The good news is, not all shopping is bad for us! I’m going to work through all the big-ticket items I think you should pay close attention to, so that you can try to find the best deals.
Do you have a lot of bank accounts that don’t pay you interest and are costing you money? Consolidate your accounts so you’re not throwing your hard-earned money back to the bank in unnecessary fees.
Have you reviewed your mortgage lately? How confident are you that you’ve got the best deal? Make an appointment to see a mortgage broker and get them to do the market research for you. A broker works for you, not the banks and it’s their job to find you the best deal to suit your individual needs.
Mobile phone and internet plans
Check your usage over the past few months. Are you paying for a plan where you never reach the call or download limit? Don’t waste your money on services you don’t need. Get a naked DSL if you never use a landline or reduce your unlimited downloads.
Shop around for better deals and check in with your existing supplier to see if they can do better for you – they tend to get more generous if you mention you’re thinking of leaving!
Check your gas and electricity bills. Do you have your accounts with different providers? Would it be cheaper to bundle them together and get a discount? Most providers are offered discounts if you pay your bill on time. I called my provided and got 33% of my electricity and 15% off my gas bill, and I told them I’ll shop around if after the next bill cycle if this still isn’t the best deal out there. It only takes a couple of calls and you could save yourselves hundreds of dollars a year.
Do you have energy saving devices in your home? You should.
Do you have your home and contents, building and car insurances with different providers? Why? Bundle them together and get a discount across all policies. It also makes it easier to manage.
Whitegoods, IT and furniture
Upgrade big ticket items either end of June or after Christmas. Same goes for linen, towels, glassware, cutlery and crockery. Purchasing your big-ticket items at stocktake sale times can save you thousands of dollars. Unless there is an emergency with a fridge, computer or washing machine breaking down, why would you spend twice as much when you don’t need to?
Clothes and makeup
Full price is never clever. Don’t buy clothes, shoes and makeup unless they are on sale. You can always can shop around for a bargain, regardless of the time of year.
Or why not try swapping? I have a great bunch of girlfriends who meet up once a season and throw all their clothes and accessories they no longer wear into the middle of the room so they can all swap clothes. Whatever is left behind goes to charity. It’s a great way to extend your wardrobe without paying a cent. And you might end up with something you would never have bought but looks fantastic on you!
Get rid of Foxtel and watch Netflix or Stan for a fraction of the price.
- Have breakfast at home
- Buy a coffee machine or make stove top espresso like the Italians do
- Take your lunch to work
- Avoid packaged and processed food
- Go to the local market an hour before closing
- Buy quick sale items
- Shop at Aldi and Costco
- Go out for breakfast or lunch instead of dinner
- If you have a celebration find a BYO restaurant
- Spend a day cooking all your meals for the next week
- Meet at a friend’s place and everyone bring a dish, that’s what your parents and grandparents did
- Have BBQ’s and picnics
- Enjoy Happy Hour Prices and grab some cheap take away on the way home
- Uber is usually cheaper than Taxis, or don’t drink and drive. It’s amazing how cheap a night out can be without overdoing the alcohol.
Fitness and gym memberships
If you are not going regularly to the gym, please cancel your gym membership. Go for a walk or a bike ride instead. If you love your gym workout, then make sure you are paying as little as possible for it. Same goes for yoga, Pilates and personal training. Do your sums and work out whether you are really getting value for the money you are paying. If you love personal training get a couple of girlfriends to join you and reduce the cost. You will get just as fit with less outlay and quite possibly a lot more fun. Find a Pilates or yoga studio that allows you to pay for lessons in bulk to reduce the cost. Or find a gym that offers everything.
I love holidays. But the only reason I can go away as often as I do is because I never pay full price for anything, including holidays. My life is not five star, so I don’t have five star holidays. I hate wasting money on accommodation when all I do is sleep there. I use Airbnb and stay in apartments or houses rather than hotels because they are more comfortable and cheaper. No tips and no crazy food and bar prices. It’s always good to shop locally and have some meals at home. After you’ve been touring around all day it’s great to put your feet up and enjoy the local wine and produce at local prices.
If you are looking for a romantic weekend away then you might want a hotel. There are so many online comparison sites showing the latest hotel / holiday destinations it’s so easy to find yourself a bargain.
I always pay as little as possible for airfares, and never fly anything but economy. If I end up travelling more than 10 hours I might have a stopover. It’s a lot cheaper to book a hotel room and see another place for a day or two than pay a ridiculous price for a business class seat. If you must upgrade, stick to premium economy. Taxes on frequent flyer flights are getting expensive, you might be better off buying an economy fare and using points to upgrade.
You don’t have to get on a plane to take a holiday, go for a drive instead.
House swap with friends or use house swap websites. Go camping and go on more regularly day trips
Holidays are about clearing your mind, not your bank account.