1. Consider refinancing your mortgage. If you can reduce your interest rate, refinancing your mortgage save you a lot of money. People who had a poor credit history when you first took out their mortgage, may now be eligible for a better interest rate. Please keep in mind that you could be charged fees to refinance so you will need to take this into account, but remember, even the slightest reduction in your interest rate, can really add up! ?
2. Have debts automatically deducted from your pay. If you have taken out a loan or are repaying some sort of debt, ask your payroll if they can automatically deduct your weekly repayments from your wage and give the money directly to your creditor. This removes the temptation of you spending this money on something else, as you never actually see the money to begin with! ?
3. Install a programmable thermostat. Heard of these? Basically, you program it to regulate the temperature in your house allowing the heating/air conditioning to automatically switch off during the times you are not in the house. You could save 10% to 20% on your energy bill which in turn will save you a large sum on an annual basis. ?
4. Look below eye level. When you are at the shops, look below eye level for the cheapest products! It is a proven fact that supermarkets stock the most expensive items at eye level. ?
5. Discover house-trading holidays. Do some research online and find websites where you can 'house swap' with people from other cities/states/countries! This way you don't have to pay for a hotel next time you want to take a holiday. Note: I will come back to you on this one, I am just checking with our accountant. I had a quick search online and couldn't find that this deduction actually applies for the employee – just the employer, but will let you know if the accountant advises otherwise. ?
6. Save on Soft drinks Instead of buying expensive soft drinks that can be bad for your health as well, why not flavor your water with some sliced fruit or herbs. Try a slice of lemon or a bunch of mint, it's cheaper and healthier.. ?
7. Log on to www.half.com If you are intending to buy a DVD, book or CD as a gift (or for yourself!), log on to eBay's www.half.com website. You can purchase second hand or new at a minimum of 25% off (and often much more) the recommended retail price. Also, they charge a flat rate shipping cost to further minimize costs.?Another good site for cheap books is www.bookdepository.com. Although this is a UK site, they quote prices in Australian dollars and do not charge any shipping! ?
8. Take your pet to the local animal shelter instead of the vet. You can save a fortune on veterinary costs by heading to your nearest animal shelter (eg. Animal Welfare League) for any pet related medical issues, rather than taking your animal to a vet.
9. Quit smoking! On average smoking costs $1500 a year… plus the money you may be forced to spend on medical bills due to the impact this nasty habit can have on your health. We all know quitting is difficult, but millions of people a year can do it – and so can you.
10. Pay your bills on time and avoid late fees. Take the time to compile a proper budget so that you know which bills have to be paid when. Return DVD's on time, pay bills by the due date etc. All of these small penalties really add up over a year.
11. Buy a slow cooker. They are not that expensive and enable you to cook much cheaper cuts of meat, without sacrificing tenderness and flavour. They make economical, tasty and fuss free meals suitable for one or for the whole family.
12. Sell the things you aren't using. Who doesn't have unwanted goods (electrical equipment, clothes, furniture – anything really!) which they do not use and could sell? Have a garage sale, go to a car boot sale or put them on eBay, in the Trading Post or the local newspaper etc.
13. Use energy saving light bulbs. Although the initial outlay may be higher, you will save money on energy costs and ultimately spend much less money.
14. Establish a budget. This might sound like common sense, but it's amazing how many people overlook this simple step to financial freedom. How are you supposed to save money if you have no idea how much money you have coming in, versus how much money you have going out? This is essential in order to successfully manage your finances long term. Start off with a weekly budget and this can evolve into a monthly and annual budget.
15. Be careful of interest. Remember the golden rule – 0% interest does not necessarily mean you will save money. When a claim is made that a purchase or loan incurs 0% interest, what this often means is that the cost of the interest is actually added into the purchase price. So in many cases, you are not really making a saving at all. Be sure to do your research because if something seems to good to be true, it probably is.
16. Consider a secondary source of income eg. dog walking or delivering newspapers. A dog walking business is something you can?start with minimum monetary outlay and effort, and can easily work in with any sort of work ie. permanent, part-time or casual. Print up some flyers and put them in your neighbours' letterboxes and/or put them up in local shops, on notice boards, at veterinary clinics etc.?You can dog walk at any time of the day or early evening so you can make this work in?with your main job….plus you will get fit!?Alternatively, call your local newspaper to ask if they have any delivery positions available for the delivery route closest to your house. Early morning shifts will not clash with your regular job and are a great way to earn some extra dollars…and again, work on your fitness!
17. Recycle a gift! We all receive gifts we don't really like. One person's trash is another's treasure so why not give your unwanted gifts to others for birthday/Christmas/anniversary etc presents!
