How do you save or be thrifty with money?

I thought I’d put out a list of things I do to help save money and see what other people out there do too:

  • ask for a better deal on service providers once per year (NBN, electricity, gas, phone)
  • use the energy compare website when considering other providers (receive the $50 bonus)
  • ask for a reduced interest rate from my bank at least once a year
  • refinance with banks willing to be more competitive or offer cashback incentives
  • use prepaid mobile as they provide better conditions for a lower price in most cases
  • participate in focus groups
  • purchase only on sale items in grocery shop and let that decide what I’ll cook
  • buy generics. use things like ‘disposable’ razors instead of ‘non disposable’. The only main difference I notice is price
  • load up on non expiry items when they are on sale eg deodorant
  • put everything on my loan offset or redraw. Put some extra in ETF and super
  • bargain and use coupons/promo codes whenever possible
  • use this website

There’s probably others but this is what I can think of at the moment.
Interested to hear any other ideas or to hear if anyone else is weird like me.

Comments

      •  

        lol..at least just use youtube to do your travels

  • +4 votes

    Just be as cheap as you can. Buy the cheapest of everything, get goodwill clothing etc. Eat a Vegan diet, lots of brown rice and potatoes. Don't own a car and ride a bike. Disconnect home Internet, just use phone internet from a $10 plan and come with free 2GB data. Tell people you are poor and ask for money or discounts. Aim to save 90% of your paycheck.

    • +1 vote

      90% of paycheck is pretty extreme eh?

      • +3 votes

        When you are on $250k pa like must ozbargainers not hard.

        That said only people having lobster is the ATO.

    • +1 vote

      Appropriate user name;)
      But saving 90% of paycheque is tricky when ATO & Medicare (if paying for health cover) have already confiscated above 30%
      Can only do that in cash world

  •  

    use prepaid mobile as they provide better conditions for a lower price in most cases

    Depends, there have been some great post paid deals with resellers like JbHIFI, paying almost nothing for my plan.

  •  

    Buy direct and cut out the middle man in just about everything

  • +1 vote

    Interesting to read, personally I would enjoy life ofcourse with bit of saving if i can, not to ruin the pr4esent moment!

    • +1 vote

      some on here are literally being so anal to the point where they miss the point of living. Not enjoying things they deep down would love to do or have just to save a little. To save max 10k in a lifetime. You could get triple that easily on an investment just by sitting on your arse.

      •  

        such as?

  • +8 votes

    Don't take advice from a deals website

  • +6 votes

    Saving money is all about knowing what you want and what you need. Some lifestyles cost more than others to maintain but the most important thing is to know what is enough for you instead of what is enough for OTHERS. Sometimes that's hard to do because you're on OzBargain and you see a deal for something that everyone rates and you find a reason to 'want' it. In other words, saving money = use money wisely/meaningfully.

    So my tip would be to always ask yourself: do I NEED it? If it's not something I need, then ask yourself, why do you want it? If you want it because you can appreciate the added features/experience/opportunities, then I'd find a bargain on Ozbargain for it (time allowing). If I want it only to show off, impress others, impress myself, or motivate myself to do an activity, then perhaps I need to seriously reconsider changing my mentality.

    Some examples of using money wisely:
    - don't buy a 80 inch TV if you are content with a 55 inch
    - don't buy the $200 hiking shoe if you hardly ever go hiking
    - don't buy the 50gb phone plan if you only use 5gb per month

    • +2 votes

      Like this. Totally agree! Buy things that make you happy, not because everybody else buys it too.

    • +1 vote

      this is better information than some of the people saying walk 7 hours instead of taking and uber or go on a holiday to europe through youtube instead of going.

  •  

    Entertainment Book saves us a few hundred a year. Digital one is super convenient.

    • +1 vote

      True, but I am a bit disappointed with them as they dont do anything during this Pandemic time. I cant used them for the last 4 months as most of the restaurant is closing. Partial refund or disconted next years subscription will be awesome i guess.

  • -1 vote

    live with parents rent free as long as you can, even after getting married

    •  

      Not everybody can do this lol especially the in laws

      •  

        fair point, definitely depends on the relationship and the house layout.

    • +4 votes

      not after marriage that's just lame

      •  

        such words of wisdom

    • +1 vote

      Yup, generations of families have been living this way and they all (for the most part) came out fine…

      • +1 vote

        Depending on your culture, don’t mooch off your parents for years and years. Get out and life your own life.

