Having trouble saving?

broken piggy bankWith Christmas fast approaching, we know many Suburb families are madly trying to save enough money to finance all that the silly season offers.  When it comes to Christmas expenses, it seems Christmas shopping is just the beginning – there’s also Christmas lunch, Christmas dinner, Christmas parties, taxi fares to and from the parties, and maybe even a new outfit or two.  This time of year is certainly not conducive to being frugal.  Or is it?

Our team at Professionals Arbee Real Estate want you to be able to spend your money on the fun things the season has to offer – so we’ve put together these tips to help you be a little more spend-savvy in other areas.

  • Start by making your work lunches or taking leftovers from dinner the night before, rather than buying sandwiches and coffee from the café each day.
  • Start watching petrol prices.  Instead of driving around while the light is on and waiting until the needle flops down to empty before filling up each week, fill your tank when the price is right.
  • Use a shopping list, and don’t deviate.  If you’re anything like us, you can begin your shopping trip needing a bit of milk and bread, and walk out with a trolley full of groceries, stationery, magazines and chocolate bars.  Spontaneous purchases are the enemy of the budgeter.  Before shopping, make a list of the essentials and don’t let yourself buy anything not on the list.
  • Make use of off-peak rates.  Whether it’s electricity, water, phone or gym memberships you’re talking about, many of our monthly bills reveal a difference in costs for peak and off-peak usage.  Try to take advantage as much as possible.  If you’re able to head to the gym during your lunch breaks rather than after work, an off-peak membership will often cost less.  Consider running your dishwasher in the evening, making any non-urgent calls during off-peak hours and even traveling in your car outside of peak traffic times when you’re likely to be on the road for less time (using less petrol).  It won’t always be possible, but if you’re at least thinking about it, you’re likely to start save a little cash.

Over the coming weeks we’ll provide more tips for keeping your budget on track.  In the meantime, if you have any easy money saving tips to add to our list, please share them in the comments below.