I’ll admit it, I’m a big spender. I regularly splash out on fashion threads (especially during sale season), dinners out, weekends away and overseas trips. But all this spending has got me thinking, surely I’m not the only person in Australia with a spending problem?
Well, according to Money Smart, each year Australians spend $78.4 billion on cars, $9.5 billion on gadgets, $8.0 billion on beauty and $5.1 billion on fashion. Phew, I’m not alone!
So if you’re like me and want to get a handle on your spending in 2016, check out the personalities below and take on the money savings tips that apply to you:
1. The apathetic consumer
Personality trait: Whether it’s purchasing a new TV, signing up to an energy provider or taking out a credit card, you agree to what is offered without blinking an eye. But being apathetic about what you sign up for could be costing you hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year.
Solution: Does asking for a better price at your local electronics store or giving your bank a buzz and haggling a better deal, send shivers down your spine? Well check out these strategies for overcoming this fear:
Price compare: Asking straight out for a lower price might not be the best strategy if haggling is already foreign to your spending personality. But if you conduct a little online home loan research to see if you can find the same product at a lower price, this will give you a better leg to stand on when negotiating.
Ask for student discounts: For all those students out there, make sure you check if there are any student discounts available when making a purchase or signing up to a product. For example, many banks will wipe the bank account keeping fee for students if you flash your student card in branch.
Call on a home loan negotiator: Or for bigger items like a home loan, you could even recruit the help of an expert in the field to do the hard work for you and haggle a better home loan deal on your behalf. Mozo has an in house negotiator that offers this service for free. All you need to do is fill in your details here.
2. The brand lover
Personality trait: When your favourite brand has released its latest fashion line, you just have to buy a piece or two to add to your wardrobe.
Solution: While we are not going to tell you to cut out your favourite brand completely, we are going to show you some thrifty ways to be a brand lover without the high price tag. Here are some of our favourite money saving techniques:
Shop at DFO outlets. Most areas in Australia have a Direct Factory Outlet (DFO), where you can go to pick up bargains from brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Sass & Bide and Oroton for up to 70% off the original price. For instance, I once bought a leather jacket from David Lawrence in Sydney’s DFO for just $140, that was originally marked at $500. That’s a saving of $360, which went towards the remainder of my shopping for the day!
Join a clothes swap. If you’ve already compiled a wardrobe full of designer apparel that you no longer wear, then consider swapping it with a stranger for an item you will wear on clothes exchange websites like The Clothing Exchange.
Hunt down coupons online. Before purchasing an item online, it’s worth conducting a quick Google search to see if there are any coupons available for the website you’re shopping at. You might be surprised to find the large number of coupons available, which can slash a significant chunk off the retail price. All you need to do is copy the coupon code and paste it in the coupon section at the checkout. Too easy!
3. The impulse buyer
Personality trait: It might be the latest Macbook Air, the top of the range GoPro or even the new Toyota 86 but whatever it is, if something catches your eye, you’ve got to have it.
Solution: Before you jump the gun and purchase an item, consider these strategies that are a must for the impulse purchaser:
Wait 30 days. Save yourself from buyer’s regret, by putting impulse purchases on hold for a month and then if you still really want it, then go for it. That way the purchase is no longer an impulse buy and you’ve really considered whether you actually need it.
Consider the ongoing costs. Most things these days come with ongoing costs. For instance, the dream car you want to buy, might leave a massive dent in your wallet when the monthly repayments, interest and ongoing fees of taking out a car loan are added to the equation. To get an idea of how much you might be up for if you took out a personal loan to fund your new wheels, use our personal loan repayments calculator here.
Calculate how many hours you worked for that item. Most of us probably don’t connect the hours we work with the purchases we make. But here’s something to think about. Say you earn $20 an hour and purchase a car worth $30,000. You will have to work 1500 hours to repay the cost and that’s not even factoring in the extra charges, which come with taking out a car loan that we mentioned above!
4. The sale seeker
Personality trait: Whether it’s a “2 for 1” deal or “a further 50% off all sale stock”, nothing entices you more than a sale sticker.
Solution: If you’re anything like me and impulse buying when you see a sale is a must, take a moment to read the below tips to ensure you’re buying sale items that you actually need and won’t end up collecting dust at the back of your closet.
Create a list before you hit the shops. There’s nothing wrong with hunting down a bargain, in fact it’s a thrifty trait to have. But that bargain, only remains a bargain if you actually need it. So write up a list of the items you need and stick to it.
Read the fine print. Does your inbox get filled on a daily basis with sale offers from travel websites? Before you get excited by an unbelievably cheap trip to the Bahamas, make sure you check what’s actually included, so you’re not hit with an unfriendly surprise like a super long stop over because you went for that “super sale”.
Compare other deals. Even if something is being advertised as a great deal, chances are you can find an even cheaper deal online. So before you jump on that sale item or service make sure you conduct an online comparison to ensure it’s actually the best and not just clever marketing.
Even if you only take on a few of these money saving strategies, you’re bound to save yourself some serious coin. And where will you park this extra cash? In a high interest savings account of course! Check out the deals below: