Saving cash is not easy when you have had bad habits engrained into you for as long as you can remember.
All is not lost, here are 5 simple tips you can apply to help you change those behaviors while stockpiling cash fast.
1 – Meal Plan
You can believe it, what we spend on food each week is often the difference of being under or over budget.
A proven method often neglected is the art of ‘meal planning’….I’m not talking about counting macros, but cents.
Planning 3 key meals each day, over a week will ensure you are buying the essentials on your weekly shop.
This helps you to build up an understanding of your family’s food spend, while fine tuning your eye for a deal.
Not only that, but it will reign in the amount of cash you spend on takeaways and brought lunches.
2- Buy Used
What’s the best deal you’ve ever got buying used ?
If you need something, always look at finding the item used first.
You can save a signifiant amount of cash with purchasing lightly used items.
In todays highly connected world, put out a social media post “Anyone got a XXX for sale?”
You’ll be surprised by what’s out there and the deals to be had.
Facebook Marketplace, trade-me, garage sales, op-shops, are all great places to seek out that next item.
The fun part is seeing what the item would have costed you buying new, the difference is the cash you now have left in your pocket, and not someone else’s.
3- Cancel Netflix
Talk about controversial, no way !
Yes way, with the tonnes of information and entertainment online, do you really even need paid subscriptions ?
Easier said than done I know, however it’s really about prioritising what you spend your money on, and how committed you are to savings goals.
The trouble with paid subscriptions is that they accumulate, It seems easy and cheap at the time, especially with the attractive free trial offers, but after a while, having added up multiple subscriptions you soon find you are paying more than what you originally intended.
Let’s take a look at what your likely to spend :
Netflix $22 per month.
Neon / Light box $14 per month.
Apple TV $9 per month
Disney+ $10 per month
Spark Sport $24 per month
Spotify $15 per month
It’s not uncommon for people to be subscribed to all of the above services, in some cases spending up to $94 per month, or $1128 a year.
The question you perhaps want to ask is how badly do I really need to watch this mini series ?
My wife is always trying to get me to watch a series, I tell her I’ll watch a movie, but not a series. Buzz kill perhaps, but the real reason is I don’t trust myself to not get hooked, next thing I know i’ll be locked into the couch watching endless shows on netflix dependant on it as my only source of fulfilling entertainment.
Half the time i’m scrolling through my mobile phone, distracted by something else, not even watching the show, tell me you don’t do this yourself ?
I’m not trying to ‘show shame’ you, but maybe ask yourself if you really need all of those monthly subscription services when a book, board-game, or spending time with someone is a lot more fulfilling.
4- Pay cash for cars.
A car is one of the largest purchases you will make after a home, and many people make the mistake of buying a car they think they can afford, rather than buying affordable.
Cars are funny in the way they often become extensions of our own personalities. You’ve probably heard the jokes “hairdresser mobile” or “that guy must be compensating given the size of his ute.”
At the end of the day, who really cares what you drive ?
So long as it gets you from A to B safely and cheap as possible, you’re winning.
The reality is cars quickly depreciate in value. When taking out a loan to buy a car, you are more than likely running the risk of spending more than what you intended to once you’ve added up the finances costs over time.
It’s extremely common for people to extend against their mortgage to buy a car. We often justify the idea that your home loan interest rate is lower than any car loan out there.
But what really ends up happening is when we add the cost of that car to a housing loan, that original chunk of debt is then amalgamated when you refinance your home, we don’t actually pay it off within the intended time frame, it ends up costing us a lot more in interest overall than compared to paying off a car loan within one or two years.
So, pay cash when buying a car !
An important process takes place when paying cash for a car, it forces us to assess what is really important in our lives.
Yes, you are probably unlikely to get a nicer car paying cash rather than financing one, however the amount of cash you potentially save can be applied to paying off debt, or saving for your children’s education or your retirement.
If you are looking for a car, get the safest, cheapest to run, most affordable car that will meet your needs, and pay cash for it.
Have you ever received the same gift back from there person you originally gave it to ?
My own mother is notorious for this sort of thing, she’ll be giving out gifts when you soon recognise it’s the same blender you once got her for xmas.
You have to admit, as controversial as this is, it’s certainly a money saver.
When you consider how many family & friends birthday parties, anniversaries, xmas, baby showers, kids parties that you might attend in a year, the cost in gift giving can quickly add up.
Now I’ll admit, you can’t exactly confiscate your child’s gift only to regift it later in the year, there is a skill in being undetected. That’s where the box stashed in the hallway cupboard comes in handy. Decide what you want and stash the rest for later.
Don’t feel too bad, It’s more common than you think.
I’m quite impressed how my mother in law has a stash of gift readily available, if my wife has forgotten to get someone something, she’ll usually have something stashed away. However I suspect this is partially because she’s a shop-aholic and is redeeming her credit card reward points.
The trick is to avoid using your own money wherever possible.
Giving away your gift cards, or re-gifting all helps to keep the cost down.
By adopting some changes in your spending habits, looking for ways to improve each day, little by little, before you realise it you will be on the way to building up cash reserves.
Try this 5 money saving habits now.