        •  

          not forever, just long enough to fast track a nice deposit on a property.

          •  

            @JetLi: I would never be able to live with my parents or in laws. No way

    •  

      And when you have kids, get your parents to look after them to avoid daycare fees.

  •  

    Skip breakfast

    •  

      Eat breakfast, it is the cheapest meal of the day. Skip dinner,

      • +1 vote

        Skip both and have a big lunch, you can save even more!

        • +2 votes

          While also doing intermittent fasting at the same time xD

    •  

      intermitten fasting is a great way to discipline your mind and body, at least for a while. It literally revealed my abs for the first time in my life when i combined it with a strength programme.

      •  

        yeah, I can see my waist easily too now haha

  •  

    Have health insurance with AIA Vitality - yes some see PHI as a waste of money, that aside my family have received $550 in vouchers for Rebel Sport and Woolworths in a 12 month period.

    Always byo lunch, don’t buy coffees at work - use the work coffee machine.

    Entertainment book

    Check insurance every year for the best deal

    BYO sim plan - I don’t need a new phone every 2 years.

    •  

      it's fine to buy lunch here or there and buy a coffee every so often. Over a lifetime it's not going to make any difference in your overall savings. Just live within your means and enjoy things when you are able to. You don't have to ban things permanently and live anal for your life just to save a whopping 2k for a lifetime.

      • +3 votes

        It’s fine for you to buy lunch here and there… most of the places around my work sell crappy food. I’m not paying $8 for a dry sandwich thanks very much.

        And about 1/10 baristas can actually make a decent coffee so why would I pay $4 for a burnt cup of coffee?

        I don’t live “anal” but thanks for trying to tell me how I live because of the few things I save on!

        •  

          just excuses for your analness. live a little buddy

      • +1 vote

        whopping 2k for a lifetime.

        Probably $2k a year though, not lifetime.

        • +1 vote

          small coffee and lunch once a fortnight would cost approx 300 or less per year. Not a huge amount to have some enjoyment and not be so frugal about

          •  

            @boostpak: True. Once a fortnight is ok, unless that quickly escalates to 'once a couple of days' and then daily.

  •  

    This isn't being thrifty with money but… always trying to have as much income as I can (in my circumstances). i.e. go for the higher paying job when possible. Doing extra shifts. etc. This has applied both as a student and professional and worked out pretty well so far.

    •  

      This is the better advice actually.

  • +3 votes

    get better at your job = get paid more = dont need to be thrifty

    • -1 vote

      Your are better off by saving $1000 than earning an extra $1000

      You don't pay tax on money that you save

      • +1 vote

        That's true but there comes a time where getting a better paying job is easier than squeezing every penny everywhere. Plus you can live your life more and not worry about thrifting

  • +1 vote

    check your fridge seals-common point of wasted cooling

  •  

    Put 15% of gross salary to super.

    Save 20% of your net pay (invest it) then sort out what you can afford with the rest.

    Biggest problem for most people is not the lack of money. It is spending it on all the options presented.

  •  

    Pay off loans.
    Credit card first
    Then anything on bank loan (car, home improvement, boat, jet ski etc)
    Then get down to the real business.
    Pay off mortgage. Single biggest improvement you can have in life. Don’t aim to do it before you retire, do it now. Make overpayments, cheat yourself out of holidays, make 10yo shitbox car last another 5 years. Become Scrooge
    But, pay off that sucker, coz you can. It’s not easy, but put your mind to it & it’ll shrink & disappear.
    Before you know it you’ll be debt free and happy

  • +2 votes

    Buy used when possible (cars, tvs, iphones, clothing etc).
    Switch from dispoable plastic razors to a cheap double edged saftey razor and buy cheap razorblades from ebay (works out cheaper and less plastic waste).
    Shower at the gym and shave at gym if possible.
    Buy or download a repair manual for your car and try to repair issues yourself (also helps if you are friends with car people who can lend you tools and help you out if needed).
    Give up meat or at least be a flexitarian.
    Drink protein shakes to replace meals.
    Take dates to free places (museum, beach, art gallery, park, botanical gardens, romantic drive to a lookout etc).
    Give up bottled spring water and carry a refillable bottle wherever you go.
    If you need to buy new shoes, try them on instore and then look for them cheaper online.
    Don't date materalistic people who expect gifts, jewellery, expensive dinners etc.
    Use your local library when you want to read books.
    If you get gift cards for xmas/bday's save them up and buy your family/friends gifts with said gift card.
    Haggle, always haggle even if you think there is no wiggle room. There usually is.
    If you have a family member who is the same build as you, ask if they have old clothes they don't want.

