Top 10 everyday money saving tips

Cutting back on small spends throughout your week can save a significant amount of money in a year.

Saving and budgeting
Whether you’re savings goals are small like buying a new TV or taking a holiday, or a bit larger, like a deposit to buy a house,  it’s never easy. Temptation lurks around every corner, trying to sabotage you and your financial goals with cupcakes and cappuccinos. To help you turn your loose change into folding money, we’ve put together a list of our top ten money saving tips – with just a few small lifestyle changes, you’ll be well on the way to reaching your saving goals. 

1. Make your own presents 

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.  

2. Write a shopping list 

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. 

3. Have a night in with friends 

We all know how easy it is to spend money when you’re out on the town. It’s almost scary how easily “Sure, just one drink after work” can turn into “The next round of margaritas are on me”. To avoid burning a hole in your pockets, try hosting a good night in with your friends. A board game night, movie night or a low-key dinner party are all great, affordable ways to blow off steam.  

4. Drink more tap water 

It’s great for you, and it’s free! Your body and bank account will thank you for it.  The average plastic bottle of water costs $1.29 and uses about three times the amount of water to produce the plastic, then the water in the bottle. If you purchase a bottle a day, that's almost $500 over one year! This money could go towards purchasing a water filter for your home instead.

5. Get creative with food and reduce food waste

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

6. Only buy once 

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. 

7. Review your subscriptions

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!  

8. Find inspiration and keep it close 

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. 

9. Cut down on small treats 

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: 

  • When eating out, skip the appetisers and just have main and dessert instead.
  • Make a smoothie or juice at home instead of a buying a $10 one out at the shops.
  • Take a keep cup when you get your daily coffee (you may get a discounted price!).
  • Upskill yourself - Instead of paying for regular services, like having your dog washed or getting your nails done, jump on YouTube and learn to do it yourself! 

Remember – every little bit adds up! 

10. Create a budget 

Now, it’s time to crunch the numbers! Check out our guide on How To Create A Weekly Budget for all the details.  


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