Saving money is HARD. Tired of that cash-strapped feeling? With these smart money-saving hacks you’ll soon be stretching your hard earned dollar further!
Sometimes you’ve got to get creative to save money. If you save $5 or $50, it’s something extra for your
next pair of shoes savings account.
And it really doesn’t matter if you’re saving for something very grown up, like the deposit on a house/car, saving for a family holiday or just stashing the cash for a rainy day. Having a healthy savings account gives you peace of mind.
31 Smart money-saving hacks and tips
1. Save on baby bathtime
Save on buying a baby bath by giving baby a wash in the kitchen sink. Don’t feel like doing the dishes to free up the sink? For older babies, a laundry basket (one without holes in the sides, of course) in the family bathtub to confine a slippery baby (and all the bath toys) is an awesome money-saving hack! You’re welcome!
2. Make your own baby wipes. Yes, it’s a thing – and cheap as chips!
Wipes are wipes and boy, do babies use a lot of them. Save a motza by making your own baby wipes, Joy Ratima shows us how! You only need three ingredients: paper towels, natural body wash, and coconut oil. Simples!
3. Toilet training on the cheap
You don’t need a fancy pants mattress protector to protect your child’s mattress from bed wetting. Nup, a shower curtain pinned to the mattress will do the job just as well.
4. Make lunches at home
They can be a real chore, but making your kids’ (and your own!) lunches really does save money. The school canteen or tuck shop is a treat. Treat it like one!
5. You can create fun shiz at home for next to nix
You don’t need to drop a whole lot of cash on entertaining kids, especially young ones! Make your own play dough, paint, slime, get busy building bed sheet and box forts or just bake and decorate some biscuits (prepare for LOTS of icing).
6. Don’t hold Kardashian-style parties
Remember the time before Pinterest and the ‘gram, when a party was a bowl of Cheezels and a game of pass the parcel? DO THAT. So much money is wasted in buying OTT decorations and setting themes, save a heap by sticking to the basics and concentrating on FUN.
7. Save for pesky teenager things EARLY (and super easily)
Teenagers can cost a bomb to keep. School fees, sports registration fees, social commitments, driving lessons – all of that fun stuff adds up. BUT If you put away just $10 a week from your babe’s first week, by the time you reach the magical 13th year you would’ve saved $6,760!
8. Shop all year for back to school
Treat back-to-school just like you do Christmas. Shop early for it and put it away for January. Lunch boxes on sale? Grab one! Somebody selling off their kid’s school blazer? Get on it!
9. Buy clothes a size bigger
For kids, that is, obvs. Buying kids’ clothes a size larger means they won’t grow out of them quite as fast AND they’ll withstand any unfortunate wash/clothes dryer shrinking mishaps. Hey, none of us are perfect!
10. Borrow all the baby furniture or find someone who is DONE
Setting up for your first baby can be rather scathing on the bank balance. Hit up anyone who has openly declared their last child as their DEFINITE last child – they’re generally always keen to rid themselves of baby items!
11. Buy unisex and save
Tempting as it is to go ALL OUT buying all the pink or all the blue for the kids’ ANYTHING. If you stick to a gender neutral colour, it can be handed down from sibling to sibling no matter their gender. True story.
12. Skip the baby food aisle at the shop
Seriously. We get it’s convenient but aye Karumba those small jars and pouches soon add up in the trolley! Make your own at home and freeze individual portions so you’ve always got something in a hurry.
13. Cut down on cleaning
The cleaning products, more specifically. Ever noticed how much cleaning gear costs at the supermarket? You can cut down on cleaning sprays and goods significantly by going the chemical-free route. Try diluted vinegar as a surface spray or test the powers of bicarbonate soda! Good for your bank balance and better for the planet.
14. Carpool karaoke
OK, we don’t blame you if you skip the karaoke, but definitely establish a carpool system with other parents. If you take turns of ferrying a carload of kids to and from school and after-school activities, you’ll save both money AND TIME. Sweet!
15. Don’t swipe – carry cash!
You’ll think more carefully about what you’re buying if you physically hand over cash to pay, rather than mindlessly swiping a card. Promise!
16. Stockpile non-perishable foods and items
Not quite doomsday prepping, but definitely take advantage of a great sale price on items you use regularly and store them for later use. Toilet paper, toiletries, cereal, muesli bars anything with a good shelf life are good to have on hand!
