How To Save Money: 50 Ways To Be More Savvy With Your Cash
Learning how to save money is one of life’s great skills. But unfortunately it doesn’t come easily to all of us. A significant percentage of the population spends every cent they earn or even worse – more than what they earn. But learning how to save money is possible!
A wise person once said “Success leaves clues.” So the team at MoneyBuddy has looked at some of the clues that successful savers leave behind, so we can all become more savvy with our hard earned cash.
Just a warning before diving into the list - people who are too tight with their money, or speak constantly of finances can be really unenjoyable to be around. Breaking the law is also a bad way to get some extra cash. So perhaps the alternate title to this guide could be How To Save Money – without alienating friends, breaking the law or endangering your health.
Sometimes there are major decisions that will put a decent amount of savings into your bank account. But more often our spending and saving habits are determined by many small, daily choices that add up over time. So don’t discount the seemingly insignificant decisions that can help you save money in the long run. Happy saving!
50 Ways To Save More Money
1. Avoid fast food. Home cooked meals are invariably cheaper. And healthier.
2. Create a meal plan. Whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly you’ll be better prepared when shopping, less likely to make impulse purchases, less likely to buy excess that never gets used. By being better prepared you’ll also likely reduce the number of trips to the shops you make.
3. Make your lunch and take it to work. Making extra dinner the night before and taking left overs is simple and money saving.
4. Avoid buying coffee (or two or three or four) at work. $5 per day adds up to a lot at the end of the year.
5. Wash your car. An investment in some good car cleaning cloths will pay you back in the long run.
6. Mow your own lawn.
7. Cut back on the number of times you go to the cinema - it’s pricey these days. DVDs are much cheaper; borrowing DVDs from friends is free.
8. If you do go to the movies, take your own lollies in your pockets. Cinemas don’t quite have airport style security and body scanners….yet.
9. Avoid buying dessert from fancy cafes or shops. Get two scoops of ice cream for $6.50 at many franchise outlets or get a whole tub of label (i.e quality) ice cream from the supermarket. Get it from the supermarket and you can either eat ridiculous amounts of ice cream in one sitting or have dessert for several people over several nights.
10. Avoid dessert altogether. Your teeth and your waistline will thank you.
11. Reduce your expenditure on road tolls. Maybe this means taking public transport sometimes instead. Maybe it means adding an extra 5 mins on to a journey by avoiding a toll road.
12. Enroll in a car sharing program.
13. Ride a bike. And if you don’t have a decent bike, investing in a better quality one to make the ride more enjoyable usually has a fast return on investment compared with taking public transport or general car costs.
14. Drink water when you go to a restaurant.
15. If you go to a restaurant, buy some sort of daily deal beforehand to make it much cheaper.
16. Don’t buy too many daily deals. We all know friends who have saved thousands and thousands of dollars in buying daily deals. Sadly they don’t see how much they have also spent on daily deals in the process!
17. When your favourite breakfast cereal/toilet paper/dog food is on sale buy in bulk. You’ve done well when you make people in the supermarket stare at you. You’ve done even better if you have to load it into the back of a trailer to take it away.
18. Go to the supermarket late at night when they discount the meat. Buy in bulk and use your freezer. You may need to get a deep-chest freezer as additional storage space – well worth the investment even for the penny pinching saver.
19. Go to the toilet at work and use their toilet paper instead of yours.
20. Set up an offset account on your home loan.
21. Tell other people that you don’t expect any presents for your birthday. Then they will be less disappointed when you don’t get them anything for theirs.
22. Carry no credit card debt or unnecessary personal debt. Work at paying off any consumer finance as soon as you can.
23. Grow whatever veggies, herbs or fruit you can in your own garden. People in apartments with balconies can also be successful at growing plants in pots.
24. Don’t renew your home and contents insurance without comparing insurance prices for a similar policy.
25. Don’t renew your car insurance without comparing prices for a similar policy.
26. Sell your car and catch public transport, catch rides with other people or walk.
27. Cancel your pay TV subscription.
28. Don’t shop at [insert almost any big box retail outlet here that has annoying ads on TV] as you won’t be getting the best price…almost guaranteed.
29. You really don’t need that new handbag or pair of shoes.
30. Withdraw cash and use it for all purchases for a week instead of using a credit or debit card. The pain of parting with your hard earned cash will sear the value of money into your heart.
31. Don’t let your savings be slack. If they’re not in an offset account against your home loan, make sure they’re put to work in a high interest savings account or some other investment that generates returns.
32. Don’t spend more than you earn.
33. Put aside 10% every pay day for a rainy day.
34. Be generous. People learning how to save still help those in need. What goes around comes around.
35. No one thinks you are a cooler/funnier/more attractive person based on the type of car you drive. So buy for functionality, not for brand name. The thrill soon wears off after the first couple of drives. About as fast as the value of your new car goes down.
36. Use a rewards credit card for purchases. Redeem them down the track for free or discounted holidays or rewards. Beware though - spending extra to get more rewards doesn’t usually make much sense.
37. Always search for coupons, promo codes or cash back deals before you buy anything online.
38. Collect free pens whenever and wherever you can. No one should ever have to pay for pens.
39. Buy petrol mid week or when the prices are usually in the down swing.
40. Don’t ever buy overpriced, warmish food that is sitting under bright lights at a petrol station. It looks tempting but your wallet and your stomach will thank you for not giving in to temptation.
41. Avoid paying for street parking whenever possible. Walking an extra 500 metres isn’t going to kill you.
42. Take an interest in your superannuation. Consolidate super accounts with multiple institutions, search for lost super and make sure your portfolio risk profile is what you want it to be.
43. Avoid the pokies, lotto and any other gambling where the odds are so ridiculously stacked against you.
44. Need new clothes? Try the local op shop first.
45. If you do need to buy lunch, think creatively. A loaf of bread with some salad or a few slices of meat is a good way to save money as well as being reasonably healthy and filling. Plus you get to use the loaf of bread through the rest of the week.
46. Switch to the cheapest electricity and gas provider. They all run off the same supply, so get the best deal you can.
47. Drive within the speed limit. Speeding fines eat money. Again and again and again if you’re not careful.
48. Learn to say no to your kids when they ask for things in the shops. Create a savings jar instead so instead of spending money on junk at the shops, you can take home a few extra dollars and put it in the savings jar for a family holiday or something equally great.
49. Learn to change blown globes on your car – the mechanic bill is going to be horrific enough without them charging for basic jobs that you can learn yourself by reading online.
50. Set a savings goal! It makes learning how to save more motivating and fun when you know you are saving to hit a target and for a specific purpose. Maybe it’s a new house, a trip to Disneyland or an investment – whatever it is keep it in your sights and track your progress.
If you have learnt more lessons in your quest of how to save money, please share them with us. Do you have any favourites from the list of 50 ideas?