Towards the end of 2019 I went to Europe for 4 weeks before Christmas and then over new years I had ANOTHER 3 weeks off.
Because I hadn’t accrued enough annual leave yet I went this whole period unpaid and I made sure I saved enough so that I wasn’t struggling.
We’re now a month into 2020 and I’m now working on saving those funds again so that my boyfriend and I can go to the U.S. next year. So, because I did a swimmingly good job at saving last year, I figured I would write a post about my top 5 saving techniques that did me a world of good in 2019:
- Do up a budget
I had to do an Excel spreadsheet course last year after my boss realised I truly am (was) hopeless with the whole program. Truth be told I am hopeless with numbers, as soon as they started adding the alphabet to math I was a goner. BUT, I found doing up a budget of my weekly and monthly expenses in Excel incredibly helpful for saving. Having my weekly pay plus all of my expenses in front of me helped me work out how much money I actually had left over and effectively stopped me living beyond my means. If you are not Excel savvy, there are many free online budget templates that you can download and are easy to follow.
2. The $5 challenge
I came across this challenge a while ago, it was first brought up by Marie Franklin who last reported that she had saved $40,000 USD over the course of 13 years just by saving every $5 note that came into her possession. This saving trick is especially easy if you grab coffees on the reg (guilty) because honestly before you know it you’ll have $50 worth of $5 notes in your wallet and will need to deposit. Last year, I used my $5s to pay for my car rego and insurance and it didn’t feel like I lost any money because my savings didn’t take a hit in the bank!
3. The $2 Coke Bottle Challenge
Can you tell i’m a fan of a savings challenge? I’m still doing this challenge that I started last year. I came across it on this post and I guess only really works for $2 Australian coins. The idea is that you take an empty coke bottle (600ml or 1 litre) and fill it with $2 coins. A 600ml bottle effectively saves you $880 and a 1 litre bottle saves you $1510, How could I say no? I started this challenge with my mum and dad and I think we all thought we would reach the $1510 a lot quicker than what we thought! While I was overseas I’m pretty sure someone took money out of my bottle (My dad thinks his got jipped too). But I am aiming to have it filled by this August-September so that I can buy a plane ticket (go figure).
4. Bringing a packed lunch to work everyday
Last year I started working full time, I would often run late in the mornings and just say to myself (I’ll just buy a frozen meal from Coles). What could be the harm, right? WRONG. I was doing this roughly 2-3 times a week for two months, average meal costs $5.50, we will average the meals out to 2.5 frozen meals a week for these two months, that is $55 gone just because I wasn’t organised enough to make up something at home? I know, $55 over 2 months doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not a good habit to have when trying to save because those costs do add up! Bringing a packed lunch to work everyday can make SUCH a difference to your weekly expenses and how much you can dedicate to savings each week.
5. Take up a hobby
I found last year that going skiing in winter and spending a lot of my afternoons at the gym stopped me from mindlessly spending my money on things I don’t need. I am not saying take up skiing, the only reason this is effective for me is because I do not have to pay for accommodation. What i’m saying is find something that will keep you occupied in free afternoons, whether that be the gym, taking your dog for a walk, reading, whatever it is, just not shopping. And from personal experience, not netflix that you watch on your laptop because that inevitably lead to online shopping for me.
Those are my money saving favourites, I hope they can help you out a little as well. Happy saving my friends !