Free money tools and tips that could save you hundreds
We've put together 15 easy tips to help you save money. Why not choose 5 you like, and start moving forward today!
1. Get organised
Clean out your wallet or purse. Yup, that outdated 2-for-1 ice cream voucher from 2013 can get tossed, your old video rental membership card can go, and the receipt from your last birthday dinner is not adding any value. Get rid of it all.
Make your wallet or purse lean, clean and uncluttered, so you only have the things you really need and you know exactly where they are and what they’re for. Decluttering your wallet or purse will only take ten minutes, and you’ll already start feeling organised!
2. Get a clear picture of your current habits
If you have online banking, go into your account and take a look at what your habits are.
- What is the breakdown of food, petrol, entertainment?
- How often do you purchase items from the same place?
- How many times does your favourite take away appear?
- How much do you spend on big nights out?
Once you become aware of how you regularly spend, you’ll find the bad habits you need to reduce/eliminate to help your cash go further.
3. Beware the ATM
If you regularly withdraw cash from another bank’s ATM you’re willingly handing over a lot of money that you could save. Think of it like this: If you withdraw about once a week and each withdrawal costs $2.50, you’re losing around $130 a year.
4. Go paperless
There are a number of advantages you could get by going paperless:
- Some companies will give you a discount if you get your bills by email rather than by mail.
- Working online can help you keep track of the payments you’ve made and the ones you haven’t. That can make budgeting more visible and easier.
- Online banking, electronic payments and automated debit orders can also help by ensuring no mistakes happen and you don’t miss a deadline and get a late fee or penalty.
5. Use rewards cards
Why not get that 10th cup of coffee for free? Why not get 5% off your shopping or free cinema tickets when you are loyal to a certain company? Keep an eye open to make sure you also get the benefits of Mates Rates for loyalty, like how we offer our loyal customers here at Fair Go Finance.
6. How do you use your credit card?
A big mistake Aussies make is spending more than they earn. Credit cards are best used if the owner can pay the balance off each month, but statistics show this isn't the majority. If you struggle to keep the credit card under control, it may be time to get rid of it by using a debt consolidation loan. Adjusting to the lifestyle of only buying things when you can afford them may be hard, but you won't regret it in the long run.
7. Grab your smartphone and go online to get quotes from alternative providers
Many people stick with their banks, insurance companies, broadband providers or other services and never shop around to see what else is available. Avoid getting into the habit of simply paying the same bill month after month. Take the time to shop around. Here are a few ideas:
- Combine your insurances, like car and household insurance, and get a discount.
- Ask competitors/your current provider to give you a better price.
- Use comparison websites.
Sometimes just by signing up online can get you lower fees. And always talk to your provider before you leave them, just in case they can drop their price to keep you. Getting a few quotes online can be done in a matter of minutes.
8. While you’re online, find a calculator for that new thing you want.
Want to buy a new car? Entering a new rental agreement? Looking to buy a home? Before you put pen to paper, put fingers to keyboard. Have a look around online to find calculators that’ll let you see the big picture. What are your repayments? What is the total price you’ll pay? How long will it take? There’s a calculator for just about everything, and they’ll help you put a context on the short-term repayments and the long-term costs.
9. Saving by degrees
Heating and cooling your home takes energy and has a cost. Don’t turn the heater or the aircon on full tilt. Just remember, a little less energy daily can mean quite a few dollars saved.
10. Need help for something specific? There’s probably an app for that!
For most of us, smartphones are becoming more and more of our everyday lives. If there’s a specific area of your finances you want help with, the chances are that you’re not alone. Other people probably have the same problem as you. Solution? Go to the online solutions store. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, there’s likely to be an app that will help you with:
- Spend alerts
- Financial goal setting
- Daily limits
- Understanding where, when and how much you spend
11. Take out doesn’t just mean food. Take out is also what happens to your savings
Have you ever noticed how we always eat just about wherever we go? We all do it:
- Go to the mall…we stop at the food court.
- Go to the cinema…we need snacks.
- Go to work…we need to buy lunch.
- Go to a friend’s house…we swing past the convenience store for chips/nibbles.
- Go to a show…we need candy floss, pies, donuts, show bags
Be wary of these expensive and often unplanned spends. Having a budget per week on food and sticking to it can be great way of kerbing these habits.
12. Use your digital money to save money
It's a well proven tip - make sure you create a strict shopping list before you go or even better - shop online. Look out for free delivery days or arrange your own pick-up. Once you’re shopping online, you’ll also be more likely to notice the sales and the special discounts you can get from buying in bulk.
Like money, the future of entertainment is digital. So re-evaluate the way you do things and try to find a better, more efficient way to get your fun. Not only can they save you money, they can also enable you to customise your entertainment…just the way you like it!
14.Set one goal for this week.
Don’t make it too big. Don’t try and change everything all at once. Just set one realistic financial goal: Like save $10. Have one less takeaway coffee. Download one app that will help you cut costs. Register for online shopping. One step forward each week will mean some great achievements within 12 months.
15.Need a loan? Speak to us. That’s why we’re here
We offer a range of loans that could help you, and we’ve created Managed Money, a specialised budgeting service to help people like you create the future you’d really like. If you need help taking the next step towards the financial future you want, call us now. We hope this list of online and offline tips, hints, tools and tricks will help you on your journey towards an even brighter financial future.