Thursday, 7 January 2016

400+ ways on How to save money


Fundamental ways to save money
  1. Change your mindset
Change your mindset, Change your life.” Unknown
    1. Believe that you can save money
    2. Decide (just decide) that you save money
    3. Believe that shopping won’t make you any happier
    4. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, the grass next door is not always greener
    5. Stop believing that you must impress people whose opinion does not matter with worldly material objects
    6. Create and follow a plan that make you save money
    7. Have a solid reason to save money - your burning desire
    8. Have discipline and grit to stick to your goal
    9. Adopt the money smart mindset.
    10. Understand money management
    11. Be financially literate.
    12. Read the richest man in babylon.

Ultimately,
    1. Be happy - feel happy that you are actually saving money
    2. Don’t be burdened by the sacrifices that you are making
    3. Focus at the end goal

Practical ways to save money right now
  1. Limit the amount of money  you put in your wallet or transaction account. Less money, less temptation to spend. This means, more savings.
  2. Don’t carry credit card. Again this will limit temptation to spend, which means more savings.
  3. Set a daily allowance and stick to it.
  4. And write down your daily allowance on your daily calendar, in bold, at the top because there is a study that suggests that writing down goals increases your probability to achieve your goal.
  5. Surround yourself with the right people - those who are good with money.
There is a saying, “You are the 5 people you spend your most time with."
  1. Stop shopping.
  2. Stop keeping up with the joneses. The grass isn’t always greener next door.
  3. Change your mindset. Because before any real change can happen, you must change your mindset first.
  4. Follow the millionaire next door lifestyle.
  5. Before you buy anything,
    1. think if you need it or you want it?
    2. think if you can use something else you already have, instead of buying new item..
    3. if you aren’t sure, sleep on it.
  6. Avoid unnecessary expenses such as:
    1. Parking fees.
    2. Speeding fines.
    3. Red light fines.
    4. Take outs (take away) meals, out of laziness or disorganization.
    5. Take out (take away) coffee.
  7. Cancel your gym membership
  8. Cancel your cable subscription
  9. Cancel your magazine and newspaper subscription
  10. Start walking and/or cycling more to uni or to work, use less car and/or less public transport
  11. Make full use of what you already have
  12. Stop going to the bar to get wasted
  13. Pack your own meals and snacks to work or uni
  14. Pay Credit Card bill in full every month.
  15. If you pay credit card a little late (1-2 days late), call and ask for the interest to be waived. Don’t do this too often, they don’t like it.
  16. Sell your unwanted items
  17. Pay off consumer debt (credit card debt, personal loans, car loans, non Australian student loans) A.S.A.P
  18. Do not accumulate any loans - credit card loans, car loans, personal loans, etc.
  19. Do not use loans and/or credit to buy anything (travel or holiday, car, clothes, etc)
  20. Take a full advantage of 0.00% finance to buy something.
THe money you leave untouched in the savings account will make you more money than paying things outright.
  1. Pay bills on time.
  2. Don’t get late fees
  3. Consolidate any consumer debt into mortgage, if possible
  4. If you have a tax debt with the Tax Office, you may want to consider to use personal loan (or any other loan) that has lower interest rate than the Tax Office’s rate. Check their rates at www.ato.gov.au
  5. Pay mortgage weekly. You’ll pay it off quicker.
  6. Refinance into a mortgage with lower rate, when the interest rate is declining.
  7. Fix your mortgage rate if interest rate is at (seemingly) the lowest. At the current low cash rates (worldwide) climate, fix your mortgage rate.
Don’t fix it for 10 years though!
  1. Utilize all of your entitlements from your employer by
    1. how many days of paid/unpaid sick leave, carer’s leave that you have?
    2. any other paid leave/off day that you have?
    3. can you get time in lieu for working extra?
    4. can you get bonuses for working in the weekend and after hours?
    5. do you get to accumulate time in lieu?
    6. an you use your accumulated time in lieu to go on holiday?
    7. can you get extra money by being a fire warden, first aid office, translat0r, buddy or mentor, etc?
    8. can you cash out your accumulated annual leave
    9. can you get discount on:
      1. buying tram/bus/train tickets
      2. on Private Health Insurance
      3. buying movie tickets, etc
  2. Do your companies have corporate programs where you can buy certain items at discounts, such as:
    1. Car,
    2. Private Health Insurance,
    3. Public Transport tickets,
    4. movie/theatre/ballet tickets
  3. Check if you can cash out your accrued annual leaves.
  4. Put the cashed out money into:
    1. mortgage account, and this will save money on the repayment
    2. savings account and earn more interest income
    3. portfolio (blue chip) and earn more dividend income and possibly higher capital increase
  5. Can you use your time in lieu for holiday, instead of annual leave. This way, you can cash out your saved up annual leave and put it into your offset account, mortgage account, saving account or shares portfolio.
  6. Do your company pay you if you are willing to take up extra paid duties such as being a translator, first aid, fire warden, et cetera.?
  7. Scrutinize your allowed benefits by asking your HR, colleagues and reading your company’s intranet thoroughly.
  8. Can you also salary sacrifice things such as
    1. Laptop,
    2. Mobile,
    3. Car,
    4. Superannuation
Note: buying your laptop or mobile or car or superannuation through salary sacrifice reduces your taxable income that means reduced tax which means increased savings.

How to Save Money on Tax

Fully utilize all tax deductible expenses and tax offsets available for you. Check the following tax deductible expenses and tax offsets.

