After getting our weekly or fortnightly paycheck, it can be extremely tempting to celebrate by immediately spending that money.
The money disappears into clothes we wear once, fast food and overpriced drinks. By making a few small changes, the amount of money being wasted can be drastically reduced making way for more fulfilling and useful purchases like travelling or buying a car.
Here are some tips on how to save money:
The 7-day Rule
When shopping for something we genuinely need, like a winter coat, or a new pair of jeans, we are also exposed to a range of other tempting clothes that we don’t need. This is the case both online and instore. Instead of impulsively buying something that catches your eye, try waiting for a week before buying it. Often times you will have forgotten about the item and not wanted it as badly as you initially thought. If you are thinking about the item a week or two later then it may be worth purchasing, but this is rarely the case.
Stop Stress Spending
Had a bad day at work? Just had a bad breakup? Did badly in a job interview? The natural instinct to combat the strain of these stressful events may be to gorge yourself on chocolate, get a new haircut, or buy some clothes, but it will ultimately waste your money. If you’re struggling with something, or are in a bad mood, rather than reaching for your wallet try identifying a hobby or activity that makes you happy. Listen to music, draw, or go for a walk, you’ll achieve the same result at a much more cost effective price.
Prepare Meals At Home
Buying lunch at work everyday will take a significant chunk out of your savings. Research by ING Direct shows that Australians spend 8.3 billion dollars a year buying lunch at work. By making a quick sandwich in the morning, or making pasta the night before and putting it in the fridge, you will save yourself a ton of money.
Go Grocery Shopping On A Full Stomach
On an empty stomach you will not only be more likely to buy unnecessary food items but other items as well. Alison Jing Xu of the University of Minnesota led a research team that discovered that the “I want food” drive that we feel when hungry is actually reduced to the simpler “I want” mentality wherein customers also feel the drive to purchase non-food products. Always shop on a full stomach!
A multitude of places and brands will give you a discount, a free lunch or even free drinks to celebrate your birthday! A quick disclaimer is that these places will usually expect you to sign up for membership in advance but this is free to do and you can opt out of the annoying email notifications.
In Sydney you can get free drinks from Boost Juice and Gloria Jeans, a free meal from Oporto and Nandos, free ice cream from Baskin Robbins and free churros from San Churro! Witchery gives you a $20 voucher valid for a month after your birthday, Kikki K gives you a $10 voucher and you get a 10% off promo code at ASOS.
Look at the extensive list of birthday freebies here.
Other quick tips:
- Own a reusable water bottle
- Cancel memberships you don’t use
- Buy the generic version of brand medicine
- Sign up to free customer reward programs
- Use your library (for Uni books and DVDs especially!)
- Take public transport where you can
- Pre-drink at your house or a friends house not at the bar
As a last resort:
- The quickest way that I personally curb the need to impulse buy is to calculate the number of hours you worked to earn the purchase price of the product. When I worked in retail I earned about $22 an hour, in my mind a $215 dress from CUE didn’t cost me $215, it cost me 10 hours. This is a somewhat masochistic approach so I only recommend it in extreme circumstances! Though it definitely works.
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