Savings are a great way to better position you to get any type of finance, both now and in the future, and it doesn’t have to be a scary process.
Saving money can be as simple as making small changes to your everyday lifestyle and cutting down on things that you don’t really need or use. Often, it’s the simple changes that are easiest to stick to and they won’t make you feel restricted or like you always have to always go without – all while improving your financial position.
We’ve highlighted our top five ways to save money that will result in some extra cash and start with small changes.
Money Saving Area #1: Eating Out
Convenient, easy and ready to eat – is there anything better than some takeout on the way home? Well, at least for the short term, probably not. But unfortunately, the comfort and ease of your takeout meal doesn’t always have a very comforting price tag.
According to a recent study by the Bureau of Statistics, Australian household spend on average $95.05 each week on restaurant meals and takeaway. When you consider that this is almost three times higher than the average amount spent on electricity a week, cutting out takeaway and limiting dinners out can result in big savings of up to $4,942.60 per year!
How I Can Save: The easiest way to save in this area is to reduce temptation. Delete your Uber Eats app and plan or prepare your meals ahead of time. Experiment with new foods and make cooking at home fun and save dinners out for special occasions.
Money Saving Area #2: Mix Up Your Commute
Spending most of your morning driving to and from work can be a real burden to not only your schedule, but also your wallet. Between rising fuel costs, parking prices and general car maintenance, your daily commute can add up to a large expense, especially if you drive.
How I Can Save: Consider changing up your commute or carpooling. Public transport is a great and cost-effective and reliable alternative to get into the city (and it really isn’t as bad as people tend to make out). Not only will you save some money, but you will also get back some time where you would normally be sitting in gridlock traffic. Also, try adding some fresh air activities into your commute, like cycling, walking or running. Not only will it great for your finances, but you’ll also be helping your mental and physical health as well.
Money Saving Area #3: Think About What You’re Actually Using
Netflix, Stan, Foxtel, Spotify Premium, Youtube Red, the list is almost endless when it comes to entertainment subscriptions that you can easily sign up to. We are now in the age of subscription-based products where the small price of $10.00 to $20.00 per month goes unnoticed, but these subscriptions can quickly add up.
How I Can Save: Review your subscriptions and cancel any that you don’t use frequently. A good rule is that if you can’t remember the last time you used it, it’s a good time to cancel.
Fewer subscriptions also mean less electricity being used. Think about how often you use your electrical devices and make the small change of turning your appliances off at the wall. With the average electricity bills averaging just over $1,667.00 per year, these small changes quickly add up to big savings.
Money Saving Area #4: Sell Some Stuff
While you’re thinking about the entertainment side of what you use, it’s a great time to look the physical items that you no longer need or want. Finding items that you can sell is an easy way to inject a little extra cash into your savings. Go through your cupboard, garage and closet and see what you can find. If you don’t use it or love it, it might be time to say goodbye.
How I Can Save: With Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace, selling unwanted items has never been easier. Simply take a picture, write a description and upload. If you want to go a bit bigger, selling that unused second car that’s been sitting in your garage for the last year or the bike that you never ride can not only be a great sale, but will also save you money on extra insurance, rego and running costs.
Money Saving Area #5: Look at Your Current Debts
Seeing your overall financial position and where your debt is can save you money. This might sound odd, but knowing about your credit card, After Pay and other debts can help you to make the best decisions about how to save on them and, ultimately, pay them off.
How I Can Save: If you’ve got some credit card debt that you can’t manage to tackle, consider a balance transfer to another lender. A lot of lenders offer perks such as 0% interest for up to 18 months which will allow you to shift your debt and give you more of a chance to pay it down (without having the high interest rate). If you’re considering this option, you need to keep making repayments on the transferred debt in order to keep the 0% interest.
We can agree that After-pay is a great concept. It allows you to buy something upfront and pay it off after the fact. But that’s the thing, if you can’t afford something you shouldn’t be buying it in the first place. While companies such as After Pay don’t charge you to use their product, they will charge you a dishonor fee if your payment bounces. Those $10.00 late fees have added up to After Pay earning 24.4% of their income from late fees alone.
Finally, if you have more than one debt, consolidating your debts into one payment will typically decrease your repayments overall, allowing you to hammer down on your debts faster.
Savings has always been about looking at the big picture and making those small changes today that will result in a better tomorrow. Making small changes, like the ones above, can result in a big difference to your overall financial position.
Find out where your current financial situation is or get assistance with a loan application by contacting our Finance team at Walker Hill on 07 3367 3155.