Tax deductible expenses:
  1. Salary sacrificing superannuation contribution.
  2. Fully utilize superannuation co-contribution.
  3. If you operate your business from your rented home or home which you buy on mortgage, you can claim some tax deductions relating to conducting business at your rented home or your own(ed) house.
  4. Tax deductions in regards to your managing your own tax affairs.
  5. Tax deductions in regards to you working in your occupation,  such as uniform, sunscreen & sunglasses (for tradesperson),
  6. Donation to endorsed charities, keep the receipt and don’t forget to claim for deductions at the end of the year.
  7. If you are studying and working, don’t forget to claim your study related expenses.
  8. If you own Investment Property, don’t forget to claim all expenses relating to your Investment Property including depreciation expenses. Property in the first year can claim around $15,000 of depreciation expenses.
  9. You may be able to claim expenses on premium of Income Protection insurance that is paid not through your superannuation.
  10. Think through of all expenses that you  incur in order to gain income that could be deducted - check in ato.gov.au, because personal expenses are not deductible, however some are (sunscreen and sunglasses for tradesperson could be deductible)
  11. During the year, focus in tracking all of your expenses, if you are a salaried worker.
  1. Take a photo of the receipts
  2. Mail it to your email
  3. Lable it Income Tax Return FY20xx
  4. Save it into your Google Drive Folder Income Tax Return FY20xx
  5. Save it into your harddrive folder Income Tax Return FY20xx
  6. At the end of the financial year, you have all of your tax expenses ready to be lodged in the Tax Return.

Tax Offset
More general tax offsets that could be applicable to wider community. For more specific ones, check the ato website.
  1. Private Health Insurance tax offset
  2. Housekeeper tax offset
  3. Low income tax offset
  4. Medical tax offset

Note: tax offsets reduces your taxable income dollar to dollar. On the other hand, tax deductions only reduces your taxable income by your marginal tax rate. This means tax offsets reduces your tax more than tax deductible expenses.

Check for more by visiting the www.ato.gov.au.

One tip in tax:
  • it is in your advantage to be on the err side.
  • Ensure your claims (deductions and tax offsets) are backed up by invoices.
  • Because if you are found claiming wrongly, there could be penalties (up to 75%), penalty uplift (another 20% of tax shortfall + shortfall penalties) and interest charges (the interest charge is very high - much higher than normal loan rates.) applied to you.
  • So keep on the err side before claiming tax deductible expenses and tax offsets.
  • If you are unsure, call the ATO and seek advice and record it (get the receipt ID with time and date of the call), so that you have proof that you are following their advice.
  • If you hire a tax accountant, hire a good tax accountant and a compliant one. How?
    • Check for reviews online.
    • If they asked and asked and asked about your invoices, the reasons behind your claims of expenses, sight every single expense invoice, more than likely they might be a less bad tax accountant.

How to Save Money on Utilities
  1. If you work at home, in your Income Tax Return, you may be able to claim tax deductions on the cost of running the business from home (this may include utilities bill, check the tax office website for more information at www.ato.gov.au)
  2. Compare providers
  3. Have a good credit rating, you will have a greater bargaining power
  4. Ask for discount or better rates if you pay on time and if you have been a loyal customers
  5. Avoid late fees
  6. Ask for a price match
  7. If you have friends or relatives who work in the electricity/gas/water utility provider, ask them to give refer you to the sales time for any staff discount rates.
  8. Eliminate unnecessary cable, netflix, phone line, anything that is unnecessary.
  9. Invest in good curtains that can block heat in the summer and also can block cold in the winter.
  10. Install solar panel and feed that into the power line and earn money from your electricity provider
  11. Use energy efficient appliances and lights
  12. Use programmable thermostat - to keep AC temperature at energy efficient level.This will reduce your electricity bill.Set up a rainwater tank
  13. Use also water efficient and energy efficient washing machine and dishwasher
  14. Use water efficient shower head
  15. Have a good insulation
  16. Seal any gaps, don’t let precious cool air slip through the gap
  17. Clean the AC filter regularly. Don’t let it get cloaked up by dusts. Call out fee for AC technician costs some money.
  18. Use filter on drainage, don’t let drainage get clogged. Call out fees for plumbers costs a lot.
  19. Clean the dryer lint screen
  20. If you choose off peak/on peak arrangements, utilize the off peak hours to use high energy appliances, including washing dishes and washing clothes
  21. Turn off unused lights
  22. Off all electrical appliances when you stop using them
  23. Off (not stand by) all electrical appliances when not used
  24. Unplug appliances from power board when not in use.
  25. I put switch off the main switch when I go to work & my electricity bill is cheap $30 per month
  26. Maintain & be careful with your electrical appliance
    1. don’t over-use them if it gets too hot,
    2. unplug it before it gets overheated,
    3. don’t use stray (exposed) electrical cables.
    4. Use common sense practically - don’t risk fire.
  27. use less AC or heater.
    1. Try to warm up by wearing more layers.
    2. Go to library to cool down.
    3. Draw curtain down to block heat
    4. Build tall trees to block sunlight
  28. Have plenty of natural lights, to save energy.
  29. Let AC at around 25 degree celcius - it is more energy efficient at that level.
  30. Use humidifier to cool down.
  31. Wash clothes at full load in the washing machine during off peak period
  32. Wash dishes at full load in the dishwasher  during off peak period
  33. Hang dry clothes - avoid dryer
  34. Use dryer balls in the dryer - it will cut drying time (if you must use dryer)
  35. Watch less TV
  36. Water garden in the late afternoon
  37. Use recycled water or rainwater to water garden
  38. Don’t waste water in the shower - shower in less time, off water when not in use during shower
  39. Don’t let water run unused
  40. Don't let tap run  while you are using brushing your teeth, rubbing hands while washing hands.
  41. Use buckets when you wash your car at home.
  42. Fix leaking tap immediately
  43. Sparingly use water spray to clean pavements/garages/etc.
  44. Set your water heater at comfortable temperature - not too hot, waste little energy, save electricity bill.
  45. Don’t put hot food in the fridge, cool it first before putting them in the fridge - it uses less energy that way
  46. Keep your fridge, and the coils of your fridge clean.
  47. Disposable plastic bags? If you can, don't buy disposable plastic bags.
  48. Perform an energy audit.
  49. If you need to do repair/renovations, buy salvaged or second hand products that are are still close to new. Check local tradies about where to buy them. Also check out graysonline.com.au (many liquidators sell products cheaply there and some were sold with warranties). Or check out gumtree.com.au.
  50. Smartly use oven, the food will cook if you leave the food in the oven for some time (at the temperature that u want) & keep the door closed.
  51. Replace old electrical appliances (fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, dryer) if they're getting too old, they may become energy inefficient
  52. After you do renovations/repairs, sell saleable items on gumtree, or donate them.
  53. Choose a home that is geographically strategic:
  54. Avoid corner unit that is directly facing the sun, especially if the unit has floor to ceiling windows, with unblocked view. It will be extremely hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter.
  55. Avoid top unit. It is highly likely to be also hotter (in summer) and colder (in winter).
  56. Grow trees (big) to 'cover' your windows in order to make your home much more cooler in the summer

