How to save smarter in 2018
PAYING YOUR RENT IN ADVANCE
Paying your rent in advance can reduce a little or a lot of stress later on in the year. Now I know that sometimes birthdays can get a little out of hand & some weeks you just need a little extra cash to buy that big item. By paying your rent up to one month in advance you can sleep stress-free while you get your finances back in order.
PUT SOME CASH AWAY FOR BILLS
Every week put $10 away to pay for bills at the end of the month/quarter. It can really soften the blow. Especially if your whole household is doing it.
GET RID OF UNNECESSARY DIRECT DEBITS
Let's get real. Your direct debit situation isn't leaving you in flux come to the end of the billing cycle.
- Gym membership: That gym membership you never use, dump it. Or maybe you need to figure out why you don't use it. Find a club or exercise activity that actually works with your lifestyle. Shop around in the new year for deals or look for trial coupons. (Read next paragraph)
- Credit card: Flaunt your customer loyalty. If you have been with a service provider for many years ( this applies to credit cards, phone companies, gyms, agencies & health funds), ask for redundant service fees to be taken off your bill . Make your credit card work for you this year. Find a credit card that supports the things you want to do. Want to travel in 2019? Get a credit card that rewards you with frequent flyer points, or points that can be used with affiliate companies ( Hello, Hotel Palazzo Versace & Qantas lounge!)
- Mobile phone: Are you out of your contract/ paid for your handset? Its time to go old school. Prepaid is trendy people! You top up with what you can afford when you want and there are so many awesome "plans".
- Subscriptions & published entertainment: Is there a better way to get what you want? Amazon, Kindle, Spotify, Google newsstand, bloglovin', steam? Now I know some of you like the look & feel of hardcover books, video games & music but lets compromise? Plus it may make that spring clean easier. Didn't you say you wanted to lead a minimalist lifestyle in 2018?
Did someone say Coupon Queen?
For online shopping, I use the HONEY EXTENSION. It applies coupons to the checkout for you. You don't even need to think about it, & its saved me hundreds of dollars over the last few years. Even if there's no applicable coupon for the store you're buying from, sometimes Honey will reiumburse you with points that can be redeemed over time.
Groupon & Scoopon are my next go to. Want your hair cut & coloured for cheap? Want a deep tissue massage, to trial a gym or maybe a romantic dinner for 2? Groupon/Scoopon have heaps of deals for your area.
SERVICES FROM EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Want your haircut? Go to the local hair academy or be a hair model. Massage? Find a student clinic. Where there are educational institutions there are students that need hours of hands-on training. You maybe get the service for free or heavily discounted. Wanted to learn a new skill? ( that might bring you $$ opportunities?), take a look at skill share. Learning new skills can afford you opportunities to make some extra dollars in the new year. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
Just being organised can save you some dollars. Save yourself a few miles in fuel by calling ahead. If you're looking for a specific item, or want to find the best price, do it from the comfort of your lounge. Call the store directly & save the running around. Meal prep is no joke either. Pretty much-staying ontop of things & researching properly can save you money. Read more here
$5 NOTE CHALLENGE
It's as easy as it sounds. Get cash out ( you're more likely to hold yourself accountable for your spending when you see it literally disappear before your eyes. #RIPpaywave). Every time you receive a $5 note stash it away. Since February I have unknowingly saved $260. That's a plane ticket!
Doing a few cash jobs here & there can give you the cash boost you need. Whether its becoming a local guide for tourists, applying your skills at mates rates, picking up a few random jobs on Airtasker or gumtree, pet sitting or remote online jobs. The list is endless. My favourite would have to be paid market research. I've been paid hundreds of dollars over the years just for giving my opinion. Sometime's I even got fed at the research meeting! Think out side the box.
FIRE EXTINGUISHER ACCOUNT
Isn't it a great feeling when you get to the end of the pay week and you still have a few dollars to your name? It doesn't happen often but when it does, boy is it memorable. Now instead of rolling those few pennies over into the next week, you put them into a different account. This is called your fire extinguisher account. Its used to soften the blow of any unforeseen circumstances ( vet/medical bills, car crash etc.). You can start this fund by either rolling over the last of your weeks pay into another account or you could save all the coins at the bottom of your wallet/car floor.
So there it is. Just a few ways I've saved a few hundred dollars/ made a few Hundred dollars with very minimal effort. Happy New Year!