Category: Money Matters
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Sub category: Saving
13 February 2019

How to get frugal

Is it time to recover from over indulging during the holidays? While we nurture our bodies and begin the year with new diet and fitness regimes, it’s the perfect time to attend to our financial habits. Why not boost your savings in 2019 with the Frugal Challenge.

  1. First take a look at your last few everyday banking statements and look at how much you spent.
  2. What was really necessary, and what was not? Be honest!
  3. Work out what your average monthly ‘fun and luxury’ spend is and make it your new Frugal savings goal!
  4. Then follow our simple tips to help you reach it.

Cash only

It’s fast becoming a rare species in our wallets, but paying for everything in cash could be a sure way to help you spend less and save more. You can control your daily spend by setting a weekly budget and only spending what you have at hand. Forking out cash each time makes you think twice about your purchases and whether you really ‘need’ it. Money left at the end of the week can go straight into an ING Savings Maximiser! If you don’t have an ING Savings Maximiser already, you can open up an account in just minutes.

Step it up

Combine an increased fitness regime with your savings goals during February. Instead of hitting the shops why not jump on your bicycle for a scenic ride, it’s not going to cost you a cent and it can help you increase your fitness. Your friends may be relieved at the suggestion and share similar fitness and financial goals. If you need to do the groceries, consider walking or riding. Not only will you save on petrol, but having to walk home with a shopping bag could stop you from going crazy in the aisles.

Utilities stock take

Are you getting the best value for your phone, internet, insurance or energy bills? Compare and shop around to see how much you could save. If you find a better price, you could even negotiate with your existing suppliers and see if they can beat the competitor’s price – it’s worth a try! The money you save can go straight into your savings and towards that Island hopping holiday to Greece. Try comparing energy services with consumer group Choice’s to get you started and call ING to get a new quote on your home and contents insurance.

Cut the commute

Look at how you can reduce the cost of your commute to work too. ING research shows that Australians spend an average of $179 a month travelling to and from work.  Are you within walking, cycling distance? Or could you walk half way? If not, how could you make your commute cheaper? Perhaps you could keep the car in the garage and switch to public transport to save on petrol and tolls. Or share rides to work with a friend – a way to save money and make traffic jams more fun.

Weave the old into gold

Is your home filled up with new items from Christmas and the January sales? Or do you have clutter lying around? Make Frugal February the month to go crazy on eBay and Gumtree and spin gold from unused or unloved clothes and furniture taking up much-needed space. You can clean out your wardrobes and living spaces and in return help fill up your savings accounts. To get the most value from your stuff, try exploring Facebook for buy and sell pages for local trade or specialist pages specific to your product. Just make sure you always stay safe when trading, and if you’re not posting the item, always meet up in a busy public place for transactions.

Zip up your purse

For the ultimate challenge, try go for a month without spending a dollar besides your essentials. To make yourself more accountable and avoid sneaking luxuries into your basket, write down everything you spend as you go. Bring your friends in on it, too. Mix up your social life and organise free outings such as galleries and museums. As well as exercising outdoors, perhaps it’s time to be creative – dig out those paints, a camera or writing pad and give it a go. For a lazy option, binge-watch those Netflix series’. As for food, put your chef’s hat on, stick Uber eats on hold, drop the take away caffeine fix each day and pack your lunch. According to ING research, Australian employees spend a whopping average of $129 per month on lunch, and $74 a month on coffee and energy drinks. That’s $183 into your savings before you start.

Make it last

See how long you can make the Frugal Challenge last! Make it fun and challenge a partner or friend and see who can save the most. Name your ING Savings Maximiser account ‘Frugal Challenge’ so you can take pride in your savings and easily see who’s winning! While you’re only spending on the bare essentials, check into your ING app regularly to watch your savings grow and keep you motivated. You could use the joint savings to go on that Greek Island holiday together. But don’t let the good work drop, try and keep up sustainable healthy financial fitness habits for life and make 2019 the year of the savings.


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