How to save money on a car
How to save money on buying a car
  1. Buy fuel efficient car
  2. Buy last year’s model - not a current model
  3. Better, buy a second hand car.
  4. Buy a car with cheap and readily available spare parts (generally, japanese cars have cheaper and readily available spare parts, for example: Toyota and Honda).
  5. But, don’t buy a car that is too old, because the cost of repairs, maintenance and insurance could be more expensive than a newer car.
  6. Buy with cash instead of loan. It is cheaper this way.
  7. Use salary sacrifice, if you are eligible for this. This lowers down your tax bracket. In return, you lower your tax payable. Thus, you save more money.
  8. Use Corporate Program, depending on the program, but most offers free services, free tyres and free brake pads.
  9. Buy car with good resale value.
  10. Sell your old car on your own (advertise it online), avoid trading in your old car with the dealer. Selling your old one online on your own fetches more money than selling it to a dealer.
  11. If buying new, try to haggle with the salespersons
  12. Also, get him (the salespersons) to put in as many free options as possible.
  13. And come prepared - well-researched. Don’t obtain information about the car, the prices and other cars from the salesperson, but get those information from the net, before you go to the dealership.
  14. Dealership located far from the CBD may offer lower price.
  15. Try to go to a salesperson whom you or your friend’s had previous dealings with. This way they can offer you ‘friendship’ discount.

How to save money on car's operational costs  
  1. Car share or carpool with your colleagues or uni/school friends.
  2. Service regularly. This will prevent major catastrophes that could be costlier than regular services.
  3. Change your oil or fluid regularly
  4. Use the right fluid or oil for your car.
  5. Rotate your tyres yearly.
  6. Clean your air filter.
  7. Don’t drive your car on long driving holiday trips. Rent a budget car for this. This will save your car mileage.
  8. use Fuel Discount dockets to buy fuel.
  9. Re-fuel  only when fuel price is low. Check fuel price app before refueling.
  10. Use premium fuel only if required.
  11. Drive responsibly - accelerating rapidly, going fast, frequent breaks and breaking hard will use up more fuel.
  12. When you’re idle (parked and waiting), turn off the engine.
  13. Sparingly use AC.
  14. Keep your tyres inflated.
  15. Drive less - walk/cycle more. It is healthier too.

How to Save Money on Rent Repayment and Mortgage Repayment

The fundamental in saving money on both of rent and mortgage repayments

  1. Live in an affordable home.
  2. Before you buy your home, get insurance quotes (renter’s insurance or home & content insurance for the home you want). This gauges how safe your home is.
  3. Get home & content insurance to start the insurance cover on he date when you take over the ownership from the vendor.
  4. Stay in a safe (safe from crimes, flood, fire, etc.) neighbourhood, it reduces your insurance premium.
  5. Buy a house in the suburb that will get the flow on effect (that is the next suburb that will increase in capital).
  6. Or, buy a house in a good suburb or desirable suburb.
That means,
  • as close as possible to the city (that is within your budget),
  • has good transport (there is freeway or highway,
  • there is a train station and there are bus and tram services),
  • there are reasonably good schools (primary and secondary schools), there are amenities (groceries and chemist) and hospital.

How to Save Money on Rent Payment
  1. Rent with housemates. 1 Bedroom apartment is more expensive than sharing a 2 bedroom apartment.
  2. Rent an older apartment or house, not a brand new one, unless you have an incentive (rent cut).
  3. If you work at home, you may be able to claim home office expense which may encompass rent, utilities, internet (check the tax office on www.ato.gov.au)
  4. Allow couch surfers in return for a small fee
  5. Sub-let the other rooms in the house
  6. stay in the cheaper room
  7. Rent as a house sitter
  8. Don’t rent room by room, it’s more costly
  9. Don’t rent with all utilities, internet, meals and any other benefits provided, most of the time they are more expensive
  10. If you are renting in a house full of students, offer to the landlord for cleaning duties or any other duties, in return for reduced rents
  11. Rent out your garages
  12. Take care of the home and monitor your housemates and other guests to ensure they don’t damage the properties. Don’t sacrifice your bond money for something that could have been prevented.
  13. When you are vacating the property, clean the property on your own. Save money on ‘bond cleaning’. But do it properly.

