If saving money seems like too hard a task, it’s good to start slow. Here are 50 simple ways to save money – start today!
1. Track your Spend
Use a diary or if you have a SmartPhone use an app such as iXpenseit. Or you can use our awesome free budget spreadsheet!
2. Get the Best Tax Return Check You Possibly Can!
Keep track of your tax deductions during the entire year and file all receipts in one spot. If you enter your receipts into a spreadsheet – not only it will make your accountant’s job much easier – there is a good chance they will charge you less for the work!
3. Use Your Tax Return to Pay Off Debt
Use tax returns to pay off debt such as credit cards and minimise the interest you have to pay.
4. Register for the Medicare Safety Net
Ensure you have registered as a family for the Medicare Safety Net rather than as two individuals. This will lower your Medicare Safety Net Threshold. Once you reach a certain limit, you can get more money back for out-of-hospital expenses.
5. Ask Your Bank for a Better Deal
Ask your bank to review your accounts to make sure you are getting the best deal. And even if you are getting a good deal, ask for a better deal for being a loyal customer.
If the bank won’t help – look at finding a reputable mortgage broker instead.
6. Limit ATM Transactions
Limit your ATM transactions to once a week to avoid excess fees. Only use your own bank’s ATM.
7. Review Your Home Loan Package
Review your home loan package. Research competitors and pressure your lender for a better deal.
8. Look for Lost Superannuation
Check with the Australian Tax Office to see if you have any lost super and consolidate.
9. Make Extra Super Contributions
Make extra contributions to your superannuation if you are eligible to do so via the government’s co-contribution scheme. Not only are you providing more income for when you retire, often if you ‘salary sacrifice’ additional funds into your super, but you can also end up with more in your pay packet (because you can lower your tax bracket – ask your accountant! ).
10. Bundle Your Internet and Phone Costs
If you have internet, home phone and mobile – ring your provider to see if you can get a bundle deal to save.
11. Look for Government Subsidies
Update your work skills. Check if you are eligible for any government programs or subsidies. For example, if you are an NDIS recipient, you could check with your provider to upskill.
There is even a Government Subsidy that pays you to drive your kids to school!
12. Grow your own vegetables and herbs.
It is easy to do and you can’t get any fresher than your own back garden!
13. Make your own fertiliser.
Compost or invest in a worm farm. Not only will you save money but you’re helping the environment.
14. Don’t Use Your Sprinkler During the Heat of the Day
Never water the garden between 10am and 2pm. Water is evaporated and lost in the heat.
15. Use a Bucket to Save on Water
Place a bucket in the bottom of the shower and use the gathered water to give your dry garden a good soaking.
17. Make your own cleaning products.
You can save a hell of a lot of money by not purchasing cleaning products at the supermarket and instead of making them yourself at home. We have some really easy recipes that work just as well (if not better) than the commercially available products. Here are just a few.
18. Freeze Your Work and School Sandwiches
Pack rather than buy lunch each day – you will save hundreds. Even better, freeze your lunches to eat during the week to ensure there is no wastage!
More Reading: Guide to Freezing Sandwiches for School Lunches
19. Do Meal Planning
Plan your meals in advance and never go grocery shopping without a list and never shop hungry. This prevents impulse buying. For the ultimate in Meal Planning, try Once a Month Cooking. Not only does it show you how to buy food in bulk to get the best price, it has cheap recipes that you can cook and freeze.
20. Buy Generic Brands
Switch to generic brands. They are often made from the same ingredients in the same factory, with a different label. Generic Brands are especially good for pantry staples like flour, sugar etc.
More Reading: 26 Must-Have Kitchen and Pantry Staples for Every Frugal Home
21. Buy in Bulk
Buy in bulk and save. Cook larger portions and freeze for later.
22. Stop Buying Convenience Foods
Reduce the number of packaged convenience foods your purchase. Buy fresh. It’s cheaper and better for you.
23. Save Money on Nappies
Try cheaper nappy brands or buy your nappies in bulk when they are on sale.
24. Breastfeed – If You Can
If possible, breastfeed. It’s good for babies, convenient and free.
25. Make homemade baby food.
Buying two jars a day can cost in excess of $1000 per year.
