It seems that Australians are saving more than ever these days. Latest estimates put it at around $313 per month.
But if you are struggling to save anything due to the rising cost of living or debt pressures, here are 51 ways to save which, when all added up, will get you a lot of spare cash to put away for that rainy day.
Around The Home
Wash In Cold Water
Washing in warm water can shrink or damage clothes and washing in cold will save you money on every wash.
Stop Using Your Clothes Dryer
This is one power-sink! Air-dry your clothes instead and save money on electricity.
Turn your heating off in winter. Rug up with extra layers or blankets instead.
Turn Off Lights
If you are not in a room the light should be off. So much power, and money, is wasted this way.
Turn off your appliances at the wall. Standby power is costing you money.
Lose You Home Phone
Do you really need a home phone any more? If you really want one, change it to a VOIP service and bundle this with your internet (call your ISP for more information).
Use Skype to make free phone calls online. All you need is a friend who has Skype too.
Get money out when making a purchase. This will save you on ATM fees.
Press the credit button when making purchases when using your Visa debit card.
Stop using other bank’s ATMs. Either get cash out or know where your financial institution’s ATMs are.
Think about using hand-me-downs or secondhand clothes, toys and other stuff for your kids. They don’t care as much as you do.
Find one close to you and let them borrow instead of buying toys.
Find some free online games for kids (and you!) instead of buying them.
Cut Cable TV
Do you really need cable TV? It’s a huge bill each month and with all the freeview digital channels and online options now available you may find that you can do without it.
Eat Less Meat
Meat is one of the most expensive items in your shopping trolley. Cut down on your meat consumption and you will find that your grocery bill will reduce as well.
Quit the Gym
Gyms can keep you fit but so can jogging, walking, playing a sport or any other free ways to exercise. Stop paying gym fees, especially if you are not getting the most out of it.
Stop Junk Mail
If you don’t see what there is out there you won’t be tempted to buy it. While some say that junk mail helps them save money, I believe that it increases your appetite for purchasing.
One Car Policy
Have only one car unless absolutely necessary. You will save in so many ways: price of the car, petrol, insurance, maintenance, registration, and the list goes on.
Cancel Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions
Get your news and information online instead.
New Clothes (All The Time)
Don’t follow fashions and trends. Create your own style and you won’t have to buy new clothes all of the time. Also, try markets, vintage stores and clothes swap-meets for cheaper options. Also, look after the clothes you have and they will last longer.
Cut The Coffee
Either give up or stop buying that morning coffee. At $3.50 a pop you would do better to make one at home.
Learn More About Personal Finance
Learning is never a bad thing and the more you know about yourself and your finances, the better.
Learn To Cook
Get cooking! It’s really not that hard. And many healthy and inexpensive meals can be made in 30 minutes or less.
Go to your local library and borrow some books. Start getting into the habit of reading more.
Have a look at online courses you can do. These can be less expensive and learning is always an investment. Even better, look for some free how-tos or tutorials online as well.
Brown Bag It
Take your lunch to work. This will save you thousands every year!
No Soft Drinks
Just drink water. It’s free and good for you. No bottled water either!
Buy generic or store brands over name brands. This cannot be done with everything but you will be amazed at how much can be saved when you buy generic instead.
Grow Your Own Food
Start a vegie garden! It is easy to start small and make it bigger over time. Even growing some herbs will have you saving money and eating better.
Bake Your Own Bread
You don’t even need a bread-maker. Find a simple recipe online and get baking!
Make a little extra when cooking and have this as leftovers for lunch the next day.
Avoid Vending Machines
These are expensive and full of food that is no good for you. Keep away!
Money & Debt
Pay Bills Immediately
Use the Foolproof Bill Payment System to make sure you have enough money to cover bills when they come in.
Avoid Bad Debt
Avoid having credit card or personal loan debt. Mortgage debt is okay but limit this to the very minimum and only borrow what you can afford to repay.
Make A Call
Simply calling your bank, electricity company or anyone else you pay money to can save you plenty. Simply ask for a better deal or tell them you are looking at switching to another provider.
If you don’t have one already, create a budget and stick to it!
If you do have a few sources of debt then try and consolidate them to save on interest payments.
Start to Live More Frugally
Start thinking about how you live and what you really need as opposed to what you really want. Over-consumption is not good for you or the planet.
Do It Yourself
Learn how to do something and try it yourself first before paying someone else to do it or buying something.
Look For Cheaper Alternatives
Like going to the movies? Look around for cheaper options: find a cheaper cinema, borrow DVDs from your local library, a friend or a video store instead. Use your creativity to see what you can do that’s cheaper or completely free.
If you smoke you are not only killing yourself (and possibly others around you) but you are killing your chance at saving money. Give up and start saving that money instead.
Lower Your Alcohol Intake
When you go out alcoholic drinks are expensive. Choose not to drink or drink less instead.
Eat more healthy foods like vegetables and fruits, exercise regularly, and go for regular check-ups at your doctor and dentist. This will save you immediately and in the future.
Don’t Go To The Shops Unless Necessary
Don’t go to the shops just to hang out – you will end up spending money. Go to the park or museum instead. Or just stay at home. Go to the shops only when you have something to buy.
Leave The Car At Home
Ride a bike, walk or catch public transport when going somewhere.
Move Home Or Work
Move so you are close to work, or work closer to home. This will save on commuting costs.
Find frugal friends and stay away from those who spend lavishly. Hanging around the latter can lead to a lot of unnecessary desires.
Control Impulse Spending
When you go into a store just get what you went in for and nothing else. Also, try making a “wish list” when you think about something you want to buy – and then wait 3 days before buying it. I bet more often then not you will not want it after the 3 days are up.
Don’t buy poor quality items just because they are cheap. Look at spending a little more for a well-made product and you will save money over time. Think quality over quantity.
Research Your Purchases
Read labels, look online for specials, look for consumer reviews – do what you can to find out more.
Buy In Bulk
Buy non-perishables in bulk and save over time. Also, look for specials on non-perishables when in the supermarket.
Buy Generic Medicines
Buy generic brand headache tablets and other over-the-counter drugs – they have the same ingredients in them and cost less.
The Way To Make This Work
All of this effort and restraint will mean nothing if you do not put the money aside. Set up an automatic savings transfer from your everyday account to an online savings account. Make this come out the same day you get paid and you will never miss it.
Start with a small amount and increase it as you start saving more, and before you know it you will have a nice little nest egg.