How to Save Money on Mortgage Repayments
  1. Live in an affordable home
  2. Be a homestay parent
  3. Rent out your unused rooms
  4. Rent out your garage
  5. Renting out to students and providing them meals, may command higher rental rate than renting room only. Providing extra benefits to students may also command higher rental rate, such as being a guardian, providing utilities and internet, providing clothes services (laundry and ironing).
  6. Look for cheaper mortgage rate
  7. Don’t use a mortgage broker, if your loan is simple enough, you can do it on your own
  8. Online account usually offer better deals
  9. Have a simple mortgage loan (that means, no LMI, high deposit less borrowing) with perfect credit rating and on time repayments, you will have greater bargaining power to reduce rate
  10. If you think the interest rate is going to go up, lock into a fixed rate
  11. Put all of your money into your offset account, instead of in saving account
  12. Pay your mortgage weekly.
  13. When refinancing for lower interest rate, incorporate the refinancing fees against the money saved on reduced home loan repayments.
  14. Interest only repayments - proceed with extreme cautions. If you are extremely good with money management, it could be beneficial to go with interest only only if you bank ALL of your money into the offset account and life financially lean (no spending until your mortgage is paid A.S.A.P, that is 3 to 5 years).

How to Save Money on Debt Repayment
There are good debts and there are bad debts.

Bad debts are consumer debt, debt do not give any good returns and drain your wallet.

Good debts are debt that will help you to grow your assets (in simple terms).

**Consumer Debt (Credit Card loans, Personal loans, Car loans,etc)
  1. Pay off consumer debt asap
  2. Once you have paid off your debt, do not accumulate any loans - no credit card loans, no car loans, no personal loans, etc.
  3. Pay bills on time
  4. Don’t get charged any late fees
  5. Consolidate consumer debt into mortgage if possible, because mortgage rate is lower than consumer debt rate.
  6. If you pay credit card a little late (1-2 days late), call and ask for the interest to be waived. Don’t do this too often, they don’t like it.
  7. If you have a tax debt with the Tax Office, you may want to consider to use personal loan (or any other loan) that has lower interest rate than the Tax Office’s rate. Check their rates at www.ato.gov.au
  8. Pay debts weekly. You’ll pay it off quicker.
  9. Refinance into a mortgage with lower rate, when the interest rate is declining.
  10. Fix your mortgage rate if interest rate is at (seemingly) the lowest.
  11. Ensure your credit rating is unblemished - perfect, this way when you try to get a mortgage, you’ll get the best (lowest) mortgage rate.

The good debts that are better not to be paid off right away, to name one, is Australian Student Loans (HECS/HELP debt).

**Students Loans
Australian Student loan (HECS/HELP debt) is different from the American student loan. Australian’s is indexed at CPI, currently it is 1.5%, check www.ato.gov.au for updates and more information.

So if you have a mortgage, you may want to not make extra repayments to pay off your student loan, instead it could be better to just make the minimum repayments that is deductible from your salary. However, do put your extra money into an offset account. Because mortgage rate is around 4% per annum right now, by paying off the higher interest rate loan faster, you are saving more money.
It will depend on your individual circumstances. Do your own calculation.

If you do not have a mortgage, because you are still saving up for a home,  you can save more money by opening up a high interest saving account, which normally is at 3% pa.
Deposit your money into your high interest saving account, instead of making the extra repayments. You will be earning more money by doing that.

How to Save Money Around Your Home
  • Live in an affordable home
  • Make use of worm farm to help to fertilize your soil
  • Throw kitchen scraps to worm farm or to be used as fertilizer
  • Don’t forget your keys, call out fee to locksmith costs a bomb!
  • Make full use of your garden by growing your own food,
    • selling extra food on the farmer’s market or
    • swapping the extra food with friends or colleagues or neighbours.
  • Sell your unused items
  • Conduct spring cleaning, sell your items on gumtree, garage sale or flea market.
  • Donate your unsellable items and food (earn Karma points).
  • Have a minimalist decorations.
  • Use your kid’s painting or your pet’s paw painting as decorations. It has high sentimental value and low cost in your wallet.
  • Buy second hand furniture, visit gumtree or graysonline. There are plenty of people who have to sell stuffs urgently (they could get overseas assignment suddenly from their government or their companies). Or there are people who just like to change their furniture and decoration every year.
  • Or buy new but flawed furnitures.
  • Or buy ex display furnitures.
  • Buy good quality products, the cost per wear or cost per use is less.
  • Don’t buy additional warranty, it is normally not worthwhile.
  • Don’t stock your home with a lot of items.
  • Don’t buy additional storages. If you have too many items, that means there are items that are unused. Unused must be sold. Less clutter happy mind. Storage cost purchases are not worth the while. You are just going to be accumulating junks at the cost of storage costs. Donate them or sell them.
  • Try to swap house chores with neighbours, such as babysitting, lawn mowing, cleaning the gutters, raking leaves from the lawn, etc. It is going to save you the cost to pay out for tradesperson or nannies to do the job.
  • Be handy, try to fix things on your own.
  • But be careful, don’t skimp on things that you cannot fix on your own, such as electricity. It could be much more costly if you don’t do it properly.
  • Don’t buy items that can be thrown away after each use, such as mops, wipes, etc. Use the old fashioned mops and cloths.
  • Don’t throw away napkins, tissues, ketchups, wet wipes, cutleries which you get from buying take away. Stock them up at home. It would be handy and reduce buying your own stuffs.
  • Buy generic products.
  • Make your own cleaning solutions.
  • Don’t buy clothes that are dry clean only.
  • Pay utilities bills on time, avoid late fees.
  • Maintain and keep your appliances well. Prevention is better and less costly than cure. For example, engage in regular (yearly) pest spray and termite spray. Often, the house could come with termite/pest warranty and if you don’t pay to conduct the yearly pest/termite spray, the warranty would be extinguished. And by the time you realize the termite/pest problem, usually it would be already too big. Conduct the regular check, to avoid large bill.
  • Stock up and replace your items during discount (mid year and end of year), make full use of staff discount and credit card points.
  • Maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Check for flood report, bush fire report, termite report, and any other report prior buying your home.
  • Decorate with minimalist decorations. If you can decorate it with your own products, such as kids’ paintings.
  • Install smoke alarm and ensure it is working.