26. Collect $2 Coins
Put all your $2 coins into a coin tin or a 2-litre empty coke bottle and use the money to pay for food or drinks during the school holidays.
27. Shop at Factory Outlets
Shop at clearance centers and factory outlets. Also, don’t forget discount stores like The Reject Shop and Dimmies – they often have discount dishwasher tables and spaghetti sauces at cheaper prices than the supermarket. But now even clothing and home good stores have outlet stores for less than perfect products – you can get up to 80% off the price by shopping at outlet stores!
See a list of the Best Online Factory Outlet Stores in Australia.
28. Plan to shop during sale periods.
Most supermarkets have a ‘8 Week Sale Cycle’ – so buy the more expensive products like bottled coffee during the sale period, and try and make it last until the next cycle – if you can!
29. Look at Water Saving Devices
Water is precious, and there are many water-saving devices on the market now that can help reduce your water usage. Look at installing the following water-saving devices:
- Water-efficient shower heads
- Water flow valves
- Toilet tank displacement or install a dual flush or low flow toilet
30. Buy Second-Hand Instead of New
Consider purchasing second-hand white goods or display models which come with a discount if you need to purchase white goods. Also, consider getting rid of old whitegoods, often they are energy in-efficient – so they cost you more in electricity than they would replace (over the course of a year).
Ditch the old chest freezer and grab a new upright instead!
31. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Wash in cold water and dry clothes on the clothesline rather than in the dryer. Or ditch your old fashioned dryer and purchase a heat pump dryer that uses 30% less energy to run.
32. Cancel Automatic Subscriptions You Don’t Use
Log into your Apple ID (or equivalent) and check for subscriptions and memberships that you don’t use. Cancel them.
33. Enjoy at Staycation
During the School Holidays – consider a ‘Staycation’ rather than a holiday. Sleep in your own bed every night, but still go out and do something fun during the day!
34. Switch to a Lower Cost Energy Provider
Check for the lowest cost energy provider in your area (totally for free) with our Energy Comparison Guide and save lots of dollars!
35. Sell Items You No Longer Use
Got a treadmill or gym equipment you never use – get rid of it! Use your local Facebook Buy swap and sell groups to sell items totally free – and pocket the money for the important things.
36. Make Use of Your Local Library
Use libraries rather than buy books. You can also borrow children’s dvd’s and cd’s.
37. Go Thrift Shopping
Shop at charity stores. Good on your wallet, good for charity, good for the environment. And hell fun!
38. Look for Free School Holiday Activities
During school holidays contact your local Council to find out about free holiday activities in your area.
39. Take the kids for a bushwalk and a picnic.
40. Have Budget Dinner Parties
Make it pot luck. Everyone brings a dish and the expense is shared.
41. Look at Playgroups in Your Area
Join a local playgroup (or host your own!) – a fun and inexpensive way to entertain your toddler. Also check out what programs your local library has for the little ones – they often have a free baby and toddler activity group during the week.
42. Establish a babysitting circle and trade services with trusted friends.
43. Organise a toy exchange. Swap toys your children no longer use.
44. Barter with friends and family eg a basket of ironing for some home cooking.
45. Refrain from buying bottled water, take your own, its free and better for the environment.
46. Save on Christmas wrap, use brown paper and dress with ribbon or let the kids decorate it.
47. Save on Christmas cards – supply your children with craft supplies and have them make cards for you.
48. Make Your Own Christmas Decorations
Save money on Christmas decorations by making your own. Make paper wreaths and window decorations with the kids. They love it and its a fun family activity to do together.
49. Replace Your Old Light Bulbs
Purchase LED bulbs to replace your current lightbulbs. Though LED bulbs are more expensive to buy initially, they are cheaper to run and last longer. A traditional light bulb costs about $23 per year to power. LED bulbs on the other hand cost only $5. Those savings soon add up.
50. Make Homemade Christmas Gifts
Instead of purchasing Christmas Gifts for neighbors and grandparents at Christmas time, why not bake them something special instead. Recipes like this delicious Nuts and Bolts Crunchy Snack Mix is both delicious and a delicacy at Christmas time. And home cooking is always greatly appreciated!
Other great recipes to make for Christmas Gifts include: