Super Simple Money Saving Tips

By Angela Monroe - August 27, 2020

Super-Simple-Money-Saving-Tips

Finding ways to save money is almost as important as making money. Everyone finds ways to save money at some point. On the other hand, everyone finds ways to waste money at some point too – it’s pretty fun and easy to do.

We go over super simple money saving tips…

Tip: Buy Nice or Pay Twice

comparing clothes on phone

We’ll start with a pretty general one. It’s often easy to buy the ‘cheaper option’, especially with big purchases. Used and secondhand items are a common example. If you’re only looking at the original sales price tag, it may be worth considering repair and replacement costs too.

For example, buying the cheapest car you can. You may save on the cost of the car but can lose that money on repair costs. Another example is a laptop. New examples can be pretty expensive compared to used ones. But how long will that second hand Acer last before you’re looking for another one?

Make sure to read reviews and shop around. Usually, the question that needs answering is; how long will it last?

Tip: Petrol

petrol station

Obviously, buy when it’s cheap. Here’s how: Petrol prices move up and down in regular cycles in Australia due to retail price policies and competition. The length of each cycle varies in each capital city from around two weeks to over a month.

We’ll use Adelaide as an example. The cycles last around 2 weeks with the lowest prices at roughly $1.05 / litre of 91 regular ULP. The peaks of the cycle are around $1.43 / litre of 91 regular ULP.

The average vehicle in Australia uses 1,797 litres of petrol per year.

  • Filling up at peak price: $2569.71 on fuel per year.
  • Filling up at lowest price: $1886.85 on fuel per year.

Ballpark Savings / Year: $682 (if you can fill up at the bottom of the cycle)

Tip: Food & Drink

man looking at menu

Dinner:

We all know eating out is more expensive than cooking at home. But what do the numbers say? It’s hard to find average estimates, but according to most sources like Australian Healthy Food Guide:

  • Dinner at home: $4 per person
  • Eating dinner out: $15 per person

You have dinner out once a month and at home the rest of the time: $1592 on dinner / year

You have dinner out once a week and at home the rest of the time: $2032 on dinner / year

Coffee:

For coffee drinkers, comparing instant coffee to a fresh brew in your favourite cafe is a crime, but for this exercise:

  • Average cost per cup of instant coffee: $0.20 (depending on brand and milk added).
  • Average cost per flat white: $3.99

You drink 2 cups of instant coffee per day: $146 / year

You drink 2 flat whites per work day: $2082.78 / year (261 working days / year)

Alcohol:

Another way to save money – not the most fun way though. Alcoholic beverages can be a big drain on the hip pocket in Australia. We spend around $14 billion on alcohol per year.

  • Average pint in Australia: $9
  • Average spent on alcohol per Australian adult: $24 / week

You drink like the average Australian adult: $1248 / year

Cigarettes:

Smoking is massively expensive in Australia. At around $35 per pack – it’s one of the highest in the world. As we all know, smoking causes a lot more damage than just that done to your wallet.

The average smoker in Australia smokes 12 cigarettes per day. Just over half a pack, which is considered to hold 20 cigarettes. 

You’re an average smoker in Australia: $7,665 / year on cigarettes

Ballpark Savings / Year: $11,289 (If you don’t drink alcohol or smoke, only drink instant coffee and eat out once a month)

Tip: Electricity

power lines

Power is another big cost and another category where you can save big money. To summarise recent findings on cutting electricity costs:  

Turn off game consoles when they’re not in use: Around $193 / year

Do not power a second fridge: Around $172 / year

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer at least once a week: Around $79 / year

Ballpark Savings / Year: $444

Other Money Saving Tips:

man looking at postit notes

Track your spending:

Apps like MoneyBrilliant and Pocketbook allow you to see exactly where and on what your money is going. Some apps can even connect to your bank account if you give them permission. Data is displayed simply for you to get a clear idea of your expenses.

Avoid Impulse Buying:

Make sure you minimise those frivolous purchases and stop impulse buying. If you find yourself FOMO-ing into something, stop, think and read some reviews. If you have to get some retail therapy, try to allow a strict and manageable budget to do so.

Create a Shopping List:

People who go shopping without a shopping list end up spending about 30% more than those who have one. Always create a shopping list and stick by it. As an added bonus, you won’t forget anything you need.

Conclusion:

woman on phone and laptop

If you track where all your money goes for even a week, you’ll be surprised how much goes out the door on things you may not need. Additionally, you’ll see where you can save money by cutting down on expenses. It’s not much fun living a super-strict life without any fun so make sure you tailor a budget to suit your lifestyle.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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