How to Save Money on Food and Groceries
  • Stop buying carton juices and on sodas.
  • And start investing in juicer/blender & soda stream.
  • Stop buying non-nutritious and unhealthy snacks, frozen food, frozen vegetables, chips, crisp, biscuits - anything that does not give any good value to you eating them.
  • Buy in Bulk.
  • Be aware of cost per kg or cost per gram.
  • Discount stock up (stock up during discount)
  • Buy generic brands
  • Grow your own food - fruits & vegetables.
  • Even keep some chickens for their eggs!
  • Cook in bulk & store some in the fridge.
  • Always have essentials food stocked up in the pantry and fridge for emergency days. This prevents you from buying unnecessary takeouts on those rainy days where the traffic is horrendous or the train is late.
  • Buy odd fruit produce. They are still nutritious fruits, they just look a little odd-er.
  • Buy from farmer’s market - cheaper.
  • Do not throwaway food
  • Learn to cook with leftovers
  • Learn to use all parts of vegetables/fruits/meat that you have
  • If there is any scraps, use it as compost fertilizer
  • Have your children grow food with you and cook in the kitchen with you
  • Bake/cook for someone as a gift. Handmade gifts that come from the heart will be very much appreciated.
  • Barter cooked meals, grown fruits & vegetables with friends, families & neighbours. This bring cost of meals/food down.
  • Organize your meals, down to the ingredients & cooking time.
  • One stop shop is less costly than multiple unplanned trips to supermarket.
  • Go to market than supermarket.
  • Better, go to farmer’s market.
  • Or consider NQR (not quite right) or Aldi.
  • Buy local produce..
  • Buy what’s in season.
  • Weigh the benefits of chasing discounts at multiple stores. Remember that time is money. Buying from 1 shop could be time and effort efficient.
Remember fuel also cost money!
  • Make your own soda, fruit juices, flavoured milk, popsicles, ice cream, cakes … make your own everything. It is healthier, fresher and almost always cheaper.
  • Make full use of coupons, cashback and rewards.
  • Limit buying chemical cleaners. Make your own cleaners.
  • Try to cook efficiently i.e. clean, less deep frying, less mess, less time to clean up. Time & effort efficient! (Time & effort = Money).
  • Plan your available time to cook. You must make time to cook, otherwise you won’t cook your groceries (aka wasted).
  • Clear your schedule & organize your schedule to cook. If you clear, let’s say Sunday afternoon to cook in bulk (for the week), you will efficiently use your time and groceries, as the result produce cooked meals just enough for your & your family’s whole week’s consumption.
  • Be organized with your time to cook, make cooking as one of your priorities. Use it as a bonding time with your family and friends.
    • Life will always have other (more important) commitments. And, cooking can easily slip down the priority list on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
    • However, if you commit to save money, you will commit a time to cook.  An hour on a Sunday is more than enough time.
  • If you are running out of time, use slow cooker or oven roasting or baking. You can leave the meal to cook on its own. Whilst you do other pressing priorities / commitments.
  • You kill two birds with one stone :) Efficient! :)
  • Plan your meals, including all ingredients you need to use. Forgetting one ingredients (galangal, ginger, tumeric, etc) for a meal can make you run to the shop before cooking or make you circling / browsing online scratching your head to think up of another meal to cook.
  • Handy tip:
    • in your office, on a Friday afternoon after lunch (sleepy time), think up your meals, go to recipe online & list out all the ingredients.
    • Put the meal plans (including ingredients), in your online calendar (or whichever you can access at anytime and when you do your weekly shopping)
  • Cook your own snacks, bake a chocolate cake or a brownie, bake a sausage roll, bake an apple pie, etc. This should take less than ½ in preparation. And, this should be a clean no mess kind of cooking. Efficient!
  • One stop shop is cheaper than multiple unplanned shop.
  • Why?
  • Less time and effort spent travelling. Time & effort = Money!
Less distraction/temptation to buy other non-necessary items.

Understand supermarket layout that has been strategically planned to tempt you to spend.
  1. Shop the essentials at the perimeter of the supermarket.
  2. Start your shopping at the fresh produce section (stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables)
  3. Then go along the perimeter to the
    1. meat,
    2. seafood,
    3. egg and
    4. milk section
  4. Avoid the centre, where the chocolate chips, biscuits, crisps and sweets are located.
  5. These are explosives mine traps that empties your wallets.
  6. Look below and above the eye level on shelves when you are looking for items.Manufacturers pay premium to display their products at eye-level shelves. Looking below and above eye-level on the supermarket shelves may pay you reward you with good discounts.
  7. And must stick to the grocery list!

