Wonder where your money goes? Never seem to have as much change in your wallet as last time you checked? If you’re on a budget but you still seem to be left out of pocket at the end of the month, cutting out these sneaky spending habits could be the trick to saving change.
By Michelle Balogh. Money Maven.
1. Water: This one’s seems obvious, but Australians are still spending more than half a billion dollars a year on bottled water. In many cases a litre of bottled water is more expensive than a litre of petrol, and it’s available to all Australians for free! We understand the temptation to hydrate on the run, so be prepared, carry a stylish water bottle (we love Bobble Water Bottles) and fill up from the tap.
2. Food and drinks from petrol stations and convenience stores: It’s easy to grab a bite from a petrol station or convenience store while you’re on the move – that’s what makes it possible for these retailers to push their prices well beyond what you might pay at other stores or supermarkets. You’re paying for the convenience, so the trick is to make snacking convenient without visiting these stores. We recommend packing snacks every time you leave the house (Our favourite is a nice bag of almonds). You never know when you’ll get a hit of the munchies!
3. Paying for services you can perform yourself: From home manicures to cooking your own meals – DIY can save you cash!
4. Heating: Many of us fail to rug up in winter because we’ve become so dependent on our home heating systems to keep us warm. Try our top tips for keeping your house warm in winter on a budget.
5. Thrown Away Food: Learn to love your leftovers! You’ve spent good money on your food, whether it be a meal you’ve prepared at home or take away, so make that investment last by saving left overs for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner.
6. Individual Portions: We understand the temptation to splurge on items that come in individual portions. Whether it be crackers, nuts or berries, we love to carry snacks that have already been divided up into a small portion – it helps us stick to a diet! That said, buying individual portions rather than buying a big box of crackers or a plus sized bag of nuts and dividing them up at home can mean a significant increase in the weekly grocery spend.
7. Super Cheap Paper Towels: This is a bit surprising, especially if you’re a devotee of no-name products, but paper towels are one product that are worth buying quality. Studies show that cheap towels are significantly less absorbent than their brand name competitors and that consumers therefore use up the products far more quickly, ultimately spending more.
8. ATM Fees: At $1.50 – $3.00 per transaction, using another bank’s ATM is a quick way to lose dollars. Many banks now offer smart phone apps to assist you in locating the closest ATM, we recommend downloading one of these and walking the extra couple of blocks to stay within budget.
9. Interest: This is a big one. Meeting your credit card repayments on time could save you a fortune. It can be difficult to manage credit card spending, especially in the moment of temptation (we’ve all been there, that perfect dress in the window). We recommend making a realistic budget for credit card spending and sticking to it. Try our tips for building a budget that works.
10. Exceeding data, call and text limits: It’s easy to do, but rates soar once the monthly limit is exceeded. Take the time to track your usage and save in the long run.
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