Looking for a simple and quick solution to boost your bank balance?
There are plenty of people broadcasting tips and tricks on how to save money but when you get down to the nitty gritty, they’re long term and aren’t saving you any cash RIGHT NOW.
But if you need real cash fast, here are seven ways to save in seven days.
Sunday: Get Your Cook On
It might be the end of the week, but it’s the start of your savings plan. And it’s time to get your cook on!
Whip up a staple pasta dish or similar that you can eat for lunches for your week of work or study.
One of my favourites is cooking pasta with a tomato sauce and then adding different meat each day (usually dinner leftovers!). One day it could be pasta with some steak, then tuna.
Savings: With the average lunch and drink combo in the city costing around $15, the savings could easily stack up to $75 over five days.
Monday: Exercise and Save
This plan is about saving real cash, straight off the bat. So if you can, commit to walking or cycling to work every day this week.
Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be getting in an extra bit of exercise and kick starting your day in the right way.
The average commute costs about $4 to $5 each way so by getting your stride on, you could be saving up to $50.
If you live a bit too far away and you’re not quite Lance Armstrong, you can always ask around at work to see if any of your colleagues who live nearby drive in. Carpooling is good for the environment and for your pocket.
Savings: The average commute costs about $4-5 each way, so by getting your stride on, you could be saving up to $50.
Tuesday: Boring (But Effective) Budgets
Tuesday means it’s time to get your plan on and work out a budget. You know, that thing you’ve been putting off since forever?
After working out how much you spend on the essentials like rent, food, bills, and booze (let’s be honest here), and giving yourself a reasonable entertainment budget so you don’t go crazy, commit to put any leftover money into a savings account.
Don’t have any leftover money? Maybe cut that entertainment or booze budget down until you do.
And if you’re worried that you don’t have the will power or elephantine memory to top up your savings each pay cheque, set up an automatic payment plan into a separate account with a high interest rate every time you get paid. This means you HAVE to put aside money. You’ll thank yourself later.
Savings: Potentially hundreds of dollar-dollar bills y’all! But ‘finding’ an extra $50 is pretty achievable for most people.
Wednesday: Slash the Subscriptions
Have a gander at your statements and review any monthly subscriptions you’re signed up to.
Signed up to a gym that you never seem to find the time to actually go to? Summer’s coming; so why not cancel that membership and run around the park or swim in the sea instead of paying good money to not lift heavy stuff.
Love Netflix? Chances are one of your friends or your parents do too, so flash your puppy eyes and pout, steal their password and cancel your own account.
And do you really need to upgrade to the new iPhone and lock in a more expensive contract for another two years?
Probably not, if you’re honest. And future you will seriously appreciate the extra cash.
Savings: $20 (average gym membership) + $9 (Netflix) + $20 (sticking to your current phone contract, or switching to prepaid) = $49
Thursday: A Big Night In
Instead of your weekly trip to the cinema or that latest foodie hotspot, get your friends over for a movie night or a potluck dinner.
Yeah, you might not watch the latest Tom Hardy flick (unless one of your mates is a naughty torrenter… tsk tsk), but it’ll save you forking out $20 for the privilege of sitting in sticky seats and eating rubbish popcorn.
Plus, a potluck dinner means you get to sample the wonderful cooking talents of your mates, and there’s bound to be leftovers. Cha-ching!
Savings: $30 at least.
Friday: Drink Before You Go Out Drinking
Hitting up the clubs? Pre-drinking and a hip flask or wine rack bra are a total must.
Ain’t no body got time for a $15 watered down vodka and cranberry dressed up as a ‘cocktail’.
I also find that stashing a cereal bar in your bag or even a note to yourself saying ‘YOU HAVE PIZZA AT HOME! STAY AWAY FROM DOMINOES!’ will prevent your inebriated self from handing over precious cash for greasy goodness at the end of a night.
Savings: $30 (3 drinks) + $15 (post-club dining) = $45. Minimum.
Saturday: I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags
Instead of going out and buying a whole new summer wardrobe on the weekend, try and work with what you’ve already got.
That stiff, old work dress you’ve had hanging around could be totally revamped if you chopped off those sleeves, shortened the skirt and maybe changed the neckline. Lads, any worn old pair of jeans or chinos could be changed into shorts, no worries. Crap at sewing?
Ask a talented mate or, if you’re desperate, your mum, to lend a hand.
If you’re lacking inspiration, just head over to a charity shop, garage sale or friend’s overflowing wardrobe and you can pick up some great new pieces for next to nothing.
Savings: $50 (a new dress or shirt).
At the end of your week of willpower and saving, you could easily have an extra $349 sitting in your bank account if you follow these tips to the letter. And it probably wasn’t even that hard. Good on you!