100 hints- Rich Women are good at saving money
Saving money is easy for some and challenging for others. Love Light & Inspiration reached out to its Community with the question -” How do you save money?” Whether you want to get through a financially difficult time or set yourself up for the future, these money saving ideas and hints are practical, manageable and will help you get the lifestyle you want.
Spending and saving money in 2021
2020 has been an amazing year for many of us in so many different ways. Some of us have saved money because going out and spending has stopped, while others have spent more due to increased bills at home, online shopping and purchasing things that can be delivered instead of going to the shops and buying the cheapest goods.
I’m actually sitting in exactly the same financial position as I was before, which is exceedingly fabulous. Why? I hear you ask. In the past I would have been panicking about how I find the money to pay for the things that need replacing in my home. My weekly wage is just the same but the weekly car fuel bill has been close to eliminated and any discretionary spending just hasn’t happened. I’ve also changed a few other things and with the savings I’ve been able to make I’ve replace my 15 year old fridge, 15 year old washing machine, purchased a new robot vacuum cleaner and a new Dyson hot and cold heater all without using any of my savings. All necessary items and all very big ticket items, all purchased without dipping into the savings.
I am also fully aware that life isn’t that good financially for everyone else out there in the community, there is a lot of people hurting, a lot of people have lost their jobs and businesses are suffering So while I’m ok I thought sharing how I and our broader Love Light & Inspiration Community can save some money, then all of us can get through this period and get out the other side in hopefully a better position.
Number One Tip for Saving Money
Know where your money goes!
My biggest tip is know where all your money goes, know what you are spending it on and how much you are spending. Make a budget and plan what you are going to do to achieve it. People are often shocked when they realise how much they are spending on discretionary items. (Reminder: a discretionary item is a product or service that is not essential to human survival.) Taking control of spending and impulses will help keep you focused on financial security. Keep a list of where you spend every cent, it will help you priorities where you want to spend your money and how you will move forward in the future. Just doing this for a single week may surprise you:)
100 Money Saving Hints
Thank you to the Love Light & Inspiration for their help with these hints. We have divided them into:
- Banking and Saving Money Hints
- Spending Money Hints
- Food and Grocery Savings
- General Household Savings Hints
Banking and Saving Money Hints:
- Consolidate all your loans into one loan and work hard at paying down that single debt, any spare cash or money can go straight off that loan.
- Seek out the services of a mortgage broker, they might be able to restructure your loan and reduce your interest payments or consolidate any loans you have. If they do reduce your payments, keep paying what you were paying before as this will only reduce your principle on the loan amount.
- If you can trust yourself with money then an offset account is the best way to save and reduce your mortgage. Each time you get paid, the money goes straight onto your mortgage reducing the amount of principal and then as you take out what is needed to cover the bills the amount goes back up again, but watching the dept go down always motivates you not to spend.
- Make payments on your mortgage every week or fortnight, or when you get paid, don’t just let the bank take the amount out at the end of the month, take control because at the end of your first year you will be one payment in front with this amount coming off the principle of the loan, you will be amazed at how much money you save over the period of the loan.
- If you have to have a credit card, pay it off fast, preferably at the end of each month.
- Make sure you only have one credit card and only use it if you really need to or for emergencies.
- Shop around with banks to find a bank that has few or no fees on everyday accounts. I use an ING Visa account, it is an online account with a card.
- Set up accounts for different expenses that are large and need saving for, such as rates and insurances, add the amount you need to pay together and divide by 50 to find out how much we need to save each week and put that amount into this account. You will always be able to pay your bills this way and never have to worry about where the money is coming from. This account is a non-negotiable account that can’t be raided as the bills will still have to be paid.
- Make sure you always leave a buffer in your accounts so you never get hit with overdrawn bank fees.
- Build an emergency fund bank account and never spend it, build it to an amount of money that you would need to survive, your expenses, for a 3-6 month period without any other income coming in.
- Automate the transfer amounts into the different nominated accounts so it always happens and never gets missed.
- Lock both your savings and emergency fund money into a high interest savings account so it grows faster.
Spending Money Hints
- Check with ASIC to see if you have any lost superannuation or money.
