The hibernating winter months are an excellent time to cut costs so that you’re all cashed up when the warmer weather rolls around. Put these smart savings strategies into place now and you can have more money to play with when the warmer, more social, seasons roll around again.
Tighten up on loose change
According to research by ING Australians collectively lose an astonishing $38.85 million a month in loose change. That so-called “shrapnel” hanging around in your coat pockets or lurking under the couch cushions could add up to a weekend away or more. Go the old school route and dump it all into a piggy bank or a large jar to be cashed in at the bank when it’s full – then treat yourself! Or, try ING’s Everyday Round Up, a digital savings tool that rounds up card purchases made through your ING Orange Everyday Account to the nearest $1 or $5. The extra amount is automatically deposited into an ING Savings Maximiser account where it earns interest and builds up overtime. From little things big things grow.
Do a mini money detox
No doubt half of your colleagues have already tried the 5:2 Fast Diet and you may also be a fan. It’s an intermittent fasting diet that asks you to slash your calories to next to nothing for two days a week, while eating whatever you like (within reason!) on the other five days. You can apply this same strategy to your finances. Pick two days a week when you will spend nothing but the absolute bare minimum or ideally nada (walk to work, pack your lunch, make coffee in the office etc). As with the diet, it can be a clever way to rack up big savings without feeling deprived on a daily basis – just make sure you don’t overspend on the other five days!
Free your work out
We love our fitness classes but, while they’re great for our health, the annual cost can really add up, whether it’s yoga, Pilates or the gym that’s your addiction. This winter, stay warm inside and save yourself some serious dosh by swapping a few of those work outs for a work in. Just make sure you’re not locked into a contact with a high cancellation fee. With approximately bajillion free workout videos now readily available on YouTube, it’s never been easier to get your sweat on without venturing outside. It’s also a great way to check out something new or ease into a routine with instructional workouts for beginners.
Work for less
No, we’re not suggesting that you ask for a demotion but rather that you find ways to reduce the costs of being work ready. Research by ING has revealed that Australian employees spend an average of $591 a month on going to work, from commuting costs to work clothes and ‘work grooming’. Explore ways you can save, such as using public transport to avoid tolls and parking costs, shopping for your office attire only during the sales, or getting creative with your lunch box.
Save on eating out
Oh, delicious food. One of life’s great pleasures but also a big budget killer. If you love eating out, don’t despair, it doesn’t have to be all home-cooked pasta and packed lunches. Online restaurant sites can offer huge dining discounts during the slower winter months, while coupon sites are also worth checking for dining deals and discounts, particularly if you’re planning a party.
Curb online shopping
According to 2018 research by Australia Post, Australians spend $21 billion a year shopping online. While online shopping is undeniably convenient, it also makes impulse spending a little too easy (Hands up who hasn’t ordered something they shouldn’t have after a night out?). Those supposedly ‘time limited’ sales or minimum amounts to qualify for free shipping are crafty ways retailers lure us into opening our digital wallets. The key to combating this is delayed gratification. Make a rule that you’ll always wait at least 24 hours before purchasing something online. Also, do your research and shop around to make sure that those sale price really represent good value.
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