Tips & trick to stick to the grocery list!
  1. Put it in something that you carry with you at all times (your wallet, your mobile or your brain).
  2. Have a template and cook per the template (The template grocery list will be: ingredients to cook rice with stir fries as main meals and cereals for breakfast.)
  3. Do not bring more cash than what is budgeted
  4. Don’t carry credit card or any other extra cash
  5. Don’t go shopping hungry
  6. Go shopping alone, no distractions

6 Simple Tips & Tricks to cook cheap healthy and nutritious meals!
  1. 1 pot wonder.
Cook 1 pot of meat and vegetables, and eat it with rice or potatoes. It can last two to three days of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  1. Asian stir fries, with asian vegetables, and eat it with rice.
  2. Do not cook with fancy sauces. Stick to 1 - 2 sauces or no sauce at all.
  3. Learn how to cook with lentils, cheap, healthy, nutritious and last long.
  4. Forget about buying snacks, chips, biscuits and chocolate. They are unhealthy for your body nor your wallet. Stop buying them.
  5. Snack on fruits and nuts & Sip tea, to snack.

How to save money on Public Transport
  1. With public transport ticket, buying in bulk (monthly or yearly) is cheaper than daily or hourly.
  2. If you cannot use up the ticket on your own, but use quite a fair bit, share it with your family member. Arrange a schedule that will enable you to do so. To save money, you need to be able to take control over life.
  3. Take advantage of free travel time.
  4. Do online survey while commuting, earn money while on the go.
  5. Before you buy, plan your schedule. Don’t waste money buying during holiday/unused periods.
  6. Make full use of corporate discounts. Some companies offer discount if you buy through them or by being affiliated to them. Check your company’s intranet, call up the Public Transport company, check with your colleagues, HR and team leader.
  7. Check with your company if they will give you travel allowance, it will depend on your occupations. If you are a consultant or someone who works at different offices, you would normally get a travel allowance.
  8. Register your public transport ticket, this way your ticket will freeze if you reported that it is stolen or lost. This way your credit will not get used and will be  returned to you when you get your new card.
  9. Check other available discounts to you, student’s discount, government discount, etc.
  10. Before you buy or rent a house, choose one that is located close to work.
Hidden Benefits of buying a house closer to work: it will be much easier to turn into an investment property later on.
This means: You do not need to sell your home, before buying your next one, because the mortgage repayment (of the existing house) will be paid by the rental income that the house is deriving.

How to save money on mobile phones
On buying the mobile phone
  1. Don’t always buy the latest mobile phone. Use whatever your company give you.
  2. Buy second hand.
  3. Buy during big discount (end of year or mid year).
  4. Keep your existing mobile phone nice, so you can sell it online and reduce the cost when you buy the new one.

On the monthly costs
  1. Shop around for the cheapest carrier that meet your needs.
    1. Know your needs. Do you need data or phone calls or international calls?
    2. For international call: you can reduce cost by using skype or line or whatsapp to call overseas.
    3. For texting: don’t pay for sms or mms, use line or whatsapp.
    4. Estimate how much data you need.
    5. Estimate how much phone call you actually need.
    6. Shop around for exactly what you need, wasted data and phone calls are waste of money.
    7. In the first month, observe your usage. If it is too little or too low, change it into the second month.
    8. Find out if you get phone allowance from your company? If you do, don’t forget to claim it from your company.
  2. Do you use your phone to earn income? Don’t forget to claim the expenses in your tax return. Just keep all the receipts and phone bills. Check www.ato.gov.au for more information.
  3. Don’t buy apps, don’t buy fees within apps. There are a lot of free apps that do the jobs.
  4. Turn off roaming when you are overseas.
  5. Be mindful of quota. Set limit and follow it.
  6. Kick contract plan. Use month by month. Buy the mobile phone on your phone, it is often cheaper this way.
  7. Bundle with your home phone and home internet provider.

On reducing data usage on your mobile phone
Try to keep your data usage to as low as possible by using this method:
  1. Don’t open too many internet explorer or chrome tabs
  2. Limit background data on all apps you have including gmail, whatsapp, line, etc.
  3. Don’t download pdf, pictures, app, and any other documents. Download at home, when your internet connection is unlimited.
  4. Do not stream, do not watch youtube, do not watch any video, do not listen to radio, podcast, google play, pandora, or any other music channel etc.
  5. Set data quota limits
  6. Set your mobile to stop mobile data, once limit is reached
  7. Don’t refresh your mailbox too often
  8. Do not use free wifi to use banking, etc.

On the cost to switch, to port numbers and to close existing number

  1. Be careful on the cost to port numbers and to close existing numbers.
  2. Be careful on the cost on requesting new SIM card. The new provider may charge costly shipping fee to ship out the new SIM card.

