll pay down the balance faster.
12. Meal prep
Spend one afternoon on your weekend cooking meals, popping them into containers and putting them in the fridge or freezer to be eaten later that week. This will reduce your food wastage, reduce expenses buying lunch at work or dinner on the way home, and you can plan your grocery shop according to your meal prep plan, minimising the grocery bill!
13. Use roundups
Not all banks offer this handy little feature yet, but financial institutions, such as ING, offer roundups. You can choose to have every card purchase rounded up to the nearest $1 or $5, and the difference goes straight to your savings account. It all adds up!
14. Keep your receipts
Keep every receipt you have for appliances, work stuff or charity donations, and don’t toss them out until you’ve claimed them on your tax return or the warranty runs out. There’s nothing worse than a faulty appliance, and no proof of purchase to claim a warranty or refund.
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Looking for budgeting tips? Watch the video below.