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12 Easy ways to save money

The first step is the hardest. Turn your financial life around with a few simple steps and some determination.

  1. Have a written budget – It’s always nice to know where your money is going. Make a list of all the money you spend in a month and then make some constructive changes as you plan your spending. This way, you will firstly know exactly where your money has been going and can analyse each area that needs improvement. Make a list for your spending and stick to it.
  2. Organise your meals – Inviting your friends to your place and having everyone bring a plate of food may be a better option than eating out. Learning to cook and buying fresh ingredients can save you money. When you are writing that shopping/spending list make sure you are organised for the week. Preparing a cut lunch and using your own coffee machine as well as buying generic brands can save you money.
  3. Change your habits and save – Some of us have very expensive habits and getting them to become manageable can make a huge difference financially as well as personally. So rather than getting your car washed get out there and use up some energy washing one of your most valuable assets. Get rid of the expensive gym membership and walk/cycle to work and discover new places. Borrow books and dvd’s from the library, set limits for gifts, give up or cut down on alcohol, coffee or whatever your vice may be.
  4. Pay your bills on time – Avoid paying late fees by paying your bills on time, you may even get a discount.
  5. Check your credit card interest rate – There are some very competitive rates and low fees available so make sure you do some research before choosing your credit card; it is also an opportunity to make sure your current cards are competitive. Make sure your credit card limit is an amount you can repay. If possible, use layby instead of credit, this can save you on fees and interest.
  6. Mortgage – Interest rates are at an all-time low so negotiate a better rate or find someone who will.
  7. Shop around for insurance – Car, home, contents, health insurance; it’s worth reviewing these when they are due for renewal. A little bit of shopping around could save you hundreds of dollars.
  8. Electricity and gas bills –It seems like a simple solution to power saving and yet many people fail to switch off and unplug appliances when they are not using them. Having a computer or tv on standby mode is still using electricity so don’t forget to unplug them as well; particularly if you are leaving the house for some time. Find a plan that’s right for you.
  9. Telecommunications contract – There are several telecommunications providers out there and they are very competitive; take some time out to review the cheaper options. Also look at the way you communicate as there are some great apps that can save you lots of money.
  10. Clothes – You can learn some basic sewing skills and make a big difference to your pocket. Create a new look to an outfit with some jewellery, scarf or a new tie.
  11. Review your personal insurance – Life, TPD, trauma and income protection insurance can all be very confusing and expensive. Consider asking for financial advice in this area as professionals can compare what is available in the market for your personal needs.
  12. Put your savings in a separate bank account and watch it grow.

Going through even just a few of the easier and quicker steps listed could be the difference in making or breaking your budget.

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