27 tips to save a small fortune this Summer
Tuesday, 08 December 2015
Posted by Roisin Kelly-Goldsmith
Whether you have Summer plans of island hopping in exotic locations or kicking back at home on a staycation, chances are you’d still like a little extra money in your hip pocket. Read on, as we’ve got 27 nifty ways you can save big this Summer.
Saving wisdom for holidayers
- 1. Save on airport parking.
- You book your holidays in advance, so why not do the same with airport parking? Say you’re leaving from Melbourne airport to fly overseas. The drive up price for two week parking in December costs $339. But book on the official website before the day and you pay only $189. That’s a $150 saving!
2. Don’t buy foreign exchange at the airport.
- You’ll never get the best exchange rate at the airport. If you want foreign cash, order it online so you can check and compare first.
- 3. Bundle your attraction tickets and book online.
- If you’re one of the 740,000 Australians who visited a theme park last holiday, take note. A quick search online can save you around $10 per day pass or bundle pass at the Gold Coast attractions. ExperienceOz and Scoopon regularly have online tickets cheaper than the official website. Check with your car or health insurance provider too, because RACV and Australian Unity are just a couple of places that sell discounted theme park tickets for their members.
- 4. Eat like a local.
- Ditch the $30 breakfast buffet and head to the local markets to feast on fresh produce. Better to save $25 bucks on that exotic durian fruit and matcha tea.
- 5. Shop around for travel insurance.
- Taking out an annual multi trip policy for a family with Qantas costs $675, but a quick search using Mozo’s insurance tool shows the cheapest annual multi trip policy with unlimited medical or hospital cover costs just $359. Just remember to check the policy limits so that you’ll be covered for the things that matter most to you.
- 6. Maximise collecting rewards points.
- If you have a rewards credit card, use it for as many of your purchases as possible to bump up points. Just keep in mind before using your rewards cards abroad, that some cards charge international transaction fees.
- 7. Use rewards points you already have.
- Have you been saving your points over the year? It’s time to open those promotions emails once and for all to cash in, as remember rewards do expire!
- 8. Sign up for a rewards card.
- Summer is the most expensive season, so it’s the perfect time to sign up for a rewards card. Mozo’s rewards revealer tool will help you find the best one to suit your spending lifestyle.
- 9. Dodge overseas transaction fees.
- Overseas transactions fees can add hundreds of dollars on a three week trip. But not if you get your hands on the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard, which has no overseas transaction fees! Or instead, lock your dollars with a prepaid travel card.
- 10. Opt for a local sim card.
- A local sim means local rates, and getting one where you’re staying will only cost a couple of dollars. Plus, topping up each time you run out of phone credit will really help you stick to a budget.
- 11. Utilise cooking facilities where you can.
- If the accommodation has a microwave or BBQ, use them! Or, if you can’t part ways with eating out, try alternating nights. Your wallet and belly will thank you for it!
- 12. Use the cheapest form of transport.
- Don’t cab it back to your hotel in London after dinner out. The London Underground is going to get you back quicker anyway and save at least half of what your meal cost.
- 13. Take free tours.
- Just about anywhere, from regional country towns in Australia to the streets of Paris, are free walking tours. Ask the local Backpackers as tours will often leave from there, or visit the tourist information centre.
- 14. Zap off the power.
- Did you know that keeping your appliances on standby can account for 10% of your energy bill? According to the Australian government website, Your Energy Savings , switching all appliances to off while you’re away is going to save you dollars.
Penny pinching staycation tips
- 15. Be at one with nature.
- Staycation doesn’t have to spell staying at home. Schedule outdoor activities and day trips around national parks which require little more than the price of petrol and a packed lunch.
- 16. Tune out and save.
- Throw a tablecloth over your TV, and only use the internet for looking up things to do like details of that free exhibition you really wanted to see. You mightn’t have realised, but watching television churns up a lot of electricity, so this will help you slash dollars off your energy bill.
- 17. Substitute the air-con for a fan.
- Give the air con a rest too, and take out the retro fan you have sitting in the cupboard. Fans only cost 2-4 cents per hour according to this government website . Compare that to air-con which can cost up to 80 cents an hour!
- 18. Head to the beach.
- Not to brag or anything, but Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, which are free! So make the most of your precious staycation time and spend it exploring rock pools, in the surf, or on the sand with a good book.
- 19. Make the switch to a better energy provider.
- The best time to make financial decisions is when you have a clear head. So use your staycation to get savvy about your finances in 2016.
- 20. Refinance your home loan.
- Are you paying more than 3.94% interest on your home loan? Then forget loyalty and pay Mozo’s refinancing hub a visit.
- 21. Drop debt with a balance transfer card.
- If you’re in credit card debt, consider getting a balance transfer card. According to Mozo’s credit card debt calculator, you’ll cop $503 in interest and fees if you are paying $200 a month off a $3000 card debt. But switch to a balance transfer card like the St George Vertigo which has a 0% balance transfer rate for 18 months and $55 annual fee, you’ll save $448 in interest and fees. Just remember to pay it off in 18 months or you’ll have to pay 21.49% interest on the balance.
- 22. $10 movie tickets.
- Did you know you could get $10 movie tickets as an Optus, Telstra customer and cheap tickets as an Australian Unity customer? Don’t forget to bring microwaved popcorn in snaplock bags for the kids!
- 23. Backyard camp out with the kids.
- Can you think of a more nostalgic way to spend time with the kids? You can stargaze together and teach them the ropes of pitching a tent. And of course, you’ll be avoiding a day and night’s running cost of energy in the house!
- 24. Enjoy an interest-free Summer.
- If you want to live interest-free this Summer, check out deals like the Virgin Money Australia Velocity Flyer Card which has a 0% purchase rate for the first 12 months, and the Coles Low Rate Mastercard with a 0% purchase rate for 15 months. Just remember to make the minimum monthly repayments on time.
- 25. Treat yourself to coupons.
- Why pay $80 for a massage when there’s an offer on Groupon for only $39? Keep websites like Groupon and Living Social in your sights before paying full price again this Summer.
- 26. Get creative in the kitchen.
- Forget Spring cleaning, Summer is just as good a time to clear out the pantry. Let a pantry clear-out inspire your cooking choices, and save on the grocery bill. You could save $157 from your pantry alone by being a frugal foodie for a week.
- 27. Declutter your home.
- Create an ideal environment for your staycation by decluttering your home. This will help you to stop and reconsider that Ikea trip. And you might even find a bunch of things to sell on Gumtree.
Voila! You made it to the end of the list. Now it’s your turn. Do you have some savvy saving tips you’d like to share? Leave your answers in the comments below.