The most common tip you’ll hear when you tell someone that you want to start saving money is: “stop buying take-away coffees”. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee, this tip is not very helpful.
But there are other ways to save. I’ve come up with 7 different ‘sacrifices’ you can make to successfully start saving your hard-earned money.
1. Delete your food delivery apps
Cutting out such things as take-away food and eating out is a fast road to savings. Before purchasing that pad thai on Uber Eats, think about how much you could save if you spent a bit of time each week pre-planning your meals and cooking them yourself. If your fridge and pantry are stocked, you’ll feel even more guilty about letting your fresh produce go to waste. To stop yourself from impulse buying a takeaway meal, delete the delivery apps (Uber Eats, Menulog, Deliveroo etc.) off your phone.
And if you do drink coffee, invest in a coffee machine and make your own café creations at home. It can be exciting learning how to be a barista and you will save money and the environment in the long term. Who knows, adding this skill to your bow could even open up a career opportunity.
2. Move further away from the CBD
For a long-term saving goal, such as saving for a house deposit, you could move to a cheaper suburb where rent as well as petrol and grocery prices are lower. It may be further away from your work or friends but as long as you can still travel to work in a reasonable time, you’ll start to see the savings add up. You may even be able to get a bigger place than what you could afford to rent in a major city.
3. Save rent by moving back in with the parents
Another common “sacrifice” young people make is moving back in with their parents (or not moving out till they are much older) to save money to buy a home of their own. You may lose some freedom, but you gain home cooked meals and a tonne of savings from not paying full-priced rent.
4. Old-reliable > new luxury car
Everyone would love a new car with all the luxuries, but if you have an old and reliable car that’s cheap to run, you may as well use it until it just can’t drive anymore. The more kilometres you clock on the odometer, the more time you have to save for a nicer, newer car, and it will be well deserved.
5. Always shop around
It’s not always convenient to double and triple check if something is cheaper somewhere else. It can be time consuming, but it’s a good way to make sure you are saving every dollar you can.
Sign up for weekly special catalogues for all the supermarkets near you to see which one has the best deals. You might need to head to two (or three) different supermarkets, however you’ll soon find the things you know you can get cheaper at ALDI or what specials are better at Coles or Woolworths.
When your insurance is due for renewal, have a look at comparison sites to see if you can get a better quote. You can take this quote to your current provider and see if they will match it for being a long-term customer. But if they don’t – just switch! You should do the same for utilities and internet providers.
6. DIY Beauty
Women generally spend much more than men on grooming. We think of things like hairdresser appointments and makeup as necessary spending. There can also be nail appointments, eyelash tinting & extensions, eyebrow tattooing, hair removal and spray tans. All these things add up! To save money, there are definitely things you can live without and other things you can DIY. There are gel nail kits, other forms of hair removal that aren’t laser, self-tanning products etc. Plus, there is always the option to go au-naturel, and really see the savings stack up.
7. Buy second hand
Sometimes things just break and you have to replace them. When you are on the savings grind and something unexpected happens, like a washing machine or mobile phone dying, it can be a real blow to your hard work of building up your savings. In these situations (or when you feel like treating yourself), instead of buying the newest appliance or fashion item, have a look at Facebook marketplace or Gumtree. People are always selling barely used appliances that they need to get rid of before moving, or selling clothes that don’t fit (but can’t be returned). There are also many “Buy, Swap and Sell” and “Buy Nothing Project” Facebook pages, so look for the ones in your local area.
It can be quite easy to save when you get into the habit of things like meal planning or researching before purchasing, to make sure you have the best price. You can learn how to DIY some things and generally live a more minimalistic life. Once you get the hang of it, these “sacrifices” won’t seem so hard.
Important: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. Consider the appropriateness of the information in regard to your circumstances.
This article was originally published on Tilly Money.