- Get a money budgeting app to help you budget your money, there are free versions out there so try some and see if they work for you. iSaveMoney is a good app $4.99 once only payment and The Dave Ramsey EveryDollar app is a god one, it will set you back $130 a year after the free trial is over but it will keep you on track.
- Read the Barefoot Investor book by Scott Pape, it is amazing and will teach you lots of hints and tips, also offers facebook groups where you can ask questions and get the answers about what to do.
- If you are signing a contract with someone, either get it checked properly or read every line of the terms and conditions so you know what is in the fine print and you know what all your interest, fees and charges will be so you know exactly what you will be up for.
- Be careful of scam invoices that look legitimate and sent to you through email. Just because you receive an invoice in your name doesn’t mean it is real. If you don’t know the company, don’t open the email, just bin it.
- Sell any unwanted items on ebay, gumtree or a buy/swap/sell local site on facebook, this helps with decluttering your home and gives you back cash to use elsewhere or pay off debt. This is really good to do during November and December, people are looking for things to buy and the money will come in handy with Christmas.
- Each month I transfer my “spending money” to an account that has no fees or transaction charges. My spending money is the money I allow myself for food, clothes, gifts, cat food, entertainment, and any incidentals. For me it is $1,000 a month and once that money is used, it is gone for the rest of the month, so I need to budget it carefully especially around Christmas time or holidays and other months where spending is heavy. If I have some left over at the end of the month that is when I think about presents I need for Christmas or birthdays regardless of the time of year because it saves me stressing about money when I do need to have that special gift for that special person and these are the things that eat up the money.
- If you are sure you won’t be able to get through Christmas without any pain, transfer money from your spending money into a Christmas Club account so you have it when you need it.
- I want abundance in my life, so I have a $100 note in my phone case along with my “Spending money” card which is what I always use. My intention is to never use the note, it is purely there so I never have the feeling of being broke, I can always buy what ever it is I want, I have money but I don’t need to spend it, which is good training. Also if I did spend it I would have to replace it from my “spending money” account and I don’t have a purse to carry change or area for lots of paper money, so it would be a total nuisance for me to break the note.
- If you are the type of person who sees something and has to have it, then never carry the credit card with you, keep it at home, so if you need to use it, then you have to go home to get it. A great suggestion is also to keep your credit card in the freezer in a mug of frozen water, so you have to get it out and defrost it before you can use it. This will also take time and give you thinking time as to whether you really need the item you are purchasing.
- Pay extra off your monthly utility bills each month and plan to be in credit in December, when you will probably need a little extra money to get through the Christmas spending easily. Some people just round the bill up to the next ten dollars while others need to add extra $10-$20 each month, this won’t effect your monthly budget much each month, but will make a huge difference as the savings soon adds up, and you will appreciate the extra at Christmas.
- Find yourself an independent insurance broker who can shop around on your behalf, they know more companies and know which ones are reputable, they will get you the best price and also negotiate with the company if you need to make a claim.
- If you can purchase your phone outright, then you have the ability to shop around for post-paid sim cards, which will save you heaps. These companies use the towers of the larger companies so their coverage is just as good and often their service is better. There are deals that cost as little as $200 for a whole year with unlimited talk and text with good internet allowances, you will probably find this is massively less than the larger company plans.
- Shop around for your electricity and gas every year and if your company rises it’s prices ring them and ask to be put back on the same plan you were previously on. Find out what other companies are offering you, compare the usage costs and daily charges against each other as often the sales people quote dollar figures which are averages and just aren’t right for you.
- Make sure your bills come to you via email, getting a paper bill posted to you costs more from some companies. Also direct debiting from an account can also give you extra discounts, so ask the company if they have this discount.
- Don’t be afraid to upgrade your appliances, an old fridge may use more electricity in a couple of years than the cost of a new fridge. Always look at the energy star rating when choosing an appliance, this will tell you how much electricity it uses compared to other appliances, also it is essential you do your research on the quality of the appliance and see how many people have complained about the quality as you don’t want to replace it within a short period.
