You have probably heard or read about the high cost of living in Australia, especially in bigger cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth. Even though this is true (the cost of living in these cities is rather high), it doesn’t mean that you’re going to go bankrupt if you decide to visit, or that you’re constantly on the brink of poverty if you live there. There are ways to save money in Australia which you should definitely try because small savings can fatten your wallet significantly in the long run. Here’s how you can do it.
Set a budget
First things first – you have to have a budget for everything (and we mean everything). This means that you should decide how much per week you’re going to spend on groceries, entertainment, nights out, and snacks. If you have a hard time deciding on what your budget should be, spend at least two weeks taking notes and calculating how much you’re currently spending. Once you have a budget, you will see how things run more smoothly in your household, and you will save money more easily. Of course, you should set aside a fund for unexpected expenses such as car repairs or vet bills.
Cut back on expenses
You would be surprised just how much money you spend on the “little things”: store-bought coffee, eating out, entertainment, etc. You can cut back on living expenses by finding more affordable solutions. For example, you can carpool to work in Melbourne and save a lot of money, try to find a coin laundry in Sydney to lower your utility bills, and setting up your spare room for rent. All of these will help your budget tremendously regardless of the city you’re in. You could also save a lot of money on groceries if you start planning your meals and buying groceries online because you won’t be tempted by all the products you see on the shelves.
Buy used products
Knowing that you’ve bought a new product might be good for your ego, but it’s bad for your budget. Second-hand market, on the other hand, is good for your budget, and you will be able to find pretty much anything you need. Use websites such as Gumtree and MIGHTYape to find garage sales near you and sell your used things online. If you live in Victoria, another wonderful place where you can sell your old clothes is the Camberwell Sunday Market, but you should book a stall well ahead. There are also specialized websites that you can use to find used cars and electronics, and you would be surprised how much money you can save by buying used products, and how much you can earn by selling your old things.
Set up a savings account
The simplest way to save money is to keep it out of your hands and your pockets in the first place. This means not keeping it in your purse, your wallet, or even your regular bank account. The solution is simple: you should open a dedicated bank account that you will use to save the money you won’t be spending on your bills or living expenses. The card to this account should be kept in a separate place (which means someplace else than your wallet), and you shouldn’t be able to access this account so easily. Put everything you managed to save in this account and watch the amount grow over time.
Being mindful of your budget doesn’t mean that you’ll never indulge or that you’ll be surviving on bread and water like a prisoner. On the contrary: it will allow you to have more money in the long run that you can use to travel or buy something you’ve always wanted. Even if life in Australia is pricey, you can still save money if you’re careful and mindful of your budget as well as your costs.