For many Australians, the dream of one day owning your own home feels pretty far out of reach – particularly given the devastating economic impact of the global pandemic. However, there are budgeting hacks to help you save a little extra cash and inch slightly closer towards your goal of becoming a homeowner.
Eating Out vs. Eating In
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According to News.com.au, Sydney man Mattia Bondanza lived off a $2.50 diet of tuna, rice and salad for five years to save for a deposit on his dream $1.15M one-bedroom Darlinghurst apartment.
It might seem like an extreme (and repetitive) option, but the money you can save if you don’t eat out all the time is significant. According to Suncorp’s 2019 Cost of Food survey, a quarter of Aussies don’t stick to their food budget and a third don’t budget for food at all, despite blowing closer to $300 on food individually. That includes groceries, eating out, takeaway and alcohol.
Behavioural Economist Phil Slade told Savings.com.au you should never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, and should try sticking to a meal plan. “A good trick is only planning meals in a couple of days in advance, so you only buy what you need,” Slade said. “This also allows you to buy what’s on special, and avoid food getting lost in the freezer.”
Making Saving Simple
If you’ve read The Barefoot Investor, you’d be well aware of the ‘buckets’ or different accounts you can set up to funnel your money and ultimately save enough for a deposit.
However, there’s another money saving hack and it’s picking up serious steam on video sharing platform, TikTok. To save over $5,000 in one year, all you have to do is buy 100 envelopes and write a dollar amount on them – from $1 to $100 – depending on your budget. The envelopes get stored in a box and each week, you choose two at random. Whatever the dollar amount on the envelope is the amount of cash you put in.
Conserve Your Energy
It sounds old-fashioned, but your grandparents were onto something when they refused to turn the AC on during a 35-degree day. According to Energy.gov.au, you can save a household of four about $760 a year by getting rid of your second fridge, switching off game consoles after use, using a clothesline instead of a dryer, and installing a water-efficient 4-star shower head.
This advice is obviously dependent on the type and age of your appliances, the size of your home, the climatic zone you live in, the energy prices you pay and the type of energy contract you choose. But, if your goal is to make your money go further and score that dream home, every dollar counts.