    •  

      Yes for the water bottle comment. This saves a lot of money and the environment.

  • +2 votes

    The best advice I can offer to people… Leave this site and never come back!

    • +2 votes

      If that's because of the impulse purchases, I agree. But if you don't impulse buy everything or try and buy obvious price errors/crap you don't need you'll be fine.

      In my (almost) 13 years of being on here (far out!) I honestly reckon I've spent less than $5-6k on stuff. The bulk of my purchases would've been flights to the USA and I've been 3 or 4 times (never paid over $900 return).

      I just enjoy browsing the deals that pop up.

      •  

        Agree. Often I find things I’ve been looking to buy or buy regularly. I’ve done a few impulse buys for things like wine or cleaning products, but these are consumables we would have otherwise bought at some point.

  • +1 vote

    Get solar and after 3-4 years it's free money

  •  
    • actively look into reducing waste of resources (food / gas / electricity)
    • prepaid mobile or plans that have better value. (e.g i have ipad plan with isp where the total i pay for 2 years is roughly the same as rrp of ipad itself)
    • look into ways to pay less or no interest (offsetting / maintain 0 balance on cc)
    • gift cards through suncorp app.
    • for utilities i prefer local providers due to the top level of service and also they’re not expensive (momentum / abb)
    • more importantly, eat balanced meals and stay healthy.
  •  

    started using a money manager app this year, it really helped with the lack of travel too. Seeing the pattern of money spent and saved over 3 months really improved my perception of how much money i save and where it often goes to. Next step is to recognise the annual pattern, as I know there are parts of the year when expenses are higher.

  •  

    I find the biggest difficulty is being surrounded by materialistic people, especially at work. I've worked in different organisations and it's been the same in each one. Everyone loves to discuss exactly what they are buying, the exact cost, what they've already got and the cost and even how much money their partners get and how much they get from their parents…. These are middle aged professionals!

    Since working from home and not listening to that every day, I've sold $6k worth of stuff just lying around my house and reduced unnecessary purchases significantly.

    •  

      You’re from Melbourne? When I lived there for 5 years I found there was so much keeping up with the joneses…. I’ve since moved north to Brisbane and it’s a nice change of pace. Never once felt the need to compare and compete for materialistic items.

      • +1 vote

        this is the sort of mentality to have, don't buy things you don't need because of others or think you need something in order to fit in or be on the same level. But not enjoying a takeaway coffee or buying lunch every so often is just stupid and not doing your lifetime saving anything. Just living with restriction and being anal for nothing.

  • -1 vote

    If it flops, lift it.

    You have squeegees at the end of your arms, called hands.
    Which reduces the water required to dry yourself with a towel,
    which in turn reduces your frequency of laundry load with the towel.

  •  

    Buy your Fruit and Veggies from farmers market or similar place where it's cheaper than Colesworth

  •  

    don't get married

  •  

    just don't spend money at all

  •  

    Check out the freebies on Ozbargain.

  • +1 vote

    Haven't read the thread, but honestly, delete ozbargain from bookmarks. Only logon to find something that you need or what is an alright price to buy at. I understand that this is not going to get you the "cheapest" prices, but too often I see people make impulse purchases on things that they don't "need". Just because it is a bargain, doesn't mean you're saving money if you didn't actually need it. If you have disposable income, then this advice doesn't apply.

    •  

      Heathen!

  •  

    we exchange money for time

    we spend money to save time

    we spend time to save money

    Good, Cheap, Fast - choose any TWO !

    generally we choose to spend time doing things we don't mind and think we can do

    and choose to spend money to get things done quicker where we don't have the skills or can't afford the time it might take

    the value of your free time - I've calculated mine at between $2 an hour and $50 an hour

    if you're my cardiologist, the value of your free time might be $1000 an hour

    if you're unemployed, you might spend a week of DIY trying to save $100

    so spend money on things you don't enjoy - so you can spend time with your loved ones.

    or something like that …

  •  
    1. Maintain a budgeting spreadsheet for every month and track expenses.
    2. Use 7-11 or any fuel app to lock in cheapest fuel price.
  • +1 vote

    I just make a point of getting the best possible price for just about any product I consume whether it be utilities, food, holidays or other goods. Most people I know don't go to the effort and just buy something when they want it without thinking about it.

