Saving money is something that we all enjoy, it can be the difference between being able to afford that item we desperately want or simply a means of sleeping better at night. However, saving is also something that people for the most part struggle with. Today, I’m going to give you five tips that I use to increase the amount of money that I save each year.
If there’s something that you want but don’t necessarily need at that exact moment, you can tactically time your purchase. For example, if you are planning to go on a ski trip for next year, consider waiting until Spring/Summer to buy your Winter gear. All the outlets will be selling it at a discount as no one needs Winter gear heading into the hotter months.
The same applies in reverse if you are planning a Summer vacation then buy your board shorts and Hawaiian shirts in Winter. Because the demand will be for buying Winter coats and jackets. If what you want isn’t a seasonal item but costs a substantial amount of money, such as a new laptop or TV then wait until Cyber Monday or Black Friday to buy them at a heavy discount. Doing this throughout the year can be a great way to cut expenses and increase your savings.
If there’s a specific item you want that isn’t exclusive to one retailer, consider looking online or in other shops. That $500 coffee maker at one shop may only be $350 in a competitor’s shop. Similarly, you might be able to buy it directly from the wholesaler for half price. Other stores may have coupons or discounts on the item that can reduce it further etc. By simply spending a few minutes googling the item, you can save hundreds.
The same applies to insurance policies, phone plans, internet plans and the list goes on. Always compare the costs of something you routinely purchase or intend to purchase between retailers. If this becomes habitual it can be the difference between spending or saving thousands each year. A good site that I use to compare all of the above is Finder. Simply search for the category you want and it’ll show you the most popular options in Australia.
Some places still use physical coupons and you can spend your time cutting up magazines if you wish. But this one is more about online shopping. Most online stores have coupons you can use, whether they be monthly/yearly sales, membership rewards, new member discounts etc., most online shops offer substantial discounts through coupon codes.
It’s even easier in the digital age through apps like Honey, by installing this app, it will automatically apply a list of coupons when you go to the checkout section of online retailers. Similarly, you can google discount codes for your specific shop to see if there’s any that you missed. A simple google search can once again be the difference between saving anywhere from 5-50% off your purchase. OzBargain is good starting point, as it presents the latest deals on Australian stores and is updated frequently.
If you have read my other posts, this one shouldn’t come as a surprise but it’s an important topic that I want to reiterate. For those who haven’t, you can read more on it here. Paying yourself first simply means that every time you get paid, a certain percentage of your wage goes directly into your savings account.
Through doing this, you are ensuring that you consistently save a base amount. If you don’t do this and rely on whatever is left at the end of every pay cycle, there may be instances where you don’t contribute anything to your savings or even worse, you lose part of your savings. This way ensures consistency and keeps you on track to building up a good emergency fund or investment sum.
This one ties in with budgeting. If you know that you will have a lump sum coming up, such as a holiday at the end of the year, your car registration, gas and electricity bills etc., work out the exact amount that you will be paying and how many weeks you are away from paying it.
For example: If you have to pay a $500 car registration fee in 10 weeks, you can set aside $50 every week over the 10 weeks. This way, you can ensure that when the bill is due, that you aren’t out of pocket or using 50% of your paycheck to cover the ‘surprise’ expense.
Time your purchases, compare costs between competitors, utilise coupon apps to save time and cash, always pay yourself and stay on top of your large, sporadic bills with a budget plan. By following these five steps, you can save thousands of dollars each year and sleep sounder at night.