18. Buy second hand. This may not sound too appealing as let's face it, we would all prefer to buy brand new, however many items can be purchased second hand that still maintain a good standard of quality. Some examples are cars (generally new cars lose 1/3 of their value within the first 2 years you own them) and clothes (check out charity op shops and e-bay – you can find as-new designer brands for great prices). In fact, just about anything can be purchased pre-loved on e-bay and other similar websites.
19. Wait a few days. If you are on the verge of making an impulse purchase or want to buy something that is a 'want' rather than a 'need', put the object of your desire on hold for a day or two and then see how you feel. It allows you time to undertake price comparisons or think of alternatives.?Or you may even realise that you don't actually want to make the purchase after-all!
20. Think of 'back to basics' ways to entertain your children. Children all want the latest and greatest toys and brand name goods. However, younger children are easily pleased with much more economical and basic things if you 'pitch' these items to them in the right way. For example, give them something simple and cheap (or even free!) like toilet rolls, texta's, glitter and sticky-tape, and hold a competition to see who can be the most creative. This is just one idea but if you get creative and sell them the idea the right way, you will 'infect' them with your enthusiasm!?Obviously this becomes more difficult as the children get older but when they are still in their earlier years, it's amazing how easy it is to keep them occupied by using a little imagination and not much money. At the end of the day, they'll be excited just to get your attention and will soon forget about the fact you haven't bought them the latest video game or toy.
21. Use toothpaste as a cleaner. Sometimes It's cheaper than other alternatives and it works a charm on tile grouting (let it set for 10 minutes, then wash it off using warm water) and on stained cutlery. It also helps dry out facial blemishes and is more cost effective than spot eliminating creams and gels.
22. Clean out your car's air filter. Most people don't realize that cleaning your car air filter (which only takes minutes) can improve your petrol mileage considerably.
23. Ensure your tyres are inflated to the max. Inflating your tyres to the maximum recommended pressure saves a lot on petrol and of course helps ensure your sa?fety while driving.
24. Wait to see what's on special at the grocery store before planning meals. Don't buy your ingredients for the week's meals until you have seen the grocery store specials for that week.?Plan your meals around whats on special and what ingredients you already have at home.?Your food bill will decrease dramatically.
25. Buy groceries at the cheapest (not closest) supermarket. You can save 10-15% on your groceries by doing your research and not simply driving to the most convenient supermarket. Even supermarkets belonging to the same chain can differ substantially in their prices, so it's worthwhile looking at the same supermarket in a surrounding suburb and comparing costs.
26. Sign up for a volunteer program. How does this save you money? Easy – it keeps you entertained, improves your overall outlook on life (as you feel good about yourself) – and you don't have to pay a thing.
27. Lease out unoccupied space in your house. Do you have extra space at home (eg. a bedroom, a study, a storage room, a basement or even a garage)? Why not rent it out! This is a great way to make extra money.
28. Reduce your interest rates. Phone your credit card company and ask if they will give you a lower rate. I know you're thinking 'yeah right' but honestly, sometimes that is all it takes! Try your luck.
29. Look at home loan comparison websites. Many people take the 'traditional' route for a home loan and head straight for the banks. Save yourself lots of time and money by comparing interest rates on home loan comparison websites. They are easy to understand and will show you the cheapest home loans on the market. The tiniest difference in interest rates can save you thousands. Online comparison sites makes home loan shopping easy or speak to an Accredited Finance Broker, many times you can get a free consultation and loan comparison completed for you..
30. Sore throat? Try Gargling with salt first. Throat gargles and sprays which you purchase from the chemist are costly – especially if you have a family all suffering with a cold at the one time! Try gargling with 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water instead.
31. Pay extra money off your home loan while interest is low. If you have a variable rate loan, you would be mad not to put extra money towards your home loan while interest rates are low. It will save you so much money in the long term once rates rise again.
32. Buy 'classic' style clothes in basic colours. When shopping for clothes, look for more classic styles (ie. not 'fad' fashions which will date quickly) and stick to blacks, grays, browns, whites and beiges. You don't have to spend a lot or go to designer stores – lots of lower price stores stock classic, smart cuts in these colours. This way you can wear your clothes for many years without the risk of them going 'out of fashion'. Also, by sticking to these colours you will be assured your clothes will match and look stylish.
33. Go to the library or jump online to read books and magazines. Reading books and magazines can become a very expensive pass-time. Public libraries stock an endless supply of both – and it's all for free!
34. Host a 'bring your own plate' dinner. Chances are you're not the only one in your circle of friends who is trying to save money. Instead of holding an often costly dinner party or going out to a restaurant with your friends, suggest a 'bring your own plate' breakfast/dinner or lunch, where everyone makes a dish. You can hold these in a park or at your house.
