We all could do with a bit more money, but often, tips and tricks to help you save money end up requiring more energy, time, and/or paperwork than you can afford. Then there’s always the fear that your new experiment might end up costing you more money than to begin with!
So how can you actually save money? While big sacrifices do yield big results, there are also simpler ways you can save money.
Here are our top four suggestions:
Embrace the packed lunch
Buying your lunch every day instead of making your lunch at home before work is a huge drain on your finances. Not only is cooked food ridiculously priced these days, especially in business areas, but it’s also renowned as being not the most healthy to say the least. Instead, make an effort to pack your own lunch, making it either the night before or in the morning.
Better yet, cook double for dinner and then your lunch is ready to go. This doesn’t mean you have to stay in the office and eat it; you can always take it and have a mini picnic in the middle of your workday, so you don’t need to feel confined in your office place. Hey, kids do it, so adults can do it too!
Switch plans, keep the routine
There’s no need to go cold turkey and cancel all your subscriptions, your Internet connection, your mobile phone plan and gym membership. But: you can do things smarter. It’s worth spending some time seeing whether there are cheaper plans out there. Remember, the companies out there are competing for your business, so get keyed up and negotiate with them. Chances are, you can find a similar deal to what you’re getting at a much lower price in exchange for your loyalty.
Get sociable whilst getting things done
Eating out is expensive, as we’ve already said, and so is entertainment, whether it be seeing that newest flick or going along to your favourite band’s concert. Consider this: why not combine hanging out with a friend with your daily errands? Instead of meeting up for a coffee, you could walk the dog together or perhaps go grocery shopping together.
In fact, in shopping together, you might even find bulk deals that you can actually take advantage of! Just keep it to shopping for essentials though; we wouldn’t want to encourage you to splurge!
Think smart with your gifts
Shopping for gifts is one area where we can often, bluntly put, lose money. This is further exacerbated by the fact that we rationalise it to ourselves, saying that because we are spending for others, it’s more acceptable! While it’s certainly not wrong to show your love by spending for others, it’s worth remembering that often the best gifts are the ones that come from the heart.
Look out for what the person really needs. Homemade stuff is often best. Ask their siblings and/or significant other for a hint if you need to. Often that is a much better option that a random item in a shop that looks flashy, but may not be truly appreciated.
Bethany Parker is a university student and freelance writer who is interested in smart saving and investing. She knows that there are many great superannuation lawyers out there to help when it comes to dealing with her super later down the track!