In prepping for my big move overseas (which then got delayed due to ole mate covid), I’ve gotten pretty good at saving money and cutting costs in the past year or two. Here are a couple of things I’ve learnt along the way!

First, Set A Budget

Of course this is always going to be the first step when you start heading down the saving track, but the way you do it is going to be crucial. Firstly, be realistic! If you love going out for coffee or brunch with your friends on the weekend but you all-of-a-sudden don’t allow for any of those kinds of activities in your money saving budget then you are setting yourself up to fail. Allow money in the budget to do the things you love, the key is making it every now and then rather than every single weekend. 

Next: Write It Down

Work out what you earn (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, whatever floats your boat), and depending on how much you earn you should plan to spend between 50%-%90 of that total on all expenses, this ensures that you are scurrying away at least 10% or more, which is a great start to your savings journey! Writing down and seeing how much you could potentially save week to week is also super motivating.

Find The Cheapest Alternatives

Is your unlimited phone data costing you a huge chunk? Your power bill? Do some research, it may be worth switching it up for a cheaper alternative. Most phone, power and internet companies have signing bonuses too, see if you can get some credit when signing up! 

Make One Big Shift

To start saving some serious money you might need to make one big shift. It could be selling your car and committing to walking to work or taking public transport. Perhaps you could vow to not buy any new clothing for a whole year. It could be ditching your uber eats app because you’ve done the math and a couple orders a week turns out to be $60 (which is $240 per month you could be saving!). You don’t have to make so many changes all at once, just pick one that’s doable for you – and stick to it!

Daily Saving Hacks

Here are some quick, easy hacks that’ll help save some pennies:

•Buy nice coffee beans from your favourite cafe (that one that you usually buy takeaway from) and make your coffee at home. Instead of being $5 a day, now you have that cafe-qual caffeine for $12 a week

•Meal OR Drink. Ok this is my best saving hack. Picture this. You go out to brunch with mates and you order an eggs benny ($16) and a smoothie ($8), or you go out for dinner with your other half and you get a pasta dish ($22), side of fries ($7) and a wine ($10). It bloody adds up right? So instead of cutting these dining activities out completely when you’re trying to save your moolah, my way of doing it is to always get one meal OR one drink but NEVER both. At brunch just have a coffee at home before you go and drink water with your eggs benny. Or eat breakfast at home and meet your mate for coffee, or wine. It seems like a funny concept but it seriously cuts these costs in half without having to sacrifice socialization. Originally that full meal with a side and wine cost $39 which is pretty standard for a decent dinner, but with my rule ‘meal or drink’ will have you spending between $10-$22 max. You’re welcome. 

•Shop your pantry. We’ve all heard and learnt that meal planning saves money because it leaves you with no waste. Something to take that further is to FIRST shop from your pantry, try to come up with meals for the week incorporating foods that you already have. This tip is simple but it can save so much $$$ in the long run. 

•Two words. Cart abandonment. In need of something new? When shopping online, add it to your cart and then leave it there. Don’t purchase it for at least a week (if you can hold off). Sometimes, through the magic powers of the internet, the company will send you a coupon code or a sale code for that item just to get you to go through with the purchase, so you’ll get a sneaky discount on the item you’re already planning on buying. This has legitimately worked for me many times. On some occasions I’ll come back to the item a week later and have changed my mind and would’ve decided I don’t even need that new eyeshadow palette. In that case you’ll really just save 100% so either way it’s a win. 

This ain’t all genius stuff but implementing these small things have really helped me save a chunk of cash. Hopefully you can take one or two tips from this bunch!