The end of the year is known for spoiling loved ones with gifts and great food and treating yourself. So how can you have a great time and still ensure you’re putting those funds aside for your future deposit? Here are some quick tips and tricks that really add up.
It’s not just for the school kids armed with macaroni and glue. Getting creative with gifts can not only be more cost effective, they can actually end up being the most cherished gifts. Instead of lining up in packed stores and spending more than you can afford, give the gift of time and spend a couple of days creating some handmade presents they’ll love. These can incredibly personal, such as scrapbooks or fun little thank you gifts that add to an occasion like homemade cookies.
Spend less on bills
How long has it been since you’ve changed bill providers? Whether it’s for your phone, electricity or even the internet, sometimes it really pays to make the switch to a new plan in the New Year. Providers are eager for your business and will often offer special deals and new plans to remain competitive in the market. Take advantage of those better deals and switch over some of your bills. Of course, this works best if you don’t have a contract or you’ve waited until the contract is up to avoid any fees that will eat into any savings you’d make.
Go back to the basics
Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive. During the holidays, take advantage of the many attractions and activities that are available for free. Head on a new hiking trail, have a beach day, visit friends you haven’t seen in a while. Set up a backyard campout for the kids or plan a picnic. We’ve listed five days of activities that will probably cost you less than one trip to the movies – let’s be honest, those popcorn combos are a killer on the back pocket but we can never say no.
Get a clear visual
The phrase ‘out of sight out of mind’ can really apply to our spending. Those tap to pay purchases seem convenient, but when you’re not physically seeing the money leave your wallet it can be easy to forget how much you’ve spent in a week. Getting a visual representation of your costs can make a big difference. You’ll not only identify some habits, but you’ll be able to plan better for future spending. Getting a visual can happen in a few ways:
- Take out money at an ATM and pay with cash
- Check your bank app each week and assess your habits
- Use an online budgeting tool or spreadsheet
Set a goal
Saving with no end in sight can be a little demotivating. Have a clear goal you’d like to achieve and break this down into smaller goals each month. Have a chat with a lender or use some online tools to see how much of a deposit you’ll need for the type of property you want. Then break that down into monthly savings goals. These goals can be in equal increments, or learn to improve your saving skills over time by slowly increasing your goal to achieve each month.
Good luck thrifty spenders!
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