How to Save Money On Travelling, Whilst Travelling

  • Travel during off peak period. That means, travel outside of public holiday periods or school holiday periods.
  • Scour groupon or scoupon for bargain deals. During off-peak periods, there will be a lot of good deals for travelling (accommodation, flight or package of accommodation and flights).
  • Use budget airlines. Some flying tricks:
    • To save accommodation money arrive at the hotel before check in time (around 5 - 6 am), explore the city a little, with luggage “checked in” at the concierge (5 star hotels normally accept this) & check in at check in time (normally between 10 am to 2 pm). In comparison, if you arrive at 10pm at night, you pay for a hotel for 1 whole day but you only utilize the hotel for a few hours and just for sleeping.
    • Sleep during the flight and be right awake on the city. Don’t waste money and time sleeping in your city of destination (unless that’s what you want).
    • Bring meals from home, if no meals are not provided by the airlines.
  • Don’t shun five star hotels.
    • They offer good (free) facilities, such as kids’ day care, tennis courts, squash courts, swimming pools,  running/jogging tracks, gym, spa, etc for free (inclusive in your accommodation fee). Using these facilities will take up most of your time, and you will have less time to shop (spend money). Playing tennis, playing squash or running are good for your health, too.
    • They offer meals (at least breakfast) included in the accommodation package. This saves you money and trouble. You don’t have to go out in the morning to look for meals and coffee. You can wake up with mini bar (coffee and tea) provided, go for jogging or swim or both, then have breakfast fully prepared.
    • They offer good (aka free) transport arrangements such as transport to and from airport, transport to and from tourist destinations or restaurants, etc.
  • Go to the third world countries (Indonesia, Thailand, etc), where your dollar will stretch more because their living cost is generally less.
  • Travel with friends. It will cost less - you can share food, hotel room,taxi fare, etc with them and thus, bringing down the holiday costs.
  • Utilize your Qantas points - accumulate your Qantas points during the year on groceries - for hotel deals and flight deals.
  • Avoid tourist traps. Look at zomato for local cuisine at good prices. Look at tripadvisor for reviews.
  • Exchange money (a little) before you fly to your destination. This can be used for taxi, trolley, phone calls (at public phone), tips, etc.
  • And exchange more cash at your destination.
    • Reasoning the exchange rate normally is much better at the holiday destination for their local currency. Therefore, exchange more cash once you have arrived there. Also, when you are already there, you will know how much cash you will need.
    • Tips for looking where to exchange: don’t just go to the nearest ATM or bank to exchange, call up a few currency exchange retailers and ask for quotes and ask if they are mobile or fixed (some quotes are mobile remember currency moves tick by tick every second. some currencies are fixed, normally it is those that are unwanted.) The better rates are normally offered by currency exchange retailers slightly further away location from the CBD and the tourist destinations.
    • Trick: exchange bit by bit, don’t change all of your money all at once at your holiday destination. Store your money (both currencies) in the safety deposit box (along with your passports, of course). Only a little money is with you at any given time.
  • Use credit card that provides good exchange rate without any annual fee. 28 degrees from GE finance is good.
  • Use your accumulated time in lieu. Save your annual leave.
  • Cash out your accumulated annual leave when applying for the time off and buy more into shares or managed funds.
  • Do not exceed your luggage quota - plan what you are bringing and what you are buying, do not overshop. If you stay in a five star hotel, you won’t need toiletries (towels, toothbrush, comb, etc). They are all provided by the hotel, so don’t use up your luggage quota for something that is already provided.
  • Shopping tricks
    • Have a budget and stick to your budget.
    • Know what to buy and buy appropriately (according to the country’s produce), for example: I know that this year, I need to replenish my stock of dressy (office party appropriate) clothes, jeans, towels, and mats, because they are worn and torn. And I know that I am going for a vacation in Bali, Indonesia. I know Indonesia is a third world country and labour is cheap there and I also know they produce cheap jeans, towels and mats, but not so dressy (office party appropriate) clothes.
      • Therefore, in Indonesia, I will only buy jeans, towels and mats. Where to buy in Indonesia? Local market and supermarket (carrefour, giant and indomaret, but not Hero or ranch market).  Ask your hotel staff for a local market and supermarket that is cheap for jeans, towels and mats. Just shop in one market or supermarket because you must not forget to incorporate travel cost (time is cost, too). Remember, travel cost will add up the per unit cost of your purchases.
      • In third world countries, like Indonesia, the shopping (Zara, Topshop, Body Shop, etc) won’t be much less than Australian’s Zara, Topshop or Body Shop.  Sometimes, when Australians shops are on sale, the Australians’ Zara, Top Shop or Body Shop can be sold much cheaper.
      • So do your research first.
      • Find the specific items that you want in Zara or Body Shop or Top Shop in your home country. Know the prices of each of them. Then compare the prices of the items you are eyeing in your destination. Buy in the country or city that offers cheaper price.
      • The more you travel, the more you will learn of shopping tricks that works for you.
  • Shopping tricks in third world countries like in Indonesia.
    • Go to local market or supermarket (like Carrefour, Giant and indomaret, not Hero or ranch market) and stock up (replenish your almost used up stock) on Indonesian products for daily living products:
    • cutleries
    • kitchen utensils
    • plates, bowls,
    • toiletries
    • indonesian produced clothes (pyjamas, t-shirts, shorts)
    • all sorts of towels (face towels, hand towels, body towels, kitchen towels, etc)  all sorts of mats (bath mats, floor mats, etc)
    • gillette razors blades (Refills), gillette (the razors)
    • basically stock up on things that are made in Indonesia
    • Tip: Do not over shop on little handcrafts or artcrafts things that don’t have specific functions. They usually don’t last long (fall apart quite easily) and they don’t have many functions except for being dust collectors.
    • Note: to easily find about where to go for local market or supermarket, ask your hotel staff and emphasize on local and cheap market or supermarket.
  • Shopping tricks in the third world countries, like Indonesia.
    • Dry clean your coats, jackets, suits, gown there.
    • Resole your shoes there, it costs around $2 - $7 per pair in Jakarta, Indonesia. I have never bought shoes since 2009. (I bought a pair of good shoes for each function (work, casual, dressy, etc) and resole them).
    • Go to a tailor there and make a couple (or a few) of your favourite pants, jeans, skirts. I went to a street tailor and it costs me around $5 to make a pair of pants, jeans and skirts, which I use everyday.
    • How to do it? Do you have a favourite pair of jeans and pants? Do you have a favourite skirt and shirt? Do these jeans, pants, skirt and shirt have simple cut? Bring them to along to your Asian trip, bring along similar fabric at sufficient amount (buy them in your discounted fabric store) & remake them.
    • Tip: Ask any locals for a tailor to make jeans, pants and skirts.
    • Trick: Keep the template simple (no ruffles, no complicated line - just a simple line).
  • Shopping tricks in Hong Kong: stock up on many things basically.
    • Again go to local market and stock up on basically everything, from socks, pyjamas, thermals, underwears to kitchen utensils, cutleries.
    • Tips: Where are the markets? In suburbs like Wen Chai, underneath the luxury apartments, there are local markets. They sell food, clothes, skin care, makeup and many other things. It could be better to stay there, because you can experience Hong Kong a lot better (like a true local). The food there is good. And the access to anywhere is excellent.
    • Trick: Many many items are cheaper (Zara, Swarovski, skin care, makeup, mobile phones, etc) in Hong Kong than in Australia, but not always. Always compare the price between Hong Kong and your home country beforehand. Some items in Zara Hong Kong are sold at the same price as Australian Zara. Why do you waste luggage space when you can buy the item at the same price in Australian Zara?
    • Trick: you may be tempted to stock up on skincare and makeup from sasa and bonjourhk. Don’t. Just don’t. Yes they are much cheaper in Sasa and BonjourHK. But buy them online. You can save on the luggage space and you can earn loyalty discount.
  • Shopping tricks in US: stock up on shoes, clothes, bags, they are generally much cheaper than Australian’s shoes, clothes and bags.
    • Tricks:
  • Shop winter clothes at the end of winter (during US winter sale). It will be ready in time for Australian’s winter.
  • Do not start shopping in the first shop you see. Sight see in the shops and malls around the city, know what are on the shops and the prices. Then go to the factory outlets and start shopping. (Factory outlets are far from the city - needs to take a bus or to drive. Malls are normally in the city - easy to reach). This way, you can buy similar stuffs at cheaper prices in the factory outlets. And if you still like the item you saw in the mall prior going to the outlets, you can buy them later - after the trip to the factory outlets.
  • Buy local (US) products or local (US) brands such as ralph lauren, tommy hilfiger, etc. They cost much less in the US than in Australia.
  • Before you shop, stop and think
    • Do i have an exact specific use for it?
    • Do i need it or do i want it
    • Do i have a place for it?
    • Will it be within your budget?
    • Only buy if every box is ticked.
  • Compare taxi and uber prices before travelling at your holiday destination. Sometimes, uber costs less.
  • Uber normally has good deals, such as: free travel for the first time.
  • Make sure you have sufficient travel insurance.

