How to save HUNDREDS of dollars a month
How to save HUNDREDS of dollars a month
- April 19, 2020
- Posted by: Daniel McGregor
The last week has highlighted to me the pressure cooker that is heating up in our community at the moment. I’ve spoken with numerous people who are feeling stretched financially and/or emotionally.
For some, these are desperate times. For everyone, these are stressful times. I’m sick of hearing that they are extraordinary times!
When it comes to money, whether you’re one of the haves or the have-nots in this crisis, now is a great time to re-evaluate what you spend your money on and why.
I know a lot of what I’ve written below is obvious, but I know from experience that it’s not until these things are pointed out to people that they give it some thought. That’s because we all fall into habits and states of inertia that we can get stuck in.
Below are some things you can do that can literally save you hundreds of dollars a month, if not a week. If you’re still employed, this is money you can use to fund a fantastic financial future, or potentially money you can put towards supporting those less fortunate during these times. If you’re doing it a bit tough, making these types of changes can be a lifesaver…
SPEND LESS ON FOOD
Couples with children between the ages of 5-14 spend an average of $336 on the weekly grocery shop. Drop that by 10% and there’s $144 a month… that might cover the electricity bill for the month.
Buy cheaper brands, buy what’s on special, buy what’s in season, buy bigger jars, cans, bottles, packets, etc, that are better value for money. Plan out meals for the week, include a meat-free night, buy cheaper cuts of meat, make use of leftovers and don’t let anything in the fridge or cupboard go to waste (Australia has the fourth-highest level of food wastage in the world!). Always shop with a list and NEVER shop on an empty stomach. I guarantee that if you do these things you will save lots of money!
SPEND LESS ON COFFEE
A coffee a day, 5 days a week at $4 a pop will cost an individual $20 a week and a couple $40 a week, $80 a month for an individual and $160 a month for a couple, $1,040 a year for an individual and $2,080 for a couple! Imagine the cost of more than one coffee a day and on weekends as well as weekdays!
I know coffee is now a national addiction, but a few less coffees a week makes a material difference to the household budget.
SPEND LESS ON TAKEAWAY
We are bombarded with ads for takeaway and home delivery.
A recent study by Suncorp found that individuals spend an average of $22 a week on takeaway meals, being most popular among young people and high-income earners.
They also found that individuals spend an average of $52 on eating out every week, though this was more popular among younger generations. Those over the age of 55 were more likely to spend less or not eat out at all. We can learn a lot from our elders!
With spending on takeaway food increasing with people being stuck at home, Taste.com.au recently showed that the cost of cooking common takeaway meals at home was less than half the price of buying them in takeaway form. Easy savings… make it a family thing to do together.
SPEND LESS ON ALCOHOL
Alcohol sales have gone through the roof… and let’s be honest, who could blame us for feeling like we need a beer or a glass of wine while we try and digest what is going on! This is not about depriving yourself of everything, it’s about spending wisely and getting value for money. Buy what’s on sale or buy a cheaper beer or wine than you might have got used to during times gone by.
SPEND LESS ON CLOTHES
Can you go a month without buying any clothes? Can you go two months? I’m not a big fan of Karl Stefanovic, but in 2014 he wore the same suit to work every day for a year. I’ve been establishing a business for the last few years and my family can tell you it’s possible to get by without new clothes for a while!
SPEND LESS ON YOUR MORTGAGE
If your mortgage interest rate doesn’t currently have a 2 in front of it, then you’re throwing money down the drain every week! Talk to a mortgage broker.
The above are just ideas. At the end of the day, it’s your money and it’s never my job to tell people how they should or shouldn’t spend their money. My job is to show them the consequences. Right now, many people can’t afford to be spending much and I hope the above is food for thought. However, there is value for all of us in being conscious spenders. You will reap the rewards of spending money on the things which add value to your life, while at the same time saving something from each pay cheque to put towards funding the financial future you want and deserve.
If you need a hand with creating your financial plan and you value advice that’s independent, we can catch up online or over the phone.