    An example might be having mates over for beers, I'm happy to drink whatever is on promo while most will just choose what they want no matter what the price is, passive consumer behavior.

    Another example might be checking to see if there is a discount code before going out to dinner ie: the fork or eat club. I'm happy to eat at a restaurant that offers a discount.. I find that I am definitely in the minority amongst my family and friends doing this.

    I don't feel I miss out on anything because I enjoy the thrill of getting something at a better price.

    This has served me well in life and I believe this mentality has saved me 100s of thousands throughout my life.

  •  

    i only check for a deal if there's something i need. otherwise you just buying life for someone else game.

  •  

    Best change for me in last 12 months was to sign up for YNAB and do all their online training sessions. Really worked wonders for me. The best benefit was the mindset shift and creating a sense of scarcity regarding money.

  • +1 vote

    I work overtime when I get the chance.

    I use 1money to keep track of every recurring expense and add in temporary ones when I become aware of them. I have allocated a spending budget each fortnight that I can use for anything else. This allows me to see exactly how much my outgoings are every pay, I cut out (most) unnecessary items when I was adding in all of my expenses. I can also look ahead and see how every fortnight looks. It was really helpful in determining how much goes into each bucket. Obviously bills are just an estimate and I slightly overestimate.

    I salary sacrifice the maximum amount I'm comfortable with into super for the FHSSS. I'm not on $150k-$200k like the rest of Ozbargain and it's just me so this is about $12k/year.

    The next part of my pay goes towards my fortnightly spend. From that there's my spending money which I transfer to a different account. I then transfer any money for bills and recurring expenses into the account I have for those to come out of. Anything leftover goes into an account which is for fortnights with bigger expenses.

    The rest goes into savings. With my normal pay this is actually a relatively small amount, but any overtime goes in there as well. It's all automatic, so I don't really feel it. I will often top it up with money from the extra bills account to a round number as it helps me to not touch it.

    As intended, at the end of the financial year I dumped another $3k into super for the FHSSS to max out the $15k I can put in to withdraw as a deposit. I'll claim that as a tax deduction and put my refund into savings. The rest stays in savings to add to my deposit.

    I'm pretty bad with money and I'm sure other people on my income could do better, but overall I'm happy with how it's going and it's the first setup that's really worked for me. If I'm honest, I sometimes go a little over my spending budget and it's definitely because of wants not needs, but it's about a third of what it was and I've only done it when I could justify it as a reward for doing a lot of overtime, about 10-20% of the overtime.

  • +12 votes

    Sold one of my kids (the ugly one). Instant savings of a million bucks over 20 years.

  •  

    unplug ya appliances when you arent using them.

  • +2 votes

    Second hand Camry, my 20 year old one, only now do I have to replace front struts, second timing belt. Haven’t made a car payment since 2008.

    • +1 vote

      My dad also holds onto cars for a long time. He has an almost 17 year old Holden Astra wagon, allegedly a lemon, yet 300,000km it is still going by following the log book and buying parts from European eBay sites it outlasted two of my Mazdas serviced only at the Mazda dealership.

      My dad even tows his little boat with it.

  •  

    I have worked out what I need and watch those items on Amazon (Like toothpaste, TP, Body soap) and buy them on special. Also some items, like shampoo are cheaper to buy at the reject shop. I also go to Woolworths late night and buy cheap meat and freeze it and actively have a meal plan. I also do bulk cooking, to save on energy

  •  

    We cook most of our meals.
    Take away when is on special but we try no more than once a week
    Just installed solar panels (hopefully we will recoup cost in 3 years).
    We change mortgage every 1-2 years
    We use a credit card (anz) and always use that and with points it evens out the cost of the card (with free international transaction and travel insurance)
    Buy Woolworths gift card when we shop there and try to use the 10% once a month.
    Buy meat on special or from Aldi.
    We shop around for car insurance

    Our life is very comfortable and I buy pretty much anything I need/like. We don’t drink excessively and don’t smoke and that saves a lot. Our biggest cost is the kids, with school fees and two lots of braces and all the rest.

