Make your cash go further with our money saving tips.
1. Become an auction hero
From furniture to clothing to cars, auctions are a great place to pick up something for a steal. And the best ones are those to which others have failed to turn up. Check out an online auction, or trawl eBay and other online platforms for out-of-season supplies or long-listed items with no nibbles.
2. Be a utilities player
Be a gas and electricity Casanova and play the field. Know when every contract is coming up and, in the month before, check online for a better deal. Then call your current supplier and get them to match it. It’s like reaching into a bag of Starburst – you wouldn’t settle for an orange if you knew there were still pinks hiding at the bottom of the bag. Know your options.
Shopping – particularly online – is a high-pressure environment. “Just one left at this price!” “Forty people are looking at this NOW!” “You’ll never see this limited edition plain white tee AGAIN!” Don’t let it fool you. There will be other flash sales, people will look at anything on the internet and the world isn’t running out of T-shirts, soon. Sleep on it and see if you still need those pair of probably-not-my-size-but-they’re-on-sale! joggers in the morning.
4. Hunt for codes
About to buy something online? Stop. Google “[name of shop] discount code”: the chances are you’ll save 10 percent at least1.
5. Get creative in the kitchen
Get more bang for your buck by experimenting with meat-free recipes. Beans and eggs won’t break the bank, and you can stretch meat-heavy meals further by incorporating in more veggies or making meat (like bacon) a condiment instead of the main event. Still a self-professed carnivore? Buy a whole roast chicken instead of specific cuts. This way you can have roast chicken for dinner, make chicken wraps for lunch and make stock from the bones a week later.
6. Embrace big data
If you live in a place with decent 4G coverage then you may need nothing more than your mobile. Most smartphones can be turned into their own little wi-fi network, so replace your costly wired broadband provider with an unlimited data deal on your phone. The fastest networks should be able to support your streaming and browsing habits provided you’re not streaming a lot of video or have many connected devices.
7. Go analogue
'All you can eat' streaming services seem great, but the costs add up and how hungry are you really? If you’re listening to the same three albums on loop, not bothered about reading a bestseller on the day of release or are watching anything other than live sport, then the old school is for you. Buy the books, films and music you want second hand on an auction site for as cheap as chips. Enjoy them. Then flip them for the same price you paid.
8. Audit your subscriptions
Remember that scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Willy Wonka separates the valuable, golden eggs from the duds? Every now and then, do that with your subscriptions. Work out which ones you value most (do you really need Netflix, Stan and Amazon?), and be smart about what you pay for. For example, Amazon Prime offers faster free shipping, video and music streaming all in one, while Google Premium lets you browse music and entertainment on YouTube with no ads.
Virgin Money Australia has not considered your objectives, financial situation or needs in preparing this advice. Before acting on any advice please consider the appropriateness of the advice for you, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.