8 Money Saving Tips for the Super Serious
8 Money Saving Tips for the Super Serious
Struggling to pay your bills? Terrified to look inside your mailbox? No money for petrol, food, clothing… life in general?
It’s not easy living in one of the most expensive economies in the world. With the rising costs of ordinary household expenses, it’s challenging enough paying off your credit card, let alone building any savings.
But with a little perseverance and imagination, there are several ways you can release some cash to fatten up your wallet and make your lifestyle more comfortable:
1. Increase your position of power with service providers
You’re in a much stronger position to negotiate if you have 5 new contracts up for grabs. Talk to your friends, parents, siblings – the more people you can convince to change service providers with you, the stronger your position for negotiation. After all, you’ll be doing them a favour if you can get them a cheaper deal too!
2. Take in a paying boarder
If you have a spare bedroom, consider the benefits of renting it out – the extra income could come in handy. But don’t make this decision lightly; another person sharing your living space can be awkward and complicated. It might work better as a short-term arrangement. Make sure you set limits in advance of where they can and cannot access. Try to find someone you know and get on well with. Check credit history, references and, most importantly, have a legal rent agreement drawn up.
3. Unplug all electronics before you go to bed
10% of your energy bill can result from leaks. TVs, computers, printers, chargers, wireless phones, game boxes all bleed ‘standby’ energy when you leave them plugged in. It only takes 10 minutes each night to unplug everything – and the long-term savings can be considerable.
4. Use the rewards on your credit card for essentials only
It’s very tempting to book yourself into the day spa using your reward points for some much needed R&R, but you need to be wise if you’re going to allow yourself the luxury of a credit card. Until you’re in a position to afford such treats, exchange points for cash backs or gift cards and use for the essentials only – groceries, dog food, clothing etc.
Make sure you have a competitive credit card that incorporates low annual fees and interest rates and a generous rewards scheme.
5. Hold regular garage sales
At least once a year. Not only because it’s a cleansing experience or because recycling unwanted belongings is good for the environment, but also because there’s the chance to make a little extra cash. Keep prices low and group items by category or price to make things easy for browsers. Get the children involved; it’s a great opportunity to teach them all about shop and the value of things.
Remember to pick a time and date that doesn’t clash with other local events. Advertise your garage sale through community bulletin boards and street posters, the local paper if need be.
6. Ask friends for practical gifts
Boring it may be, but think of the amount of needless, wasted gifts you receive each birthday, at Christmas, for special ceremonies etc. Let your friends and family know about your plan and how they can help by giving you things you really need.
7. Give a service as a gift
Yes alright, it sounds stingy. But what’s the point of buying expensive gifts for friends and family when you have a useful skill you can give instead? Maybe you’re a handyman, a gardener or a chef and can cook your friends a special dinner?
8. Sign up for loyalty programs for regular shopping haunts
Loyalty programs cost you nothing and points will build up over time. Remember to only join the programs associated with your regular shopping like Coles or Woolworths – you don’t need the temptation for unnecessary shopping! And never let a loyalty card stop you from shopping around for the best deal. Dollars saved are always more valuable than points earned.
Saving money takes discipline, commitment and a willingness to try new methods. It’s about sensible spending, allocating your money carefully and building savings gradually. Think long term and remember the bigger picture.
Every dollar you save will bring you closer to your goals.
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