25 Life-Changing Budget Hacks

Follow these money tips to become the savviest you yet

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
1 Lock in your savings

If you have a holiday or something you’re saving up for, go into your bank and block yourself from accessing your savings account. Of course, make sure you have funds until the splurge, but this will stop you spending unnecessarily prior.

2 Delete the food delivery apps

We’ve all jumped on the bandwagon with the latest food delivery services, but they make it too easy when we’re too lazy– and usually end up being pricey! It’s simple to say cook instead of eating out, but we assure you, deleting these apps will be a blessing to your bank account. Check out our delish, fast-to-prep recipes on www.womensweekly.com.sg/recipe/

3 Understand your point

Financial advisors will tell you to work out your current net position. This means listing out everything you own and everything you owe (including interest rate, loan period and repayment amount).

4 Grocery shop after work…

It’s tempting to avoid boring jobs like doing a supermarket run after a long day, however some perishables may be marked down at the end of the day, so do a smart shop at night! Make sure you have a shopping list, to cut down on buying unnecessary items, and you’re sure to slash your bill.

… and when you’re full!

If you’re hungry while grocery shopping you’re guaranteed to want to buy more, whether you know it or not. So don’t go on an empty stomach by having proper meals before!

5 Cancel unnecessary subscriptions

Do you need to be a member of all the movie-streaming websites? If not, pick your favourite and ditch the rest. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll see money in your account that didn’t need to be wasted.

6 Unfollow on social media

“It’s so easy to spend today – throw in a little bit of scarcity mentality and comparison culture and we’re almost propelled to spend,” says CEO of accounting firm A&TA Melissa Brownie. “Unfollow brands which you know you’ll click to on social media.”

7 Split it up

“Set up separate bank accounts and make regular contributions for holidays, school fees, Christmas, etc. so the money is already there,” says financial advisor Helen Baker.

8 Reuse coffee cups

Not only are these good for the environment, some cafes offer discounts when you BYO cup! We love the collapsible mugs from stojo.co

9 Consider cost per wear

Will you wear that top again? Are you getting the most use out of that item of clothing? Consider these questions when buying clothes, then you’ll be confident with your wardrobe and wallet.

10 Focus on versatile food buys

Plan ahead and buy foods that can be used for various meals throughout the week. Find ingredients you love for more than one meal, and stock up for the week. Shop smart and you’ll save money plus avoid wasting food.

11 Go for restaurant specials

We all love dinner out with friends, but before you do, shop around for the best deal first. With all of your favourite eateries having a different dinner special every night, you can enjoy a delicious meal with wine – without breaking the bank. Check out these great-deal Japanese meals at bit.ly/2ujBv6t

12 Go for generic

We know sometimes you prefer your favourite brand, but when it comes to boring household products for less important food items, go for a generic brand. It’s defi nitely cheaper, and you might find it’s just as good.

13 Carry around big notes

It’s said if you carry cash you’re likely to spend less. Try carrying $50 or $100 notes, and you might be more inclined to monitor spending.

14 Meat-free Monday

Take your vegetarian friend’s advice and give up meat for a day. You’ll find you have a variety or new recipes to try, and these dishes are comparatively cheaper. You’ll be benefiting yourself, the environment and your bank account. Win-win!

15 Keep a social calendar

It’s stressful saving while being social, especially when there are birthdays, holidays and celebrations you need to be prepared for. Start keeping a social calendar so you know when you need money. This will help you keep track of those purchases, meaning you’re more likely to resist the urge to impulse buy.

16 Be kind to yourself

If you need a monthly massage to make you feel good, that’s totally fine, but just make sure you factor that into your budget as well, just like you would your utility bills and rent. Saving doesn’t have to be a punishment!

17 Sleep on it

Take a day to think about and rationalise a purchase. You’ll likely convince yourself you don’t actually need what you wanted to buy.

18 Turn it off

Always turn off  appliances at the power source, and switch off  lights whenever you’re not in the room. You could even try candles as lighting for an evening, if you really want to save every cent. Bonus: It’ll give your space a nice ambience and relaxing vibes!

19 Talk money

Being upfront with your nearest and dearest about your budget not only lets them know where you’re at – and why you can’t afford that night out! – but you could also have the opportunity to trade some saving tips!

20 DIY as much as possible

Try to take on as many jobs around the house as you can. Try repainting your interior yourself, don’t pay a cleaner, and so on. Obviously DIY within reason – you don’t want to hurt yourself or cause any damage.

21 Beware the points

“If you can’t pay the card off when the credit period is due, then don’t be fooled by the free points,” says Helen.

22 Do a 30-day financial detox

Focus on a month of only buying essential items. “Doing this twice a year to reset your spending habits [can help] move you towards becoming a conscious consumer,” says Melissa.

23 Meal prep

If you buy $15 lunch an average three times per week, that’s around $2,000 out of your pocket every year. You can make your own lunches for much cheaper, and they’re often the healthier option too!

24 Use discount code apps

If you do find yourself desperate to make an online purchase, try apps like Shopback that help you get cash back when you dine out or shop online.

25 Do a swap

Get your friends together for a clothes swap. You don’t exchange money, just clothes for clothes. You can do this with other items too, like books or accessories.

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