Four things you can do right now with minimal ongoing effort

[Image credit: Max Pixel]

Have you ever googled 'money saving techniques'? You'll get a variety of suggestions that mostly focus on small changes like cutting out coffee, going shopping with a shopping list and only buying when things are on sale. While these tips are widely used by many, unfortunately:

  • they rely on your willpower, which usually wanes after a while (things that require ongoing time and effort always do)

  • the benefits can be quite small

  • they require a large amount of effort (eg. having to monitor sales cycles can already be a chore for many)

  • benefits are almost always short-term (ie. the minute you stop working at it, you immediately stop seeing the results)

1. Sell unwanted items. Most people have items in their houses that they have barely been used. Stop them from collecting dust and list them on sites like Gumtree and eBay so they can have a new home and you can get a bit of extra cash. Don't worry about gathering everything together before starting (that's a form of procrastination) start with one item and you can add more as you go. Bonus tip: download the apps – they are much easier to use because they link photos without having to search. 2. Give yourself a challenge. Taking on a short-term challenge is a handy way to discover what you're capable of while gaining some financial benefits at thesame time. Popular challenges include:

  • the one where you only eat food already in your fridge/freezer/pantry for a week - no buying anything extra

  • the one where you only spend $21 per person for a period of 21 days, and

  • the one where you only fill your petrol on a particular day of the week (meaning you challenge yourself to find ways to preserve fuel)

  • There are many many more!

3. Avoid the lazy tax. The “lazy tax” is a common term for people that are generally too busy to keep searching prices and deals all the time. When you get your car insurance renewal, do you immediately start researching the best deal, or do you leave it to automatically renew at the new rate (whatever that may be)? If you just leave it, it’s likely you are being slugged a ‘lazy tax’. Instead, if you push yourself to search for the best deals once a year, you can save a lot of money! For example, recently I received my car insurance renewal notice and the new policy was $15pm more than the previous year. I hadn’t changed car, circumstances, or made a claim. I pushed myself, spent about 2hrs over a couple of days looking up policies – arriving on an equivalent policy with a reputable provider for $30 less per month. That is the equivalent of being paid $180 per hour for my effort. When you do this for a few expenses, and the savings can be great. And they last all year! 4. Open a goal-specific bank account. Do you have a specific goal that keeps being put off due to life's demands? Do you try to put money away for that goal but it's mixed in with your regular money and you're not really sure exactly how much you really have? Open a goal-specific bank account that you can view when you're accessing your regular online banking. Not only will you know exactly how much is in that account but every time you log in, you'll get a reminder about it. And most of all, have fun!! You don't need to get carried away with things that don't support what you truly want to do. Use one of these tips that suit YOUR priorities instead.

Have a wonderful week,

Erika Gilbert

The Income Organisers

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