- Don’t be afraid to find an alternative or knock off product that does the same thing as the expensive brand does. My favourite is my knock-off thermomix!
- Don’t take anyone else shopping with you, especially partners and children, they will add things to the basket or encourage you to spend on impulse items.
Food and Grocery Savings
- Drinking more water will flush the toxins out of your body and keep you feeling fuller so you will eat less food.
- Cut down on any junky foods we eat, such as sugary, chocolate, chips and soft drinks, this will be good for our health and our wallets.
- Keep your grocery bags in your car and a small fold up one in your handbag as a spare, this will save you buying bags each time you go shopping.
- I bulk buy if it saves me money. So I’ve just purchased 20kg of cat food for $120, this will last me probably 9 months so it is a much cheaper option and veterinary grade quality, it’s much better than buying small bags of supermarket pet food. I do the same with anything that will save me money and lasts the time, such as toilet rolls, there is no point purchasing perishables if they won’t last.
- I purchase groceries I consistently use when I see them on special. If you always buy what you use when it is cheaper, then next week you won’t need to purchase it and can spend that money on something else that is on special. Your cupboards will never be empty and there will be plenty all the time to go around. With the savings you can purchase other things that are also on special. There will always be times you pay full price, but by buying extra at the reduced price you will grow the level of goods in your cupboards and the savings will come in.
- Buy vegetables that are in season they will be cheaper, fresher and more likely to be local. If you want things that are out of season, check out the frozen vegetables, they are often cheaper than imported out of season vegetables.
- Make sandwiches and lunch for the whole family to take with them, and take your lunch when you go out, buying lunch will cost $10 a day and if everyone buys it, then that is a huge expense.
- Shopping online for groceries stops you from being tempted to buy goods you don’t really need, it will keep you on track for the meals you have planned.
- Using the last of the vegetables before you go shopping to make a big pot of soup is great for lunch, it will be filling and nutritious and keep you going for the rest of the day. Other days eat left overs for lunch, it is yummy but also easy and fast and you won’t need to waste time making your lunch.
- When I cook, I cook extra meals for the freezer, I always have spare meals in the freezer for the days I don’t finish early or are tired and don’t want to cook. Much cheaper and more nutritious that freezer bought meals.
- Make a take-away coffee at home and take it with you in a keep-cup. You will feel like you have splurged on yourself by having the coffee when you are out, but haven’t had to purchase it.
- Take your own water with you, purchasing water in bottles is a huge expense not to mention the effect on the environment. I always keep spare water in the car.
- Eat before you go shopping. You will be amazed how much extra you put in a trolley when you are hungry.
- Feeding the family on a budget facebook group is one group you can join that will give you heaps of ideas for delicious meals on a budget.
- Menu plan each week for the whole week ahead, making a list of what you need for the week. Have you seen the Mum’s Who Planner? Take a look it might help you plan your family meals. mumswho.com.au/mumswhoplanner
- Set the cost of each meal and avoid recipes that use special expensive ingredients that are outside your budget and make sure you don’t purchase anything outside the list.
- Don’t go back to the supermarket in-between shops, you will only be tempted to buy extras that aren’t essential.
- Don’t buy take away meals, they are expensive and eat into your budget, if you want an easy prep meal buy frozen boxes of already pre made items in the supermarket and cook them in an air-fryer, it is probably better for you to have less fat and the food is just as nice. I have pies from the supermarket which cost me $1 in my freezer and instead of going to the bakery at lunch time spending $4,70 for a similar item. I also have frozen fish, fish cakes, chico rolls, dim sims etc, in the freezer which becomes my weekly take away without me having to leave the house and spend huge amounts buying similar items. This is my weekly treat and doesn’t cost me the earth.
- Bake your own biscuits, slices and treats, they will save you heaps in kids lunch box and it will be much healthier too.
- Baking your own bread is a good saving unless you eat more because it is yummy and you slice it thicker, in this case then pre-bought bread will be cheaper, you will eat less and it will be less time consuming, but it is not as nice.
- Grow your own food, it is very rewarding to see the fruits of your labour, a great experience for the whole family as you can get the kids involved. I have found by planting by the moon the plants grow better and you increase the production of food, looking up a calendar that is suitable to your time zone will help you know what to plant and when.
