Handmade gifts are often much more that the item being given. They’re a demonstration of time, effort and thoughtfulness; anyone can go out and buy a pair of socks for you, but how many people will spend the time to knit you a pair? Something as simple as a hand-painted card can hold a surprising amount of sentimental value. You can even make preserved foods such as jarred fetta. Who doesn’t love marinated feta, personalised with their favourite spices?
Best of all, it’s almost always cheaper to DIY. Start making presents yourself, and before you know it, you’ll be filling up both hearts and piggy banks.
How many times have you strolled into the supermarket to buy ingredients for dinner, then walked out with a tub of fancy ice cream, two punnets of raspberries, a magazine, 6kg of Himalayan rock salt (it was on special!), half the ingredients for dinner, and no cash left in your wallet?
Writing a shopping list can be a foolproof way to avoid those supermarket slip-ups. Well, it’s not quite that easy. Anyone can write a shopping list, but sticking to it is the key to success. Treat your list as a sacred text, follow it to the letter, and it will help you stay on track.
Along with writing a shopping list consider how much food you may be throwing out. Is there a way you can reduce this waste?
We all know that over ripe bananas make the best banana bread, but get creative with your other food. Your last slices of stale bread can be blended into bread crumbs and frozen. Your wilted spinach can be frozen and added into a smoothie at a later date. Your soft carrots can be revived by trimming them and placing in a glass of water until crisp.
If you’re looking for more tips on reducing food waste, OzHarvest can help. They are Australia's leading food rescue organisation, and have a whole lot of helpful resources on their website for reducing food waste at home, at work and at school. You can also read our article 10 quick food saving tips that features some tips OzHarvest shared with us
It can be easy to just follow the price tag when you’re trying to squirrel away every spare cent. Cheaper is better, right? Well, not always.
For everyday necessities, it can absolutely be worth spending a little more to buy something that lasts. A $100 frying pan is better than three $40 frying pans that keep breaking. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to spend a bit in the short term if it’ll mean saving in the long term.
Aren’t we all guilty of looking at a new movie subscription service or cool new App, seeing $9.99 per month and thinking "huh, that’s not too bad!".
Then before we know it, we have 15 of these coming out of our account each month yet we only use a few of these services regularly. Be honest with yourself.
Review your subscriptions and choose what you really need and use. You could also get creative and chat with your wider family, perhaps you could share a subscription and split the costs!
We get it. It’s easy to forget why you’re saving when you’re staring down the business end of happy hour on Friday afternoon. That’s why it makes sense to set a goal, and keep a reminder of that goal close at hand.
Want to a trip to Hamilton Island? Or saving to do some renovations? Make an inspirational picture of your dream the lock screen image on your phone. Little memory aids like these will help to keep your saving goal present when temptation strikes.
You don't have to cut out your daily coffee but there may be other small treats that you could cut out instead. In the end, saving does require discipline. That doesn’t mean you need to live as a joyless hermit in the woods somewhere. Rather, you just need to identify the everyday extravagances that you have that are adding up and try to dial them down. Here's some quick ideas:
Remember – every little bit adds up!
Now, it’s time to crunch the numbers! Check out our guide on How To Create A Weekly Budget for all the details.