6 Money-Saving Hacks That Won’t Ruin Your Social (or General) Life

Creative ways to save money

With everything getting more expensive these days, we’re all for looking at ways to cut back on costs. But as for actually following through with said ways? That’s a different story — and, we’re definitely not alone in that.

“A common mistake people make is they look at their bills and can’t find any significant expense they can completely remove, and so they give up and feel hopeless about things improving,” says Natasha Janssens, a finance expert and founder of Women With Cents.

“The reality is that the secret to saving money lies in how quickly small changes here and there can quickly add up. We might dismiss saving a few dollars here and there, but if you do this consistently enough, it can add up to a noticeable amount.”

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These savings, she says, can then become further compounded when you apply them against debts like your mortgage or credit card bill, or, you can set them aside for the future through your super.

So, what are some ways we can save money that a) won’t ruin our social — or really, general — life, meaning that b) we’ll actually follow through on?

Create a Grocery List

Without a grocery list, it is easy for your eyes — or your stomach — to do the shopping and send you over budget, explains Janssens. Instead, make a meal plan for the week, and formulate a corresponding grocery list.

“While it can seem time-consuming, we are creatures of habit, which means you will often need the same items week in and out,” she says. “By putting in the time once to prepare a meal plan for two weeks that you can rotate, you will soon get into the rhythm of things.”

She also suggests taking advantage of online grocery shopping where you can, as it makes it easy to see your final bill and adjust it as you need. “You can also usually save these lists to reuse them next time, saving you more time on your shopping,” she says.

Save on Electricity

Another quick way to make a dent in your spending? Switching energy providers — if you’re able to. Janssens points out that the government actually has an energy provider comparison site to assist you.

“Other ways are to use cold water for your laundry, add a dry towel with your washing if you use a dryer, and invest in energy-efficient light bulbs and a home energy monitor, so you understand your usage and where you can cut back,” she says.

“Also, keep an eye on your heating and cooling as every extra degree warmer outside of 18-20 degrees can add 10% to your heating bill.”

Revisit Your Subscriptions

Next up is taking a look at your bank statements to check for any recurring direct debits for subscriptions, like Spotify or Netflix. Janssens suggests noting them all down alongside their monthly cost, and then considering how often you use each service.

“Cancel anything that you are not getting regular use out of or that is more of a ‘nice to have’ than an essential,” she says.

Be Strategic With Socialising

When it comes to socialising, see where you can swap things out, Janssens says. For example, change catching up over brunch to it being over coffee or, better yet, a walk, instead.

“Another idea is introducing pre-dinner drinks at home,” she says. “Remember that keeping social is more about the company you keep than about the activity.”

Weigh Up Your Priorities on Holiday

Finally, to tackle holidays, Janssens suggests taking a look at what’s most important to you on your next trip — whether it’s food, transport or accommodation.

“Are you a foodie?” she says. “Then you may prefer to have a more local experience and put the savings you make on travel and accommodation towards trying something new.”

Alternatively, if your main priority is to have a change of scenery, then plan your trip so that you can prepare your own food while you are away, she says. When booking flights or accommodation, make sure to check rates at different times of the day and on weekends as rates can often change.”

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