Saving while paying rent or a mortgage can be a lofty task so here are some tips that could free up some room in your finances and help you make that next home or holiday a reality.
1. Cut down on food
This doesn’t mean you must live off two-minute-noodles but it means reevaluating the number of meals you can afford to eat out and your shopping strategy.
Sadly this may mean your weekend consumption of poached egg, feta & avo on sourdough at the trendy local needs to be peeled back as indulging in too many meals out will quickly add up. Instead, have a close look at your expenditures and see where you can cut any unnecessary meal costs – perhaps this means limiting yourself to one to two social meals or take-outs per week. It may also mean you need to become a little more organised and strict with your grocery shopping. You can try adopting some of the below tips to further reduce your weekly grocery bill.
- Tip 1: Look up local supermarkets for the best deals
- Tip 2: Plan your meals around those deals
- Tip 3: Plan and stick to your shopping list
- Tip 4: Shop for a fortnight and do not revisit the store unless you need to for fresh fruit & veges
- Tip 5: Complete a stocktake of your pantry, fridge & freezer prior and only buy what you need.
- Tip 6: Buy all your staples from Aldi, including shampoo, toothpaste, soap, body scrub
- Tip 7: Cook in bulk and freeze meals for a fortnight or up to 3 weeks
- Tip 8: Pack your lunches and do not buy take-out lunches
The money that this saves could go towards your mortgage, home loan savings or your next holiday.
#OYSTAchallenge: try to get your per meal cost down to $5. The Oysta team recently trialed the above and got the per meal cost down to $3.60 by shopping and cooking in bulk for a fortnight.
2. Do you really need that new top?
If new clothes are an absolute must and it is unrealistic to cut it out completely, give yourself a strict monthly clothing allowance and make sure you stick to it. This means if you spend your monthly allowance in week one, you can’t buy another item for the remaining 3 weeks.
To determine your monthly clothing allowance, complete a budget and work out your weekly savings goal – from there you will be able to determine how much you have to play with for clothing.
If you have some money to play with perhaps check out one of the many clothing subscription services, particularly for men – allowing you to get something new each month for a set price without being tempted to overspend browsing online or at the shops.
Alternatively, try to challenge yourself and see how long you can go without purchasing a new item. Try to work with your current wardrobe as the rule goes – most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time, i,e try to bring out those clothes you hardly wear more often so it feels like you have purchased something new.
#OYSTAchallenge: calculate how much you have spent on clothing in the last 2 months – this may motivate you to stick to a budget if you have massively overspent…..think of all the holidays you could go on with the money you can save!
3. Sell or rent clothes online
Sell your old clothes on ebay or one of the below apps/sites. This is a nice way to recoup some extra cash.
Alternatively rent an outfit for your next outing for a much cheaper price.
There are a range of online clothing rental sites.
4. Stick to a strict weekly budget
Complete a budget to track all your expenses, direct debits, how much you need for food, toiletries and socialising per week and finally how much you have left to save per week.
#OYSTAchallenge: Once you have done the above try withdrawing the amount you need for food, toiletries & socialising in cash for the week or fortnight and do not withdraw additional funds or purchase anything in this category on your card unless it is absolutely necessary.
This way you can keep track of how much you’re spending for these staple items. If you don’t spend the full amount, you can either place the residual in a piggy bank as a separate savings account or keep it for the next week, meaning you don’t need to withdraw your full socialising, food and toiletry allowance the next week. You may then start to see small incremental improvements in your account balance overtime if you are not overspending.
5. Get your money working for you
Set up a high interest savings account and each pay transfer your weekly savings amount into a separate account. Do not touch this unless you absolutely must.