Being a full time student whilst working part time for as long as I can remember has taught me many things. One of these lessons –recited by parents throughout history- is that money does not grow on trees and is very often hard to come by. So after noticing my bank amount was never going up no matter how much I worked –and realising that no one was stealing my money- it was time that I had a good look at my situation. Out of that examination I have come up with my 5 favourite and realistic quick tips & tricks to save money. No, you don’t have to re-use your teabags or cut down to 1 piece of toilet paper per visit just have a quick read below and maybe put into effect an idea or two that suits you. I couldn’t believe how simple and second nature these following 5 tips have become for me, and the proof of their effectiveness is in my bank account numbers which are in fact now back on the increase.
Roll your superannuation into one super fund account.
This is something that is often overlooked and not thought about. Many people have work several jobs, and to save time ticked that little box on their induction form that says ‘use companies recommended super fund”. But did you know that each super fund charges a membership fee. The more super accounts you have, the more memberships you are paying each year costing anywhere between $50 to over $100 per account.
Websites such as http://www.canstar.com.au/superannuation/ can help you select one.
Don’t be afraid to move banks/accounts.
It will be no surprise to most of us that every bank and every bank account offers different interest rates and charges different fees. Taking a minutes on a website like http://www.moneybuddy.com.au/compare/bank-accounts can help you find a bank account that not only suits your needs, but can offer you the best deal –be it the lowest fees or the highest interest rates- for your money.
Second hand does not mean second best.
Recently I decided to stop at a local Salvos store to pick up some bits and pieces for a costume party, little did I know that I would be leaving with several brand name dresses for less than the cost of 1 item in a regular store – less than $50 for the lot! Yes, some of these second hand shops can be a little hit and miss, but many areas have several –I have 3 within 1km from my house. So pop in to a couple and I’m sure that very soon you will have your favourite bargain hunting retailer too.
After using Google maps to pin your house, use the ‘search nearby’ function and try typing in ‘op shop’ and see just how many are in your surrounding area… You may be surprised.
Sell it, don’t bin it.
I know it sounds like a lot of effort but the truth is it’s no more time consuming or complex than driving to your local store. Free online local classified websites such as http://www.gumtree.com.au/ allow you to quickly and with ease sell your ‘junk’. Recently I popped my university textbooks on Gumtree and sure enough made a couple hundred dollars without trying. The key is to not be too greedy, offer your product for a reasonable price and soon enough cash will replace it. Websites like these are always great for picking up a bargain too. I’m always amazed when I look around my room and realise how much I’ve saved by purchasing items from local classifieds. As they say, one mans junk really is another mans treasure… My numerous surfboards, wetsuits and various household bits and pieces will attest to that.
Learn to cook.
Even the laziest, most untalented cook can cook, they just don’t know it. If you ever take a good look at where your money goes, many of us will notice that a very large portion goes on food. Food is not cheap, and eating out on a regular basis can leave people living from pay check to pay check. Cheap, no-fuss, even no cooking recipes are out there. My favourite faultless recipe is a Moroccan Tuna CousCous that requires no cooking, takes less than 10 minutes to make, can be made in bulk and costs less than $2-$3 a serve… Yet has plenty of flavour. Other cheap dishes that require extremely low levels of cooking talent include soups. A simple vegetable or chicken stock can be made in bulk for next to nothing and countless varieties of soup can be made from the same stock and 1 or 2 additional ingredients. Soups/stocks also freeze really well once made, so freeze your left overs and you’ll never be short of a cheap and quick home cooked meal even after the hardest day of work.
Try typing ‘easy budget recipes’ into your favourite search engine and see what delights await you.