The Birdwood - JFK Custom Homes. Custom Home Builder Perth

Learning how to save money is a great thing to do. But learning how to be a savvy money saver is smarter. There’s almost no reward in mindlessly pinching every penny, so forget about driving to the other side of town to save $2.70, or always leaving your wallet at home so your ‘friends’ can shout you a coffee. Let’s look at ways of saving money without being miserable – or losing your friends!

Pull out your phone plan

Take the time to do a quick comparison check. You could be needlessly spending money every month. Get savvy and call your local supplier, tell them your needs, then start negotiating. You can usually shave off a considerable amount just by a quick call. It’s amazing what can happen if you ask!

Don’t use a credit card

Consider throwing away your credit card – or at least keep it at home and not for day-to-day use. It’s easy to get in deep water with a credit card, so don’t tempt yourself. Even if you can keep your debt reasonably in control, it’s easy to spill over and not pay the full amount back at the end of the month. So, it’s likely you’ll still end up paying a large amount of unnecessary interest.

Eating out

Reconsider how often (and how) you eat out. Notice we didn’t say don’t eat out – just tweak things a bit. If you go out every week, make it every fortnight. Or instead of going out for a meal, go out for a drink and come home to eat. You can still have fun; just don’t blow all your dosh!

Get creative in the kitchen

Once a week, try to use up what you’ve got in the kitchen. Rather than ordering takeaway, see what you can rustle together to stretch your budget just that bit further. And in winter, remember, the slow cooker is your best friend for cheap meals.

Freeze stuff

Buy meat in bulk and freeze what you don’t need. It’s far cheaper that way – and you’ll find yourself running to the shops less often.

Put your savings on automatic pilot

Forget good intentions. The best way to save is to make it happen automatically. Organise a direct debit from your account into a savings plan every fortnight and watch your savings grow. Simple. Done.

Search for unclaimed money

This easy task is a bit of fun. Head over to ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission), type in your details and find out if you have any unclaimed money. According to ASIC, there’s over $1.1 billion lost in shares, bank accounts and life insurance. And some of that could be yours. Why not find out?

Take advantage of discount nights

If you like to eat out once a week, why not try doing so on a Monday or Tuesday night? Plenty of places offer half-price burgers or pizzas on slow nights.

Likewise, your local movie theatre might have a half-price tonight or supersaver offer every week. And check if your local theatre has discounts for bulk ticket purchases or memberships.

Tighten up on monthly memberships & subscriptions

‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is not so good when it comes to your direct debits. So take a moment to look at where your money is going. Are you paying too much for your health insurance? Explore your options with competitors and find out. What about your gym membership? Or superfluous storage for your computer or phone that you don’t need? See if you can tighten the belt a notch.

Car parking

It’s easy to find the first park available and throw a few coins in the meter. If this happens regularly, you could be wasting money. Think about parking a block or two away and enjoy the extra exercise. Likewise, if you are spending money to park your car for work, consider public transport instead.

Ask why? (And make yourself wait)

Sometimes, we find ourselves falling into the trap of ‘rewarding’ ourselves by spending money. The next time you find yourself idling through the shops, looking for something to tempt you, ask yourself why you’re doing it. If it’s not an essential item, wait a week to decide whether you need it. If it’s an endorphin hit you’re chasing, find something else to take its place.

Sell Stuff

Yep, it can give you the same thrill as “buying stuff”! Instead of enjoying the mild head rush you get from buying something new, cultivate the fun of selling stuff that you don’t need. Just take a few pics of an unwanted item, throw it on Gumtree and wait for the calls. It’s easy to sell online, and you just might develop a taste for it!

Don’t get carried away

Money-saving tips are excellent to keep in mind, and it’s good to tighten the belt whenever we can. However, don’t get too carried away. Focus on savings that matter, and won’t make you miserable. We only live once, so we need to have fun along the way.