It’s easy to come up with financial resolutions, especially at the beginning of the year. You have your savings plan all worked out, and you swear nothing will stop you.
Along the way, you realize hitting your savings goal is easier said than done. You honestly want to save but don’t want to give up everything you love.
For instance, there’s that café where you love to sit as you read your morning paper. A cup of coffee there goes for at least $4. You know you can read and make yourself coffee in the house, but you’d rather go out.
Read on for 11 ways to save money without dramatically changing your lifestyle.
Painless Ways to Save Money by Making Minor Adjustments
1.Keep an Eye On Your Expenditure
The first thing you have to do is track your expenditure. Unless you find out how much you’re spending, you won’t know what to save.
Therefore, start by making a list of everything you spend on. Besides, there are money tracking apps in the market that can help you. For more in-depth info on the best Australian budgeting apps, read our analysis of the current top budget apps.
Apps like Pocketbook or other budgeting apps categorize your day-to-day spending, enabling you to see what your highest expenditure is.
2. Make Beverages at Home and Carry A Packed Lunch
Do you love eating out? You don’t have to stop eating out altogether, but you can reduce your restaurant budgets.
One way to do this is by drinking water more. Avoid restaurant beverages like juices and alcohol, and you can save up to 20% of your costs.
Also, take advantage of the work beverages and lunches (if they’re available) instead of eating out daily. You could also carry a packed lunch of leftovers some times to work to save on costs.
You can also create a monthly restaurant budget depending on how much you earn and stick to it. This will be very satisfying and the food will taste better instead of you feeling guilty when you walk into that restaurant.
3. Get Books from The Library
Are you hooked on books? This good habit can become costly. But it doesn’t have to be.
You can join a library in your area where you can borrow books. Many of the books found in libraries are free, and you only need an access card.
If your friends are like you, consider switching books with them, so you don’t have to buy every book.
If you’re the kind who reads a book only once, consider eBooks or audio books. Reading books online not only saves you money but also frees up space in your house. Most Australian libraries now also allow you to borrow the latest audio books, saving you money when compared to purchasing them outright. You may have to wait a week or two for them to become available but do you really need to buy them to save a couple of weeks. After all, how many times are you going to re-listen to them later?
4. Monitor Your Thermostat
Is it too cold? Throw on a sweater. Are you feeling too hot? Turn on the fan.
These simple actions can save you money instead of constantly cranking up the heat on your thermostat whenever it’s cold.
During summers, you can set your thermostat at a temperature that doesn’t drain your electricity bill. You can reduce your costs by up to 10% by settling for a not-so-low temperature.
Another way to save on summers is to make the house as cool as possible by using drapes or blinds to block out the sun and avoid overworking the AC.
5. Don’t Go Beyond Your Grocery List
If you’re in the habit of treating yourself every time you go grocery shopping, it’s time to stop.
Stop going for the most expensive ingredient on the shelf whenever you shop.
To avoid overshooting your budget, make a list and stick to it.
You can also get an app like WiseList to help you plan and get your groceries’ best prices.
6. Share Babysitting
A good babysitter charges up to $20 hourly in Australia. So, the cost of babysitting can add over $40 to your bills if you’re gone for more than two hours, for instance.
A thoughtful way to save on babysitting costs is to share a sitter. You could form a shared babysitting club, where you and your friends support each other. You could take turns to watch each other’s kids on night outs and when you need to run errands.
7. Get A Card That Rewards You
If you’re the type who always uses a credit card responsibly, ensure you acquire the right one. Why? You can earn some rewards every time you shop.
For example, ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum rewards you 0.75 points for every $1 you spend up to $3,000 for each statement period.
8. Holiday On a Budget
We’re not telling you to do away with holidays. The trick here is to look for the best deals.
One way you can save on holidays is to travel off-peak when prices are lower.
Alternatively, stay in an Airbnb instead of an expensive hotel. You still get to enjoy the scenery without having to break a bank. Do some careful research and book ahead to find unusual places that may have cheaper accommodation.
9. Be On the Lookout for Coupons
Coupons are an excellent way to save on your purchases. But, sometimes you might not know if there are deals available. So, why not check for coupons whenever you go online to shop?
The best way to save on coupons is to buy stuff in bulk. You can buy durable items which won’t go bad fast.
To get those special deals, check deal sites like Groupon or Catch. A site like Groupon offers you deals on restaurants, beauty, travel, among others. Ozbargain also often has a lot of excellent up-to-the-minute deals. Be careful of being caught up buying things you won’t need soon though just because they are on sale.
10. Look for A Side Hustle
If you make some extra money, you will have enough to save without dramatically adjusting your lifestyle.
You can do many side hustles, including online, to put a little more money in your pocket.
The good news is that some side jobs don’t need experience. For instance, you can be a pet walker for about $16 for a one-off walk.
11. Consider That You Could Stop Paying for The Gym
You don’t have to go to the gym to stay fit. There are other ways to keep fit that won’t cost you anything, such as working out from home.
Other methods like buying home workout videos will only set you back a small amount or following one of the many millions of free workout sessions on Youtube.
Gym costs can set you back $65 per month or more and you can save precisely that amount by doing your workouts outside the gym.
Saving Money Is Just a Tweak Away
Whatever you’re saving for, the process doesn’t have to be painful.
With these 11 ways to save money without dramatically changing your lifestyle, you realize that you can start today.
Small things like tracking your grocery expenses, using coupons, or shared babysitting can make a huge difference. You can even travel on a budget and still get the best deals.
Start tracking your expenditure and saving now.