We don’t propose talking about recession or being tight with money – after all, where is the abundance consciousness in that? However, it does make sense when dealing with personal finances to be AWARE of where your money is going and how to manage your resources so that you have more insight into the nuts and bolts of your lifestyle.
We’ve hunted down some great tips on how to thrive financially whilst still keeping up with your usual lifestyle. Let us know if you have any more tips in ‘Comments’ and we’ll post them!
- Start by being aware of your budget and expenses. Yawn, I hear you thinking, but working this one out – at least quickly – will give you a first-class insight into how you are running financially. Don’t forget to use your NETT income as the bottom line, and include expenses like credit card interest and repayments.
- Take it easy with the credit card. Things aren’t quite as rosy as they were during the worst of the recession. Did you notice the interest rates creeping up? Use a zero or low-rate honeymoon offers. Is the rewards program actually worth the annual fee?
- Consider transferring your high-cost debt into a low-interest option such as a personal loan or home loan. But, for goodness sakes, don’t use this as an excuse to spend more on your zero-balance credit card…leave it at home!
- Go Op-Shopping! Remember when it used to be fun? Well its back in style to shop at vintage, second hand stores. Personally, I love shopping this way and get excited to find an expensive brand at a fraction of the price. There are online stores selling vintage/second hand all over the world now.
- Do you know how much bottled soft drinks and juices really cost you? Physically and financially? Yes, the kids CAN drink…water! Soda stream is a fantastic product that helps you to ‘charge’ your own water to save on purchasing expensive mineral water products such as ‘Perrier’ etc.
- Source a bank account with low account keeping fees. Consider a term deposit for high interest savings. Mind you, not much point in this if you have credit card debt…leave it at home!
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry, seriously…blows the diet and the budget. Scoot past the deli when you can, shop to your list (don’t forget it and leave it at home…) Consider some home-brand items – I find single ingredient products (sugar, flour and even salmon_ work fine.
- I can’t believe I’m saying this –deep breath – cut out your morning coffee on the way to work and save around $1000 a year! OMG! Take your lunch, too – don’t even WANT to work that one out, but you get my point.
- Late afternoons are good times to buy perishables at supermarkets.
- You’ll be amazed how successful direct-debiting a fixed amount into a savings account can be…you adjust to the lower budget very quickly and save remarkably fast. $50 per week (remember that coffee/lunch?) amounts to $2550 over a year…that’s a trip to Bali!
- Save on petrol by finding a petrol station that sells cheaper petrol in your area or, seriously, catch a bus, train or walk! If you work in a major city and have an affixed place of work (becoming increasing rare these days as people are moving to working remotely), public transport can save you money, headaches and you can catch up on reading whist you’re in the ‘zone’.
- Meals – Changing your take-away habits to once a fortnight instead of once a week could pay for an upgrade on that trip overseas, or put it into your mortgage and save twice that much! Shop at Aldi – and save oodles.. AND think about meal planning to avoid food wastage.
- Are you ever going to win lotto? If you like to be in the running at the very least – check out the most efficient way to buy lottery tickets – we’re speaking of increasing odds here…go to google or you tube.
- Give up Smoking…need I say more? A pack a day (and an extra one over the weekend with the wine) well, that’s at least $16,000 a year.
- Sell items you are don’t use or will never use again as you could pay off your credit card with this ‘new source’ of income.
- Visit the library, become a member, OR now on smartphones get the iBooks app to download ebooks as this will obviously save you space at home and carrying books.
Look, there’s heaps you can do. Stop smoking, ditch half the morning coffees and get rid of your credit card and you could be on your way to Europe in a year!
I know what I’d rather do…