August is nearly here, which means the year is quickly slipping by and Christmas will soon be upon us.
If your bank balance is looking a little worse for wear due to everything from your EOFY shopping frenzy to mid year break, try these thrifty tricks for a merry old Christmas 2015.
1. Give up a vice – Potential savings $200
Over July I’ve been partaking in the fundraising event Dry July and when I do the maths I’ve easily saved $200 by going booze free and saying goodbye to my Thursday night red, Friday night work drinks and Saturday night wining and dining. So have a think about your vices, whether it be smoking or junk food and consider giving it the flick over August. Use our vice calculator to see how much you could save.
2. Buy a BPA-free reusable water bottle – Potential savings $143.05
Have you ever thought about how many plastic water bottles you buy a week? Say you purchase four bottles weekly, at around $2 a pop over the next four and a half months in the lead up to Christmas that’s $168. So if you don’t have one, invest in a reusable bottle free of the chemical BPA (bisphenol-a) that can be bought from as little as $24.95 to help your health, wallet and of course the environment.
$168 – $24.95 = $143.05
3. Pre order your coffee – Potential savings $180
Who doesn’t love technology? These days you can do everything from make cardless cash withdrawals to check your bank balance with your smartwatch. A new app that is not only time efficient but wallet friendly is Beat The Q, which as the name suggests allows you to place your order on your smartphone and by the time you arrive at the cafe your coffee is made and you’ve skipped the queue.
Another benefit is the savings. For instance, at my local cafe a latte drops from $3.20 to $2 when you order through the app, which is a saving of $1.20 per coffee.
Let’s do the maths: 150 days left until Santa slides down the chimney x $1.20 = $180 saving.
4. Say goodbye to bank fees – Potential savings $20
If you’re still getting charged a $5 bank account keeping fee, it’s time to ditch that nasty fee for good by switching to a fee free bank account. And you shouldn’t have a problem finding one either, as there are currently 41 unconditional bank accounts that don’t charge an account keeping fee in our database at the moment. Over four months, that’s an easy saving of $20.
5. Take advantage of bank freebie offers – Potential savings $80
While you’re at it consider signing up with a bank account like ING DIRECT’s Orange Everyday that’s not only free of account keeping fees but will also give you free ATM withdrawals anywhere in Australia and 2% cash back every time you pay with “tap and go” at the checkout, as long as you deposit $1,000 each month (AKA your salary).
Say you spend $1,000 using payWave, over a month you’ll receive $20 cashback and by the time Christmas rolls around you’ll have $80 extra in your piggy bank.
6. Ditch the gym membership – Potential savings $337.5
Did you join up with a gym motivated to kick start your fitness journey but the months have gone by and you’re still yet to make your second visit?
According to findings by Suncorp Bank earlier in the year, the average Australian is spending close to $1,000, or $75 a month on fitness activities. So if you’re not using your gym membership, put your hard earned cash towards your Christmas savings.
Maths time: $75 a month x 4 and a half months = $337.5
7. Compare travel insurance deals – Potential savings $112
If you’re planning on jetsetting overseas during the Christmas break, make sure you land yourself a competitive travel insurance deal. For instance, our travel insurance comparison tool shows if you’re travelling to Bali for the first week of December, there’s a difference of $112 between the cheapest and most expensive basic cover in our database.
Total potential savings: $1072.55
As you can see all it takes to save $1,000 by Christmas, is to make a few small changes to your lifestyle. How will you plump up your account by December?