What if you could save thousands of dollars per year instead of trying to earn more? Isn’t it smarter to make our dollar go further than trying to get more dollars? If you can do both that’s even better of course! To give you a hand, here are twenty-one tips to save money or stop wasting your hard-earned dollars.
1. Start your own garden – This will cut down on the costs of some of your herbs, fruits and veggies. Many can be grown from food scraps, like potatoes.
2. Go second hand – Op-shopping is a great way to find deals on clothing, toys and other household items.
3. Use the 30-day rule – Introduce a 30-day spending rule. If you see something you love, give it a month. If you still need it one month later, then buy it. More likely than not, the impulse to buy the item will be gone by the end of the month.
4. Start a loose change jar – At the end of each week, everyone in the household empties their loose change from their wallets, pockets and purses into the jar. Make this your “fun jar.”
5. Make your own cleaning supplies – Use baking soda, warm water and white vinegar-it’s better for the environment too!
6. Go meat-free on Mondays – Plan a weekly meal that doesn’t involve meat. Doing it twice a week will save your family approximately $1,500.00 a year (based on meat costing an average of $15.00 per meal).
7. Get smarter with your grocery shopping – Have a fortnightly meal plan, buy in bulk and stick to your food shopping list.
8. Avoid food waste – Buy according to your meal plan and pre-prep your meals soon after bringing your shopping home, so that it’s like a DIY Hello Fresh in your fridge. This way you are using all of your ingredients. Freeze things like lime juice, herbs in water or oil, so that you aren’t wasting food.
9. Avoid late payment fees – Arrange to pay bills by direct debit so you don’t miss them.
10. Use your own banks ATM’s – Or withdraw cash when food shopping to save on bank fees.
11. Shop around – With your insurance, see if you can get a better deal and still be well covered.
12. Ask for discounts – You’d be surprised how many businesses will give you one if you ask.
13. Save on communication – Look for cheaper mobile phone and home internet plans.
14. Do an audit on your bank statement – See what subscriptions you have, cull as many as you can. Netflix, Stan, Spotify, do you really need them all?
15. Invest in a slow cooker – Ready-make some meals to save/freeze for those times you’d reach for takeaway.
16. Shop local – Local produce is often much cheaper than supermarket bought.
17. Repair – Mend what you can, like clothing instead of throwing it out. You’d be surprised what you can give a second life.
18. Don’t use the car – Where you can; ride, walk, or batch your car trips so you aren’t driving unnecessarily and wasting fuel.
19. Try the $5 Rule – Every time you get $5, put it in your rainy day container. By the end of the year you could have several hundred dollars!
20. Have no spend days – Choose one or two days a week where no one is to spend any money.
21. Quit bad habits – Have a look into your spending habits as an annual cost. Maybe it’s a coffee on the way to work every day (that’s a $1500 a year habit). Take away lunch twice weekly (that’s another $1500 at $15 lunch twice a week). Cutting those two habits alone can save you some serious money.
It may not seem like a lot, but every small saving can add up to some serious dough at the end of the year. Good luck.
Resources to Inspire and Educate
Whether it’s for keeping track of your family expenses, trying to save on family expenses, or both – a budget is the way to go. We know how hard it is to remember all of the bills as a parent, and a budget is there to help you do exactly that. By keeping all of the expenses in one place, even the non-essentials ones, you’ll find it a lot easier to manage them.
Pocketbook Personal Finance Expense Tracker App
This Australian-grown app syncs easily with your all your financial needs including bank accounts, credit cards and loans. You can get bill reminders and an easy overview of your budgets, transactions and upcoming bills, plus the latest insights on your money. Visit www.getpocketbook.com to get the app and find more information. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android.
PakMag Meal Planner and Shopping List
Planning dinners for the week ahead can be such a great way to not only be organised but to also save money, by buying only the food items you will need for the week. Find our printable template here, where you can keep a digital copy for your life hacks or print several copies to put on the fridge.
Step-by-step Veg patch
How to Grow Your Own Food in Australia by Lucy Chamberlain: Get help starting your own veggie garden by reading this book of simple instructions on how to grow the most common vegetables, from start to finish. You can also read our blog ‘Vegetables you can regrow in your backyard’ – You don’t even need seeds, just vegetables scraps and leftovers!
Financial and Digital Tool For Kids
ZAAP is Australia’s first low-cost, prepaid Mastercard for young people, available as a card that kids can design themselves and a wearable band. ZAAP is a pocket money product and financial literacy tool rolled into one, enabling parents to teach their kids important money management skills, while also giving them peace of mind as it is safer than cash or handing over a credit card. Supported by a mobile app, parents can manage ZAAP accounts for multiple children, transfer funds and monitor where and how their kids are spending and saving. Kids can track spending and set enriching savings goals. For more information, check out www.zaap.com.au .