How to save money at Shopping time
(Normal) People will definitely judge you based on how you look, and how you dress.

If you want to move up the career ladder, you will definitely need to know how to dress the part. It cannot be ignored. It is just a fact of life. An IT geek will be dressing like a typical IT geek. A financier will definitely need to dress like a financier.

The cost of the clothes, is something you can control.

  1. Plan your shopping, need to know exactly what you need. And see if you can make do with what you already have at home.
  2. Consider: shop second hand clothes,or swap clothes.
  3. Also, consider selling your very well taken care of pre-loved items, to fund your next purchases.
  4. Shop during year-end or mid-year only. Shop around for staff’s discount, credit card reward, cash back reward. See if you can pay using gift card, normally gift card are sold @ discounted rate during year-end or mid-year.
  5. Buy good quality items on essentials such as running shoes, walking shoes, rain boots.
  6. Buy modest products on non essentials such as thermals, underwear, etc.
  7. Subscribe to mailing list as many as possible, so you get alerted on discounts and special deals for subscribers.
  8. Understand the discount pattern of the retailers, so you know instinctively when to buy from that particular retailer to snap big bargains.
  9. Plan your purchases, don’t buy everything in 1 year. This means, if you are planning to replace your coats (expensive items), that means you don’t buy glasses (another expensive items). Hold of buying 2 lots of expensive items in 1 year shopping.
  10. Learn to fix your own clothes.
  11. For Aussies, buying US brands from eBay US is much cheaper than buying US brands in Australia.
  12. Wait out and save for 1 whole year, and only shop at the end of the year.
  13. Consider buying factory second, secondhand or ex-display items.
  14. Buy what you need, not what you want.
  15. If you are uncertain, sleep on it.
  16. Classic style (think Audrey Hepburn’s LBD) will always last longer.
  17. Accessorise is a good way to liven up clothes.
  18. Use classic accessories, such as gold/diamond necklaces or bracelets instead of something cheaper. Why? Diamond and gold are expense! Diamond and gold hold their value. Cheaper bracelets and necklaces deteriorate in value over time.
  19. Invest in something that holds their value & take care of that stuffs, because if it is well taken care of, it may increase its value along with CPI.
  20. So, shop carefully! Buy only good items.
  21. Don’t buy clothes that need dry cleaning (coats are exception).
  22. Don’t buy clothes that are difficult to iron. For ladies, wear uniqlo non-iron tops underneath your suit will save you time & trouble of ironing. Make life sooo much easier!
  23. Buy clothes that have multiple functions. That you can wear to office and outside office.
  24. Wear streamlined clothes.
  25. Try to use cash not credit card or debit card. You will be more cautious about your spending if you can feel the money going out of your hands.
  26. Keep good staples in your wardrobe and take care of them. It will liven up your look @ a fraction of the price. And they will last for a long long long time. Good staples are, at the minimum, good trench coat, good winter coat, good jeans, good suits, good dress shoes and good dress pants or skirts.
  27. Before you go shopping, research where to shop. Don’t get overwhelmed by discounts and offers. Be armed with information.
  28. Don’t go shopping hungry and tired.
  29. Don’t go shopping with friends who will make you buy unnecessary items.
  30. Before you buy an item, know exactly what added value it is going to give you in your life. If you live in a limited storage home (an apartment for example), think about where and how to store the item. Cluttered living will result in a cluttered minds.
  31. Don’t buy just because of trend, or just because you like it, or peer pressure.
  32. If it’s the last item, or ex display item, bargain for discounts.
  33. Understand that shopping will not make you happy.
  34. Be surrounded by people (friends and family) who don’t judge you by how you look.



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