Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Creative Saving

Creative Saving

We know the ‘go without your morning coffee’ money saving technique but if you’re going to get serious about saving – whether it’s for a new car, camera or the bigger ticket items like apartments and houses – you need to think outside the box.

One approach is to think about the environment. Put pennies in the bank and do your bit for sustainable living. It’s about being more creative about the way we live and save. Here are some ‘outside the box’ ideas:

  • Buy in bulk: Don’t only buy in bulk, start a bulk buying group. This way you reap the full advantage of wholesale prices, avoid paying for packaging and steer away from impulse buys.
  • Work with the weather: It might sound obvious but switching that air conditioning off in the summer and heating off in the winter will go a long way in cutting the ever-increasing energy bills. It can be as easy as keeping the curtains closed in summer and putting on a few extra layers in winter.
  • Flick the switch: Turning the lights off is another seemingly clear but often overlooked step. It can be tempting to leave a lamp on for ‘later’ but for those hours you’re gone electricity – and the money you pay – is going down the drain.

Saving doesn’t begin and end with these points. Not only are there many more environmentally orientated techniques, there are also those that are usually right in front of your eyes:

  • Avoiding unnecessary charges: Late fees. No one wants to read this in an email or letter. Anything from a credit card late fee to library fines makes our skin crawl. Get yourself organized.
  • Limit ‘takeout’: Another seemingly obvious step to take (but one we can often slack on) is hiding or limiting access to those takeout menus. It’s very tempting – come a rainy Monday night after a long day when all you want to do it curl up on the couch with your favourite Thai takeaway – to not think about cooking. If you do make a concerted effort to cook for yourself more often you will end up saving a lot.
  • Walk, bike, train or bus: If you can leave your car at home you can dodge potentially expensive tolls and the money you spend on petrol (not to mention the good it does for the environment). If you can walk to the local shops, walk. If you can ride, ride. The exercise is a bonus too!
  • Credit quota: Avoid spending money you don’t have. Think carefully to yourself when you next flash plastic at a register. Is this something I can afford? Is it really something I need? Will I end up paying more for this with interest? Use cash when you can.

No matter what you’re saving for – while these suggestions are by no means the be all and end all – they should get you started. When most people start to save seriously it’s for the bigger ticket items. Perhaps it’s a home, or apartment. The cash you saved thinking twice about the credit card and flicking the switch will go directly to that deposit. If you’re one of many first home buyers you’ll have the first home owners grant to boost the fund pool too. But whether you’re buying a new car, home or camera you want to make sure you shop around. Just as you would visit a few dealerships to consider the perfect vehicle or compare cameras across outlets you would weigh up the options for home loans. With determination and discipline you could be walking away with, driving off in or letting yourself into your new camera, car and home within no time.

Thanks for the guest post Gemma!



14 Responses to Creative Saving

  1. I really like the idea of a bulk buying club or neighborhood/family group. Why bit split the bulk goods and cost by the number in the group, preventing your house from becoming a warehouse!

    Nice tip on that one!

  2. I just avoid stores if at all possible during the week. I try my best to keep shopping to a 1/week outing. I rarely step foot into a mall unless something breaks or someone has outgrown clothes. If I shopped in person to look around for deals, I’d just have a ton more stuff I had no use for. IF I’m going to browse, it’s going to be at a tag sale where I can resell what I bought for the price I paid for it.

  3. My husband and I started a bulk buying group with some of his classmates, just by texting everyone and saying we found this great deal for chicken at 1.30/lb for 40 anyone want in and 2-5 people jumped on it. We have now been doing it for almost 1.5 years.

  4. I find if you make savings a priority, you find the money to support the savings. I look at all my expenses and try to find ways to cut where I can.

  5. I think that a creative way to save is to think in terms of opportunity costs. In other words, if I pay $5,000 more for this better brand name car vs the the more modest brand name (but reliable), what could I instead do with that $5,000?

    Thinking of how that $5,000 could be used for savings and could possibly grow to more is a good way to creatively save by using our brain to realize the true costs of expenses.

  6. Not carrying any dollar bills in my wallet I find sometimes keeps me from hitting the vending machine. I hate to break a $5 bill and get those funky $1 coins back as change.

    • Great idea! I use to be addicted to vending machines. Since the prices have raised dramitically one week, I quit. Now they are crazy high in my opinion…

  7. cool list. I couldnt agree more with limiting take out. I use to eat out 2 meals a day until realised that I spent more then 1000 a month for me and my girl friend. Cooking and eating at home is definitely cheaper, although its hard to find the time to cook. For more money saving tips you can also check out my blog post with the link below