We don’t particularly 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 husband 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. Groan, I hear you say, 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?
- Visit www.phonechoice.com.au for up-to-the minute phone cap deals in Australia. Mobile phone debt is HUGE in this country!
- Consider transferring high-cost debt into a low-interest option such as a 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? Retro is so cool these days...and cashmere just isn’t what it used to be!
- Do you know how much bottled soft drinks and juices really cost you? Physically and financially? Yes, the kids CAN drink...water!
- 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! (Did I say that already?)
- 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 the cheapest days in your area (usually Tuesday) or, seriously, catch a bus or walk! If you have affixed place of work public transport can save you money, headaches and you can catch up on everything whist you’re in the ‘zone’ – plan that trip to Bail on the smartphone that you secured on your low-cost cap plan!
- Changing your take-away habits to once a fortnight instead of once a week could pay for an upgrade on that trip, or put it into your mortgage and save twice that much!
- Are you ever going to win lotto?
- Smoking...well...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 – was that a wheezy gasp? No, you know that already. Sorry.
- Sell your second car – they cost a fortune to own. Remember the bus?
- Visit the library, swap DVD’s with friends...look for classics at the store – always cheaper. In fact, I donate old books to the library now because giving them to the op shop only means another person will have exclusive use for them, need to store them and keep them clean. Spread the love!
Look, there’s heaps you can do. Stop smoking, ditch half the morning coffees (gulp!) 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...
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