17. Girls day IN with wine, pots and pans. Did I say wine?
Set a regular cook day on the calendar to get together with a few girlfriends and cook up a storm. Plan what you’re going to cook, triple it and hit up Costco for bulk buy ingredients. Enjoy a day in the kitchen with friends and a wine or three, dividing up your tasty cooked dishes at the end between you. Buying in bulk IS CHEAP. Cooking with friends and wine IS FUN.
18. Shop at opportunity stores
After so many people spent January asking if their house contents sparked any joy, Marie Kondo style, you’ll be positively amazed at what might be being sold at amazing prices at your local opportunity shop.
19. Learn to say no (even if it’s hard)
One of the hardest money hacks to nail is learning to say “no”. Say no to going to Great Uncle Bruce’s birthday dinner, immediately save $100 on eating out. DO send a card from the kids though so he knows you’re thinking of him.
20. Your kid doesn’t have to do EVERYTHING
Also under the umbrella of saying no, say no to every whim your kids have. By choosing just one or two after-school activities and not four or five, you save not only money on fees, costumes, and uniforms but time and your sanity (you won’t have to face the rigmarole of getting them there!).
21. Share the babysitting
We all yearn for a night out without the kids, AM I RIGHT? Save money by NOT paying a babysitter, but by offering to babysit in exchange. Take it in turns with friends to babysit and you’ll be friends for a very long time. PLUS you’ll have more money in the pocket so can order dessert, guilt-free.
22. Hit unsubscribe in your inbox
Emails hitting your inbox with subject headers like SAVE! and SALE! lure you into stores to spend money. Hit unsubscribe to remove the temptation. Go you!
23. Childproof your house with household items
No need to spend up big on childproofing gadgetry! Put masking tape over power point outlets, tie hair ties around doorknobs and use split pool noodles on doors to prevent jamming fingers. Clever, easy and all under $10!
24. Cheap as chips bed bumpers
Not many cot-to-big-bed transitions happen without a few bumps in the night (aka, kids rolling off the bed). Tuck a couple of pool noodles up under the sheet to provide a bumper, shielding children from rolling out of bed. No expensive bed rail for you!
25. Never buy cards or wrapping paper again
If you have children, congratulations – you have in-house artists! A clever money-saving hack is to commission the kids to decorate cards and wrapping paper. Grandparents can’t ever get enough of that stuff and you’re saving a small fortune. #WINNING
26. Spend to save (in the long run)
Sometimes you have to spend money to save money. If you buy a bargain-priced washing machine for $200 but the door falls off after six months, you have it fixed and then it happens again a year later, it’s not really a bargain. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little extra for quality. Buy once and buy well.
27. Sign up for ALL the rewards programs
If you’re going to shop, you may as well earn something back in return. Many leading supermarkets have their own rewards programs and there’s a bunch of apps like ShopBack where they practically GIVE you money for shopping through them. As for privacy, who cares if someone is tracking how many tins of chickpeas you buy?
28. Save on gifts
Make your own gifts. You can bake, cook, put together a hamper box or even pot a plant for someone. It’s fun and EXTRA thoughtful! Hampers aren’t just for adults either, create a cute box of ice cream goodies for kids, they love it!
29. Avoid browsing and shopping
Groceries and necessities aside, just don’t go to the shops unless you really have to. We’ve all been to Kmart for ‘just a look’ and walked out $50 poorer.
30. Clear out your wardrobe
When you can’t find it, you’ll spend money to replace it. There’s more to culling the wardrobe than just creating space. You’ll avoid buying similar items of clothing when you can SEE what you already have. Anything you haven’t worn in six months (12 if feeling sentimental) list to sell on your local buy, sell, swap Facebook page or give to charity.
Have some sage with your advice…
31. Make bill paying less stressy
This isn’t a savings hack per se but it WILL (eventually) save you from scrambling to find money to pay big bills. Estimate your family bills for the year (from the vet visits to the whopper electricity bill) and divide the amount by the number of pays you get in a year. Direct debit that amount into a separate bank account and DON’T TOUCH IT (it might be a tight budget, but worth it). Once you have a nice stockpile in there, you can start paying bills with no worries!
Perhaps the biggest money-saving hack or tip of them all is to just not give up. Dollar by dollar, you’ll get there – just make sure you have a little bit of fun along the way to keep you motivated!