- If you have an excess of one particular type of food you can swap with someone else, there are swap meetings, or I swapped a basket of vegetables with the chicken shop for a cooked chicken.
- Know your grocery prices so you can work out the best place to shop, often you will find fruit and vegetable shops are cheaper than the supermarkets, the produce is more likely to be locally grown and fresher.
- Go to markets to purchase your bulk or weekly purchases of fruit and veges, when I had a family every week I went to the Queen Victoria Market, the prices were so much better there and I bought more fresh foods for the family. Farmers markets can also have great savings and you know you are purchasing from the person who grows your food.
- Buy your meat in larger quantities and re-pack them into meal size bags, often buying a 1-2kg tray will cost you less per meal than buying the smaller meal size trays of meet. If you can get to a butcher attached to an abattoir, you are also much more likely to get a better deal per kilo on meat .
- Substitute or add beans to meals like spaghetti or taco’s or stews, it will bulk out the meal and provide a good source of protein saving you money on adding meat.
- Buy home brand name items, this will save you money, but you have to weigh up not spending on your own countries farmers when they have an equivalent product.
- Shop at discount stores that stock cheaper brands like Aldi, the food is just as good, but the prices better than the larger competitors. Also check out the specials at the smaller stores like IGA, they often have huge savings on certain items, so purchase just these items each week.
- Look at the kg price of goods you choose and choose the cheaper choices, so Weetbix and porridge will be better for the pocket and on your health rather than the sugar laden brand name cereals.
- If you are going to eat out, look out for deals, coupons and discount nights where you will save on the normal prices.
- Know the prices (especially specials) when you get to the checkout, if they scan it through for an incorrect price, then you get it for free at most supermarkets and you would be surprised how often the prices haven’t been adjusted for the specials.
- Make your own stock and bone broth, you can keep some thick salted stock in jars in the fridge or bone broth in the freezer.
- Cut back on your alcohol and beverage consumption, make it a special treat rather than a daily habit. It is amazing how much we can spend drinking.
- Look out for any reduced or marked down items, especially meat as it can always be frozen for use at a later time.
General Household Savings Hints
- Presents for family can be purchased throughout the year and at times when there are good specials and things are reduced in price. Stocktake sales and Black Friday sales are a great time to find special gifts for people and at much more affordable prices. I spread my spending out so it all doesn’t come with a thump at Christmas or birthdays. I am constantly listening to what is said throughout the year and make my purchase when I hear someone saying something about something, or I see something that is just perfect for someone, so I have a cupboard with gifts already in it when the time comes. I never have the Jan/Feb credit card blues.
- Presents for friends can be home made, they will be loved and appreciated too, nothing better than getting a home-made jar of jam as a present or something that someone has made. Or maybe some lemon butter?
- Cleaning your house does not need to be expensive, but each job may have a different solution so instead of using expensive household cleaners, elbow grease, soap, water, and bi-carbonate soda are great, if you want a little extra lift I add vinegar. A few drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of water is a great way to clean the kitchen and smells divine too. You can find the answers to everything cleaning on Shannon Lush’s website. https://shannonlush.com/.
- I do a 10-1 mix of bi-carb and laundry powder in the washing machine with vinegar in the fabric dispenser. My washing machine is always clean as are my clothes.
- Turn the lights off when you are not in a room and only turn on what is necessary.
- Turn off power points when not in use, Any room you don’t use continually doesn’t need the power points turned on. Having the little red light on appliances illuminating costs you money, so if you only turn the power point on when you need to use the appliance you will save both money and unnecessary power
- All my lights are energy savers including all the lamps in my home which are also lower wattage, so I use these when I am siting at night.
- Wash your clothes in cold water, it works just as well. Only do a full load of washing, you waste water by only doing half a load.
- Don’t have the water running when you are not using it, you don’t need to have the tap running the whole time you are cleaning your teeth, or soaping your hands.
- Be mindful to the length of showers you have, make sure you have a water saver shower rose, the water one of these shower heads save is amazing and you get used to the lesser flow of water.
