What Is The Best Skill That You Have Learnt to Save Money?


What Is The Best Skill That You Have Learnt to Save Money?

My friend Jono taught me how to service my car, which saves a lot of money and time.

If browsing OzBargain counts as a skill then that also saves me a lot of money. However, it also takes a lot of money to buy stuff.

I'm interested to know of other skills that fellow OzBargainers have that save them money. It could be anything from cooking your meals instead of eating out, to cutting your hair, or anything else.

Thanks for all the deals and I look forward to reading what you think.

Have a good one,


  • Arithmetic. :)

    But seriously, probably cooking edible meals.

  • Don't spend it?

    • +3 votes

      Good call Local

    • congratulations on completely missing the point.

      • @buckerooni - actually, no - not spending money can be a very difficult skill to learn for some people, and is definitely key to saving money. Many people are driven to spend any money they have.

        • I saw this as a 'how can I do more with less/make my money go further' and what life skills can help achieve this. I get the jist of it but a simple 'don't spend it' isn't that useful or insightful IMO. You'll just end up with money.

    • Behave responsibly and grow your savings/liquid investments so you don't have to buy any insurance policies other than CTP.

      i.e. self-insure


      You gotta spend money to make money.

  • Having a partner who has a car and only owning a motorcycle myself? That works out pretty damn well haha

    • +1 vote

      Nice one Rambutann haha

    • My motorbike is more expensive to run than my car.
      Servicing and parts. It needs servicing more often. Parts and consumables are more expensive.
      Unless you're just talking about fuel use… In which case, yeah.

      • I only use my motorcycle and don't take public transport. In Melbourne I can park anywhere for free on the footpath. If I drove a car I'd be paying more in fuel plus $6 a day for parking and I'd spend twice as long in traffic. If I caught public transport I'd spend $8 a day and its take me twice as long to get to work.

        But yeah deffz way more maintenance in oil and tyres. Insurance and rego is always way cheaper than a car.

      • 'Owning a motorcycle that isn't either a piece of shit or a wank model'.

        • I'm talking about tyres ($400 every 15k), chain and sprockets ($250 every 20k or so), chain lube, valve clearances ($350 every 6k). I do 10,000km a year. Insurance is $350/year and rego is 500. It's a DR650. Arguably the cheapest commuter/off road you can get.
          Motorbikes are expensive.
          And my weekend ZX10 isn't any better.

        • @imnotarobot:

          Well I guess it's relative and that wasn't particularly my experience.


          @imnotarobot: trailbikes and their enduro breathren are made for the bush ,
          Rough Terrain but low ks, single cylinder motor ,tuned for tourqe
          Road bike are designed for the pavement,high speed,high ks multiple cylinder engine with a build quality you just don't see in trail/enduro bikes
          The difference between commuting on a dr650 and a gsxr1000 is night and day
          Tyre choice can also play a big difference in keeping cost down
          Even fuel choice, 91s cheap but you don't go as far forcing you to fill up more
          Just buy a good reliable road bike to begin with like a Kawasaki 1000 ninja with low ks and maintained,and
          you'll be laughing


          @imnotarobot: who the fuk is telling u to do valve clearances every 6k
          Find yourself a decent mechanic or get a service manual and do the basics yourself and get to know your bike
          That's where you'll save
          Not dropping it at the dealer and sipping a cappuccino

        • @Beach Bum: I must agree what bike needs valve clearances every 6k? E.g vfr800 has them first time at 80k… And they are almost always still perfect.

        • @Beach Bum:
          After 12k, every 6 is it's inspection and adjustment.
          It's right there, in the manual.

        • @Beach Bum: I do service my own bikes.
          Simply stating that normal running costs and insurance all add up.
          I did my own valve clearances last service, but when it comes to the average punters and servicing, not everyone can do it.
          I'd rather let money conscious people understand that motorbikes are not necessarily cheaper to run than a simple car.

          And btw, the dr 650 needs valves inspected every 6k after 12k.
          But thanks for your snide remarks anyway.


          @imnotarobot: no worries
          Thank you for your insight into hypothetical servicing
          Again I wouldn't recommend a trail bike as a commuter , even if they are a cheap purchase as they are not designed for high KMs
          And sorry didn't mean to be snide ,more sarcastic

        • @Beach Bum: no worries, thanks for clarifying

    • +1 I am on this boat too :)

      Very effective not to have the cost of two cars

    • don't recommend motorcycle, too many idiot on the road likely to kill you.

      • thanks for your generic response that no motorcyclist has ever heard before I think I'll sell my motorbike, contribute to further traffic congestion, take longer to get from point A to B and be bored as hell during my times of transportation. Super excited.

