Okay so you’ve crunched the numbers and your income isn’t covering your expenses. What can you do? You are spending more than you are earning.
Well there’s the obvious things to do, check your utility deals to ensure you’re not over paying, cut luxuries from your list of expenses and so on.
But you’re not here for the mundane and over done tips! You’re here for 15 creative ways to reduce your spending. Let’s dive in!
Do you have streaming services like Netflix, Stan, Disney etc? Yes? Then you can already save dollars off your bottom line!
- You can easily save a few bucks here by simply buying gift cards when on sale and adding them to your account. You might see savings in the way of % off or possibly even in for form of rewards points like flybuys.
- Pay up front! Some streaming services offer a discount if you pay upfront for a year.
- Alternate between services. Choose one service to activate per month. This could save you heaps if you have multiple!
This is a hot topic! How can you save money without going hungry or changing your eating habits dramatically? Here’s some tips.
- Keep a seperate account for groceries. This will keep you more mindful of what you’re spending, especially on top ups! This can keep you accountable and reduce unnecessary spending.
- Organise your meals in advance, if you can! This is especially helpful if you make plans sporadically. This can eliminate take away as well as food wastage.
- Love a good steak or fancy seafood? You don’t need to cut them out a lot of the time, just factor them into your budget. If you want lobster tails one night then balance that with 1-3 very cheap meals.
- Buy discounted supermarket gift vouchers. There are so many places who offer discounted vouchers these days. Banks, utility retailers, rewards programs etc are great places to investigate. You can usually by egiftcards for 1-5% off. This is an immediate saving for you without needing to change any eating habits at all.
These are the expenses which can really hurt the most.
- House rates are a huge expense. The council will usually break the expense down into 4 payments to make it easier for everyone to pay. My recommendation is to instead factor this expense in throughout the year and pay it in one lump sum at the due date. This will mean that if you have an offset account you can be saving interest on your home loan! Too easy
- Car insurance is another potentially massive cost and most people would say an absolute essential. I certainly think everyone with a car should have insurance. If you’re not already getting prices from everyone, at every renewal, you should be. Don’t just simply pay the invoice when it comes! Like above, pay yearly, if you can. Usually you’ll save a little money on the cost of the policy when paid annually.
- To reduce the cost of your car insurance premium consider wether you can make some changes to your coverage which still means you’re perfectly covered but with some restrictions. For example, drivers over 30 or an age which suits your circumstances, increase your excess (but only responsibly. You don’t want to get into a position where you can’t pay it). Make sure to ask how else they can help you lower your premium. Paying off any finance can even lower your premium!
- Home repairs can often be unexpected as well as costly. First check if your insurance covers the incident and consider making a claim. Weigh up the cost of the excess and the cost of repair. If the cost of repair will be yours to bear (like a new hot water service due to it bursting). Consider bartering for the work. Do you know a plumber who can carry out the work legally and would be willing to swap for services you can provide? Maybe you can clean their house, service their car or cook some meals? Lots of people are willing to trade services to help our people. Make sure you agree in advance what the trade is so everyone’s comfortable.
- Perhaps one of the largest expenses we have is for where we live. Think mortgage or rent. For your mortgage: make sure you’re getting a great interest rate with an offset if you can. Even if you think your rate is good, call your bank/mortgager and ask them if they can lower the interest rate or waive a fee, if you pay one. Do this every 3-6 months. If you see a better deal elsewhere do the maths and see if it’s worth changing. Loyalty is rarely worth anything in this circumstance so look out for your pocket here! For rent: reducing cost here is obviously a bit more tricky! You need to consider wether you’re willing to move. if you are investigate how much you can save in rent by doing so. Can you? If it’s substantial factor in moving costs and then decide wether it’s worth it. It may not be, this is a very tricky one but we’ll worth investigating. If you’re not interested in moving (and I totally get that) see what little expenses you can save on. Are you paying a fee when you pay rent? If you are, as your agent which payment method is free and switch to that.
- Often we forget than using our car uses more than just fuel. But there’s far more to it. If you use your car for small trips, consider switching to walking, scooting or biking. This will save the obvious fuel usage but it will also save west on your tyres, reduce frequency of servicing (because you’re not clocking up kms as fast) and also as a bonus you might be able to switch your gym membership for free exercise.
- Impatience costs money, in almost everything! Travel is no different. Consider alternative travel like bus and train, it will likely take longer but you’ll save car costs as above but also parking cost if you’re travelling to a paid parking area.
I Am Still Stuck
- If you really can’t or don’t want to reduce any of your costs then you need to look at the flip side of your situation and figure out how to can increase your income to cover the shortfall! There are so many ways to make extra cash. Here’s a few:
- Find a job (or a second job).
- Start a business. The options are endless here and depend on your skills. Be sure to investigate any options thoroughly and see if the time invested will really work. I don’t personally recommend MLM (Tupperware, Avon etc) as the earning rates are usually extremely low and often cost money. Each one is required to show the percentage of people who make which income so be sure to read thoroughly if you’re considering this.
- Sell things you don’t need.
- Do some online surveys (Mums Who Budget & Save members can access this post with info).
- Find a local market research company and see if you qualify.
- Ask for overtime at work
- See if friends or family need jobs done which you can do. This could be cleaning, gardening etc.
Whatever you choose to do to increase your income ensure you know how this impacts your taxable income. I’ve seen a lot of bad advice given on this topic so please ensure you get proper advice from the ATO or an accountant.