Small tips add up to big savings!
Trying to get on the property ladder or saving for home improvements can sometimes involve sacrifices. Sorted.co.nz have a budget planner to help you work out a budget and get you started. But we realise that living to a budget and saving money where possible sometimes seems like a drag. So we looked into some smaller (and not to painful) ways to cut back and increase your savings. Some of them you may not have considered… or might seem too small to matter; but remember, it all adds up.
So, if you need a bit of help getting your savings plan kick-started, without feeling like you’ve turned into a complete hermit living in a ‘no-fun zone’ try some of the Home Show teams tips to save money.
DIY Repairs and Maintenance
One way to save money is to take care of 'Basic' car or home maintenance and repairs yourself.
The internet makes it easy to find videos that will take you through the process of changing your oil or repairing your dryer, and you can save money by ordering the part and doing it yourself. If it intimidates you, then ask someone who knows how to do it walk you through it the first time.
You may be surprised at how easy it is and the savings can add up quickly. For example, you can save hundreds of dollars a year just by fixing loose deck boards, painting or doing oil changes yourself.
*Word of warning, just make sure you get expert advice for those bigger issues... Electrical and Plumbing work perhaps should be left to the professionals! Or else the opposite of saving could very easily occur.
Sign up for as many free customer rewards programs as you possibly can – provided they ARE free! Think about the places where you commonly do your shopping and find out if they have a rewards program; many locations now offer loyalty apps so you just have to have your phone handy to take advantage. You can receive discounts, cashback benefits, or other rewards. But remember, rewards come with purchases and companies will try to entice you to buy more - don’t be swayed to increase your shopping. We’ve been trialing the Z App and so far so good for discounts, fast lane fill ups and even pre-purchasing fuel.
Don't make big purchases instantly
Implement a consideration time period like a 30-day rule, and wait for 30 days before making any unnecessary big purchases. This will help you avoid impulse buys and, in turn, you will save money fast. And you may find a better value deal in the meantime.
Turn your home into the meeting point
Planning to catch up with friends or family? Going out can wreak havoc on your spending, so why not just invite them over? Suggest a good old ‘Pot luck’ dinner or assign shared food and drink items so that you’re not bearing the brunt of the cost of entertaining. You’ll save money, and have a great time.
If entertaining from home is not an option offer to be the designated driver more often on a night out. You’ll save money by not drinking, and help your friends stay safe.
Check your bank accounts
We don't mean check for surprise inheritances, bank errors or deposits from distant relatives who may or may not be Nigerian Princes...
Instead check to see whether you can change to bank accounts that pay higher interest rates for identical or lesser fees. Not only will some accounts offer higher rates, they may also offer an incentive to new customers. Also re-evaluate if you use all of your accounts, there could be a way to consolidate savings accounts into 1 and pay less fees. You can compare savings accounts here.
Delete credit card numbers
Slow down your online impulse buying! If you use an online payment service like PayPal, delete your stored credit card numbers from your account. That means when you want to buy something, you’ll have to get out your credit card and re-enter your details, and that may be enough time to reconsider your purchase.
Don't be so quick to trash things
If your shirt or jeans pop a button or tear/rip, see if they can be mended before making the decision to throw them out. You’ll save money and learn how to fix clothes if you haven’t already - a quick little youtube search will help you upskill. Plus distressed items like torn denim are very on trend currently - there are plenty of tutorials on creating your own custom garments online!
Try 'Shopping your own wardrobe'! Why not join the trend that’s going against consumerism and ‘fast fashion’? And instead of going shopping at the Mall, have a good look through your wardrobe and experiment with new outfits. You’ll be surprised at what you can put together and you may even revive your love for that shirt you haven’t worn in six months. Take a look on Pinterest or browse the fashion bloggers for some fresh inspiration. Plus you can always ask Google ie ‘How do I style a cropped Denim Jacket?’ to see images, videos and blogger advice.
Drink more water
Drinking water (filtered at home) is much cheaper than buying soft drink, juice, coffee, or alcohol – and it’s also better for you. That’s a win/win. If you do want to have a few drinks out with friends why not match every purchased drink for a glass of FREE water?
Having bottled water on hand helps you stay hydrated, but don’t fall into the trap of buying a new bottle every day.
With plastic fizzling out, buy a reusable bottle instead and then subsequently refill it from a tap or water cooler. Some of the team find that having a stylish bottle on their desks to drink from makes them want to drink more which has got to be good for you. If you love a fizzy drink - invest in a drink carbonation system. Recent Home Show exhibitor ‘Oh Bubbles’ offers a range of stylish machines that fit in with your decor too https://ohbubbles.co.nz/
Energy-efficient and cash efficient
Changing out your old light bulbs for LED bulbs can save you a fair amount of money over the course of the year. They’re more efficient, don’t heat up, and can last for decades.
For the bigger items it's pretty simple; when it comes to buying a new appliance, try and find the most energy efficient one you can within your budget. It’ll save you money on your electricity bill.
Cancel memberships you don't use
If you’ve got a gym, sports club membership, or something similar that you’re paying for but not using, cancel that ASAP. You’re just throwing money away. This doesn’t mean not exercising at all; far from it! Find a form of exercise you don’t dread and you actually enjoy and do that instead. If you’re not sure you want to cancel because you have the ‘best intentions’ but just haven’t got around to going or have a lot of ‘commitments’ taking over right now… ask if you can put your memberships on hold to re-evaluate. It's not just sports memberships either - look into subscriptions like magazines and streaming services and choose only the ones you watch and listen to regularly!
Ok, ok... we know this isn’t news, but next time you go to the supermarket, consider buying the cheaper generic-brand version of some of the things on your list (if you don’t already do it). There’s generally little to no difference in quality, but a significant difference in price. Yes, we know sometimes you still have to go for the brand with some specialist items, but the basics like flour and sugar etc are all pretty much the same. Also think about switching supermarkets to save a few dollars.
*Bonus Supermarket tip: Go grocery shopping on a full stomach.
Studies show that hunger may cause you to buy extra or unnecessary items while doing your weekly grocery shop. Save money by eating beforehand.
Go to Free events
If you’re stuck looking for something to do on a sleepy weekend, look around for free events such as a farmers’ market or a free concert in the park. Many neighbourhoods will have FREE events going on semi-regularly. Here is a live update of the free events in New Zealand which you can narrow down to your area.
Do the stuff on this list
Seriously! It’s one thing to read a list of savings tips – but if you really do want to save money, you actually need to try some. So, get on it.
And of course, make sure that any money you save is earning a healthy rate of return. You can compare savings accounts here.