        • I'll happily add an extra car to the road to significantly reduce my risk of injury and my brain getting splattered by a car.

          All this beautiful technical innovation in today's cars, making everyone safer and people being able to go home to their families. And towards a world of driverless cars. And then comes you, using your body as a crumple zone.

          And lol, you save 5 mins by weaving in between cars and take an extra > 5 mins wearing special clothing and helmet just to go to maccas.

          You lose.

      • Totally agree. Ive known three people that have had accidents on motor bikes and one of them died. I was driving to work one morning a while back too and I passed a motor cycle accident at an intersection and the motor cycle guy was lying on his side still gripping his bike and he looked like he was sleeping. Im hoping he was just passed out, but I looked it up later and supposedly freshly dead people look like theyre sleeping. So I dont know, hopefully he was just passed out. Anyway would never go on a motor bike, way too dangerous. The only thing in between you and the other cars is you. No car chassis with bumpers, roll cage etc, just you. So unsafe :(


          Yes must agree , no one's ever been killed in a car crash , never seen someone being cut out of a car with the jaws of life
          They mostly just stretch a cheap blue tarp over what's left

        • @Beach Bum:
          Dude the chance of you dying in a motorcycle accident with anything is high.
          In the end it up to you but myself would never increase my chance of dying to save a few bucks.

    • donorcycles are a great bargain for our ageing society too.

  • +38 votes

    Learning to cook is always good for keeping the health bills down

  • +24 votes

    Having thick skin… being prepared to have an occasional quick squiz at the things people leave out for the monthly council clean up in my area (very affluent) and bringing a selected few things home.

    • +1 vote

      Great idea! Thanks Ihbh

    • I've been getting gumtree items real cheap - free or $5 etc - but i have to ask you, becuase the hardest issue isn't pre lvoed or dirty or ugly: don't you worry about termites and bed bugs or fleas? That's my biggest worry - never seen all 3 but mindful of this. I particularly want bed frames and mattresses but am too scared, let alone wooden bookcases and furniture (i try to see anything physically, but i wouldn't know if something was burrowed in the wood like termites..)

    • No Kidding here. I lived on the Lower North Shore and furnished an entire share house doing this. Apart from anything else the quality of things just chucked made me sick to the stomach! Perfect items of furniture and general household items.

      Ahhhh - people are starving in the world and we are so wealthy we just chuck it out on the front door step because we don't 'like' it anymore!

      Best not to get me started!

      • Garage sales are good too. I found an Onkaparinga wool blanket sealed in original packaging for $5. The font suggested it was 40+ years old. My wife still carefully washed it before usage.

    • Thats how we got our fridge. We had just moved in and the neighbour had left it out because they got a new effecient one. Over a year on and the fridge is still running perfect.

      • unfortunately old fridges can really suck the juice, I'm talking $100's a year in electricity compared to a new one…

    • Our most recent hard rubbish collection was a disgrace - so many nice things being thrown out that was not ugly, expensive and often in perfect condition. I got some good stuff! There were dudes in utes and 4WD's cruising the suburb multiple times a day collecting it all.

      • Its the unfortunate side effect of living in a disposable first world society. Time will tell, but maybe one day we will look back on this and just shake our heads

    • Ah I remember you out the front of my place. How is my old VCR going?

    • i did that too, I found good stuff :D

  • avoid ozbargain

  • Cheap hobbies.
    DIY stuff.
    Lunch brought to work.
    Preparedness to not get sucked into the "lifestyle" displayed in property pages in newspapers.
    Telling kids no, and making them live with consequences instead of reflexively bailing them out.

    • +1 vote

      That's really sound advice cheers Mskeggs

    • +11 votes

      I'll give you an example of getting sucked into the "lifestyle". I flew back from interstate with a few colleagues a few years ago (we were senior managers in a large corporate). He ends up buying > $100 of expensive but very basic toys for his kids from the airport store without giving it much thought. I could have easily done so but would never do it in a million years.

    • Hi mskeggs
      I was speedreading this without looking at the posters and reading this comment I thought "really good and spot on, I wonder if it is mskeggs". It is!!!
      Always good mate!

      • You're welcome to my teenagers if you want a chorus who will confirm I don't have all the answers. Hmmm, or the spouse.
        We all battle through gaining bits of wisdom as we go. The worst thing I ever did was spend a few years not listening to my grandad because we had divergent political views. Politics was basically 10% of the discussion, and until I grew up enough to listen to the other 90% I missed out.
        That said, we had some good political Barneys after I grew up enough to know there were plenty of viewpoints, and I wasn't always right. I learned a lot about how things work, not necessarily how they teach you it works in primary school.

