Whether you’re saving for your first home, have taken the plunge and are now literally paying the price, or are simply looking for lasting ways to save money, small changes to the way you let money pass through your hands every day can reap enormous financial rewards in the long run.
1. Change bank accounts
Take advantage of lower interest rates on your mortgage and higher interest on your savings. Look at deals on offer from both big and small financial institutions to get the best account with benefits to serve your needs.
2. Declutter and sell things off
We can all benefit from a good declutter and when you do, look to selling your unwanted items at a local market, hold a garage sale or list them on platforms such as Ebay or Gumtree. More sensible than merely taking up space in your cupboards, they should be funding your dreams.
3. Do it yourself
Make gifts instead of buying them. A knitted scarf or tote bag made from upcycled clothing fabric, a batch of homemade nougat or brownies is so much more appreciated than a hastily purchased gift. Make your own cards and use the Japanese furoshiki method of gift wrapping to save even more on wrapping paper. Plan ahead to allow yourself plenty of time to create.
4. Eat homemade meals
Cooking is faster than you think. In the time it takes for home delivery to arrive, you can have a healthy meal on the table – it’s that simple. A little preparation at the start of each week to choose recipes and plan your grocery list of ingredients will save you thousands of dollars each year in takeaway dinners, lunches and wasted food.
Do a quick tally of how much everyone in your household spends on daily lunches and take a good look at how much money you could save each year by packing a lunch instead of buying it. Research has shown that it could be more than $1000 per person, per year! Make up interesting salad dressings, include nutritious, roasted vegetables or allow extra portions of weeknight meals for hearty leftovers and tasty, healthy sandwich fillings that you can work your way through day-by-day.
5. Stop and wait before you buy
Adopt a rule where you must wait a month before you make a purchase – no matter how significant an outlay is required. If it’s absolutely necessary the item can wait, however often you’ll find you can do without it. Curb your online spending by unsubscribing to from retail traps to avoid temptation. Without the instant gratification so-called ‘retail therapy’ brings, your bank account will prosper and you’ll find other ways to relax your mind.
6. Stay home
Rather than always rushing from here to there, invite friends over to spend time together. Rotate to one another’s place to share the cooking and cleaning load if that’s an issue and simply share a big batch of soup or learn to make your own cocktails at home. Watch movies or box sets together, do something creative or start a book club.
7. Do less
Slow down. A busy life calls for emergency purchases as you struggle to keep up with work, friends, kids and all life's commitments. Doing less will give you more time to complete tasks yourself over time with care, rather than rushing and spending your hard-earned cash at the last minute to meet deadlines.