- When water is really short and it is the height of summer, you could shower with a bucket to catch water for the plants, do the washing up in a bowl in the sink and run a hose connected to the washing machine into your garden, it will love you.
- Don’t heat the whole house when you are home alone sitting or working in one room. (The whole reason I purchased the heater was so I could heat just my office and I didn’t need to run the central heating while I worked. I’ve saved hundreds each month by doing this one thing!!!)
- Put on an extra layer of clothes instead of turning on the heater, take a layer of clothes off instead of using the air conditioner.
- Close the blinds to keep the heat in or out, depending upon the season. This makes a huge difference especially at night keeping the warmth in the room.
- Don’t use a clothes dryer, the sun does an amazing job at not only drying our clothes but it kills bacteria too, leaving our clothes fresher and cleaner, it also works as a wonderful bleach riding clothes of stains. So if you have a garment you can’t get a stain out of, leave it hanging on the line for a few days and it will be much whiter than before.
- If you don’t have a clothes line, use a clothes horse, hanging wet clothes on a clothes horse doesn’t take that long to dry in a warm house.
- Wedding and Engagement decorations on a budget, it will be amazing what you can do to decorate venues. We have made our own flower arbour, donut board and decorated the venues ourselves and saved heaps in not paying someone else to do what we could do ourselves.
- If the toilet is running or a tap is dripping, either turn it off or if you can’t get it fixed, it might just need a washer, but if you can’t fix it yourself call someone who can, as water is expensive.
- Check out what discounts are available to you as you may be eligible for discounts on council rates, water, car registration,car license etc. especially if you qualify for a government low income card or payment.
- Never buy a new car, a demo model that has done 10,000km’s will be just as good and a whole lot cheaper.
- Use normal fuel when you are driving around town, depending on your car it may be beneficial to use premium on trips, but you must test this first to see the difference in distance vs extra price paid.
- Download a fuel app to find the cheapest fuel near to you when you want to fill up.
- Keep your tyres pumped up as your car will use less fuel on pumped up tyres.
- Service your car regularly, a clean air filter will keep your car running better using less fuel.
- Get rid of Foxtel, there are much cheaper alternative solutions out there, think Netflix, Stan and Disney, including Kayo sports channels for the men.
- Share your subscriptions with someone else, you might buy Netflix, they might buy Stan and you can share.
- Before you go shopping, have a look online and work out what you actually want to buy and have an idea of what sort of money you should be spending.
- Instead of meeting people for lunch, meet them in a park and go for walk and coffee’s, it will save you heaps not having to spend on a huge meal.
- Eating before you go out for a meal will mean you can get away with only buying an entree and drinking the tap water provided saves loads on the final bill.
- Before you make a rash decision to purchase something, ask yourself if you really need it? When I decide to buy something, I have to come back the following day and buy it if I still want it then, so one day I look, the next I buy if I still want it, amazing how many times I never go back, which in reality is most of the time.
- When you go to the doctors ask if they can bulk-bill you.
- Purchase generic prescriptions rather than use the brand names, they are just the same and will cost you a considerable amount less.
- Shop around for health insurance, it may be better if you and your partner have single cover if you don’t have children, because your needs will be different and you can each design cover to suit your individual specific needs.
- Find yourself a really good op-shop or two that sells really good range, quality and quality of clothes and things you like, shop on Wednesdays or later in the week when all the new donations from the previous weekend have been sorted.
- Adopt your new pet rather than buy a young pet from a breeder, you will save money on vaccinations, de-sexing and worming the animal.
- If you have a spouse and family, please find the best life insurance broker, life insurance and income protection is essential for the reassurance of your family if something happened to you. You need a broker to insure you are covered correctly and there won’t be any problems if something horrible should happen.
A saving of $50 a week will give you $2,600 a year, which you can choose to either reduce your mortgage, invest or you could take an overseas holiday. So ask yourself do you need it and make sure you do, before you spend the money because once you have spent it you can’t get it back. Just a few changes – where will it take you? Now I’m not a financial expert and these hints are just my opinion of how doing these things can help, but I think they are good so I hope it helps you achieve your dreams and goals too.