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1.Write a realistic budget and stick to it Use apps like mindmymoney to help monitor where your money is going. Don't make your budget so tight that it feels impossible to stick to and your constant failures to keep in line with it leaving you feeling unmotivated to keep trying. Allow yourself some play money.
2. Keep open communication with your partner about your finances If you are on the same page, you are going to succeed.
3. Curb impulsive spending Knowing the things you can and can't live without is a great way of saving yourself money. If you want something consider the 30 day rule. If you see something you think you need, don't buy it for 30 days. If you still desperately want it thirty days down the track then it's probably something worth purchasing rather than just being an impulsive spend.
4. Separate wants from needs Have a look at your lifestyle to see if you are either living beyond your means or maybe overcompensating. You might have a fuel guzzling car for no particular reason, a gym membership you only make use of twice a week or a collection of shoes that you never get to wear. Could you reduce or downsize what you have? Do you really need these things or are you trying to keep up with the Kardashians?
5. Embrace minimalism Not only will you save money from cutting back on "stuff", minimalism can help you become more organised. With less clutter means less to clean and less stress. Less stress mean less need to impulse buy for gratification! You will also have a much clearer picture of what you do have and will prevent you doubling up on anything.
6. Take another look at your providers. Getting a better deal from your providers such as private health or electricity can save you serious dollars over a year but it also might be a way to free up $10 plus per month in repayments. Refinancing your loans could also save you thousands in interest repayments.
7. Look at what is in the cupboards and pantry before shopping Take stock of what you have in the cupboard. Try to create meals out of what is already there rather than heading to the shops. Check out Supercook where you can input your ingredients for it to spit back a recipe. In one word-brilliant.
8. Get comfortable saying no once in a while The best way to not spend is to not open yourself up to temptation. Friday night drinks, meals out or parties where you need to buy presents. It all adds up. Saying no to a few things frees up a bit more money for you
9. Pay yourself as if you were a bill Unless you specifically designate some money towards savings it can easily get put into something else. Putting aside a particular amount of money each pay means that no matter what, you are always adding to your personal savings. If it's easier set up a direct debit to a separate account to help with the "out of sight out of mind" savings concept.
10. Pay down your debt whenever, wherever you can If you have any sort of debt it will hover around like a bad smell. It limits any sort of refinancing or future financial progression. For instance if you have a car loan or credit card debt, it might limit your borrowing power for a house. Utilising any lump sums of money you might get such as a tax return to pay down debt is smart. Another way is to add just a little bit more than the minimum repayment which can assist in taking months and sometimes years off your loan amount.
11. Take advantage of free money There are opportunities to get free money everywhere. Whether it be cash back offers on products, free trials or the government matching a super contribution, you should be taking advantage of it. Sometimes you can get a few months free by taking up a product such as health insurance or get 50% off your power for three months by switching companies. Keep your eyes open.