35. Use cucumbers to eliminate cockroaches. Do you have these unwelcome visitors in your home? Paying for pest control and purchasing cockroach prevention/elimination products from the supermarket can be very expensive. There is an easier way which is much kinder to your hip pocket! Simply peel a cucumber or two and leave them where your food is kept, this has been found to deter cockroaches from going near these areas..
36. Use 1/3 the recommended amount. This applies to the products which are generally the most expensive items on your shopping list such as shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, toothpaste, laundry powder and detergent. To dramatically decrease the amount you spend, use 1/3 of the recommended quantity on the packets. The reduced quantities can be just as effective and last three times as long!
37. Car pool to save $'s on fuel. If you live near a work colleague, why not drive to/from work together? Or if you are a parent and live in an area where several children reside, why not share 'the school run' around with other parents?
38. Stop buying fertilizer. Try using banana peel, egg shells and coffee grounds to keep your plants vibrant and healthy.
39. Don't shop with your kids. If your children are with you at the supermarket, you will often buy unplanned and unnecessary items. The solution – if possible, leave them at home. Better yet, try doing your grocery shopping online as this will stop you purchasing outside of your shopping list and spending more money.
40. Be wary of ATM fees/Eftpos withdrawal fees. f you use your Eftpos card regularly, it is worth checking your statement to see how much you are being charged for ATM withdrawals and for Eftpos transactions. Some banks do not charge fees for ATM/Eftpos usage but many do….and they add up, fast! So either change to an account which waivers such fees ,or only use ATM's which your bank will not charge you for.
41. Do not spend any of your coins. Grab a large jar or container and fill it daily with any coins you have acquired during the day. You would be very surprised how much money you will save over a 3-6 month period…..and you won't miss the money or feel like you're going without!
42. Don't buy expensive gym memberships. Staying fit is very important however you don't have to fork out hundreds or thousands of dollars to do this. Find a nice walking/jogging track close to home, buy some cheap hand weights and look into local fitness programs run by your local City Council. Many suburbs have Council exercise programs in the early mornings or evenings which only cost a few dollars per class eg. pilates, aerobics etc.
43. Change to a pay-as-you-go mobile. It is difficult to live without a mobile these days, but have you thought about using pay-as-you-go phone cards rather than committing to a plan? If you can live without all of the 'perks' of a plan (ie. bonus text messages and talk time minutes etc), then swap to a pay-as-you-go package. Although receiving 500 free sms' might be a great value-add, is it really so great if you don't actually need that many sms'? Spending $60 a month on a plan equates to $720 per year, whereas many of us could survive quite happily on a $30 phone card per month instead.
44. Buy phone cards for international calls. If you have a long distance package attached to your home phone and find you are not using it, cancel it and instead purchase a phone card for long distance calls. This will save you a lot of money! There is no point paying an ongoing fee for something you are only using occasionally, plus phone cards are an economical way to dial overseas.
45. Hold on to your old, soft or bruised fruit. This may not sound particularly appealing, but if you have fruit that does not look fresh enough to eat on its own,?it may be possible to use it to make smoothies, muffins, cakes or loaves. You would never know the difference.
46. How about a Christmas lottery? Christmas is a wonderful time of year but can set you back months with your savings. Rather than buying a?gift for every single member of your family, why not put each persons name into a hat and ask everyone?to draw out a name. The relative whose name you draw out is the person you buy a present for.?It's a win win situation – everybody still ends up with a gift and no-one blows their budget.
47. Take advantage of coupons. Don't underestimate how much you can save by turning your supermarket receipts over and studying the coupons. For a start, it will make going out for dinner half as damaging to your bank account. Also, buy yourself an Entertainment Book and save hundreds of dollars on hotels, restaurants and attractions in your area. Although there is an initial outlay to purchase the book, the cost will be recouped the first time you use one of the coupons.
48. Turn all electrical appliances off at the wall. Once you have finished using the microwave/iron/kettle/washing machine etc, make sure you switch them off at the power point. Your electricity bills really will decrease…plus you'll be helping the environment.
49. Request an extension. If your bills are all coming in at once and you are a bit behind with your finances, simply call your gas/electricity/phone/water/loan providers and negotiate a payment extension. You will be surprised how accommodating they can be as they are accustomed to these sorts of requests. This can save you being charged penalty fees and reduce your risk of being defaulted.
AND FINALLY….. And Finally if you are in need of help with your finances, talk to Safe Financial, we offer a range of solutions to help people from all walks of life and if we can't help you, we wont charge you! Call us now 1300 661 991 (local call charge only), log on to our website www.safefinancialgroup.com.au or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
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