  •  

    Using heated throw rugs & electric blankets instead of heater mades a big difference in heating cost.this was something I read on ozbargain a few years back.

    Also, growing own veges and buying unprocessed food saves money. The only con is time but food taste better and probably had less salt and sugar etc.

    Riding bike & using public transport where possible is good for fitness and I saving on gym costs.

    Churning introductory offers on Sim cards
    with large data packs instead of signing up to nbn.

  •  

    Bring my own lunch to work

    Go for runs / exercise at home instead of gym.

    Low super mgt fees, low mortgage finance rate, shop around for car, home and health insurance at renewal time

    Hold car for a long time

    Salary sacrifice into super

    Invest

    Buy quality things that last

  • +1 vote

    Ozbargain doesn't save you a dime habibi

  •  

    7-11 fuel hack

    •  

      Is there any credit check involved?

    •  

      how do you do it?

  •  

    Tl;dr save your money first when you get it then spend what's left over.

  •  

    Since the lockdown I also started doing surveys on app like AttaPoll. Survey length is somewhere 1-25mins, and pay $0.05-$1.2. Not a lot of money but it adds up. I made $50 in 1.5 month. Plus it's not hard at all, and easily done multitasking (while watching Netflix, for example).

    *I am not affiliated with AttaPoll. There are other market research agencies out there so do your own research.

  •  
    • Clean out your house. You'd find something useful that you can now reuse. Or you can sell them.
    • Sticking to a budget can as simple as just putting an amount in a transactional account and stash away the rest into a saving account in a different bank. If you are lazy, start with this before going into every item in your purchase history.
    • (If you have solar panel) Use higher power-consuming electronics in the morning when there is bright sunlight
    • Shop around. You honestly have no excuse not to when Google is literally a click away.
    • Only use cash when going out. Leave limited cash in your wallet.
    • Free activities to do when catching up with friends - go for a walk, picnic, coffee at home etc. (only when it's safe to do so due to COVID).
    • Embrace the Ozbargain identity in your social circle. Then people will know not to organise anything expensive, or they will go to you for bargain hunting.
  •  

    28 degrees price protection for me has paid for itself multiple times over..

    •  

      how do we sign up for that?

      •  

        Sign up for 28 degrees cc - though iirc citibank is actually the ozbargain fav now.

  • +7 votes

    my personal experience is, you can bargain shop all you want, change services for cheaper ones etc.. thats all good.
    but the thing that makes the most change is NOT TO BUY STUFF.

    when you think about buying XX, dont.. have a think about it.
    do you really need it? is that new iphone going to give YOU a better quality of life comparing to your current one? regardless of what the advertising says.

    We're fully bombarded with BUY BUY BUY messages, claiming things improve your life in one way or the other.. pictures and videos of happy people with their purchases.

    In reality you just get a small dopamine rush with a new purchase, that lasts a little, then you need another one.. it's like a drug.

    when you realise you need way less stuff that you have, and actually more stuff makes your life more difficult, it's a freeing experience.

    then you just need to make sure you don't fall into the traps, avoid watching commercials of any kind. don't watch live TV, use an ad-block on your computer, block all that shit that wants to convince you to endlessly consume.

    just keep that in mind, and you'll easily get ahead of the rat race.

    PS: Pro move, with the new money, invest wisely, get FU money, and retire early..

  •  
    • Never bring your own lunch to work - Always eat the catered lunch provided at work.
    • Use work showers if possible.
    • Take a dump at work if possible.
    • Take gym sessions provided at work.
    • Take advantage of the discounted gift cards from work.
    • Make the most of the salary sacrifice at work
    • Be nice to your manager so you can get free flights to your holiday destination under the guise of business.
    • Opt to use your own phone for business purposes so that work pays for your phone plan.
    •  

      What kind of employer gives you free food, showers and gyms?

      I'm clearly in the wrong field.

      •  

        gym owners.

      •  

        Tech companies, Telcos, Big4 firms, etc

      •  

        Tech. Great remuneration too.

      •  

        Some jobs require you to have showers between clients.Stop judging , was at poor and needed the money.