At the beginning of 2016, I like many Aussies made a long list of New Year’s resolutions. Yep I promised myself that I would give up my bad habits, including the monthly shopping sprees and takeaway lunches, and pull myself together to be a financially fit individual.
While this month I’m partaking in Junk Free June in my attempt to ditch some of my bad food habits, I’m still a long way from putting a plug in all the other money drains that are costing me hundreds (and the EOFY sales is definitely not helping!).
Apparently I’m not alone, as a recent Mozo survey found Australian adults as a whole are spending a whopping $144 billion a year on lifestyle costs, including fashion, cigarettes and dining out.
Thankfully the New Financial Year is just around the corner, making it the perfect time to ditch any bad habits with a few simple strategies…
1. Buy fashion the smart way
Okay, as a fellow fashion lover I’m not going to tell you to farewell new threads completely. But with clothes and shoes costing Aussies $23.3 billion each year, there’s no denying fashion tops list as the biggest money drain. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can reduce this cost, by attending clothes swaps in your area, shopping from second hand stores and even renting outfits from online stores like herwardrobe.com.au. For more tips on saving on fashion, check out our Thrifty Threads section here.
2. Give up the smokes
Coming in at number two, cigarettes alone are costing smokers a whopping $14.5 billion a year, which is even more alarming when you consider only 1 in 5 Aussie adults actually smoke. So if smoking is one of your bad habits, make the new financial year the time you give it up – you’ll not only feel healthier for it, but can put that money to better use and potentially end the year on a money high.
3. Become a MasterChef
Dining out at restaurants ($11.4 billion) and purchasing takeaway ($9.2 billion) is collectively costing Aussies around $20 billion. That’s a huge figure, which can easily be brought down by putting your MasterChef skills to good use and cooking up a healthier version of your favourite Pad Thai at home. Of course, eating out doesn’t have to be taken off the table completely, instead make a budget for the month that you’ll put towards wining and dining that you won’t go over.
4. Give Dry July a go
Speaking of wining, the survey of bad habits also revealed that alongside eating out, Aussies love to have a schooner or two – in fact the country is guzzling down $5 billion a year. If giving up alcohol completely is too much for you, try giving Dry July a go. When I did the challenge last year, I pocketed an extra $200 that month and felt better for it.
5. Ditch plastic bottles
Here’s something that really is an eye opener – Australians are spending $1.9 billion on bottled water a year (bottled water, seriously!). When you consider BPA free water bottles can be bought for a little under $20, putting a plug in this money drain really is a no brainer.
Even if you take on one or two of these strategies, that’s potentially hundreds more in your hip pocket, that you could spend on the better things in life – your end of year holiday perhaps?
Wondering how much your bad habits are costing you? Have a play with our vice calculator here!