        I'm very definite on my views, because, how can you not fight for what you believe in? But I learned sometimes I'm not always as nuanced, or well considered on my views as I should be! It taught me to be very sceptical of true believers older than adolescents who couldn't discuss their views without being offended…

        • Hmm, any tips on where I can start to learn bout how politics work?

        • @bich.light:

          Try using this as a starting point:

          It is a test that asks questions to find out what you think is important and fair, and will allow you to find the political parties that have views closest to your own.
          Amusingly, it often shows people who are strong supporters of one party or another that their chosen party is a poor match for their true beliefs!

        • @mskeggs:

          Try using this as a starting point:

          While my assessment came out as expected, those questions are rife with bias. And where is the neutral answer option?

          I'm interested in finding alternatives to test my peers…

        • @mskeggs: I don't know how to take it. Do I answer according to what I believe is right, or what I would vote for in an election affecting me? I'm left leaning when it comes to understanding of right/wrong but I would vote to benefit my current socioeconomic situation, and that makes me right leaning. Instructions unclear.

    • Telling kids no, and making them live with consequences instead of reflexively bailing them out.

      Do your kids have outstanding liabilities?

      • No, but if they sleep late and miss the bus I don't drop everything to drive them to school.

        • But where do you draw the line between fostering responsibility and neglecting support?

        • @Scrooge McDuck:
          I don't know.

          Things that inconvenience or discomfort them because of their own neglect: let them suffer
          Thinks that would permanently jeopardise their quality of life: bail them out

          But in between things, where consequences pile up, I guess use discretion.

  • Earn more money so there is more left over to save.


      Thanks Dasher86

    • The more you earn the more you spend. We are living on very little these days but still manage to survive easily as well. A decade ago I was earning way more and still managed to survive as well 😆

      • Unless you plan and budget properly. My wife just started working full time after being a student for 2 years (career change) and her entire wage goes straight to the savings account. We just live exactly the same, to the same budget, as when we were on just my wage.

    • Is that you Joe Hockey?

  • I would say how to use the Internet. Because I can use google I have been able to discover how to fix things myself that previously would have required tradespeople to do. Simple plumbing jobs etc.
    if I know an electrical item like a DVD player etc is broken and not worth paying someone to fix, I will google how to fix it. If I am unsuccessful, I have lost nothing. If I am successful in fixing it then I have saved on having to buy a new one.


      That's smart thanks Loulou1

    • This is a really good idea which I've started to do too. There's also the added benefit of exercising your brain and learning new things, especially as you get to middle age and beyond.

    • +2 votes

      Yes so true just replaced my cars side mirror due to helpful you tube video saved me ton.

      • Agreed, been doing this for years and very much self taught on a lot of topics. I take it the people above me are the ones who are always called first when something goes wrong or someone can't find a certain item or piece of information?

    • Very true. As someone who has been googling since it's invention, I've found that almost every question you could ever ask has been discussed on the Internet.

      Something that has saved me alot of money is using online guides to replace battery, harddrive and RAM as well as repairing the power cords on my 2011 Macbook Pro. 6 years later and it's still going strong. Beats dropping ~$3,000 on a new one!

    • If you are unsuccessful you lose time. There is opportunity cost in fixing things yourself or paying someone to fix it quicker so you can use your valuable time to make more money than saving the money to fix things yourself unless you are doing it as a hobby or have time to kill. I do minor car maintenance like changing oil etc myself but major service or fixing cars then I will just quickly Google discussion in forum to see if an easy fix or should I leave it to the mechanics.

      • Agreed, but nobody can work 24 hours a day. I actually enjoy seeing how things work and get great satisfaction from fixing things myself.

    • Gosh, I tried doing this with tap washers. My lounge wall is now split because I didn't 'tighten' up my washer spindles enough.

      Lesson learned though.

      Let me say though that Youtube tutorials made it look like a 10 minute job. It was anything but!

  • Learn how to not buy stuff that you don't need. There will be always a next deal… I have see people here who buys stuff as soon as they see discount or deals..

    • +3 votes

      I haven't bought any clothes over the last few years except for a pair of RM Williams boots on sale for better than half price. I'm struggling to wear a small percentage of the good quality stuff I bought over the last decade and until I wear that down, won't buy anything more, except maybe for specific items.

      • There's a great TED Talk on this called The 10 Item Wardrobe which is great, having less but good quality clothes makes you more stylish and saves you money! It's just getting enough to spend on the quality item in the first place which is hard.


        Lol I have 4 pants I can wear in public excluding my work clothes. Most of my shirts were on sale for $1. I just hate clothes shopping but I should probably get more.


      Thanks Pyramid! Very true

    • Good call. FOMO can be a real mindscrew when browsing Ozbargain.