4 money saving tips for the new year

As we go through adult life, we generally learn the importance of having a goal, such as saving for a home deposit, holiday or car. The need to save can retain its importance as the years go by and the challenge of retirement funding looms larger.

While saving a proportion of our income might be the primary way to get to our goals, the constant struggle to juggle living expenses so that we can put money aside for savings may leave us feeling frustrated if we can’t save as fast as we would like. Here are four handy tips to help you think outside the square.

Tip 1: Cash in on clutter

One smart idea to give your savings a real shot in the arm could be to cash in on all the ‘stuff’ we have accumulated over the years and may rarely use. Consider taking a weekend to go through the garage, kitchen, bedrooms and attic to sort out items that you can sell. Furniture, appliances, clothing homewares, books and collectables can be among those things that may be of little use to us, but may readily attract buyers. As they say: “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” and the dollars can really add up too.

There are many options for cashing in on your unwanted items. You could go old-school and have a garage sale, or book a spot at a local car boot sale or market. To reach a wider audience you could use online sales channels such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or eBay. Don’t ignore buyers who may be closer to home too. A Facebook post with some good photos may find some friends or family who just happen to be looking for items that you might want to get rid of. A search on Facebook may also reveal that there is a local buy/sell group in your area that allows you to target the local market.

Tip 2: Make use of spare time to earn $!

If you have some spare time, consider a bit of extra part-time work to give your pocket book a pickup. It doesn’t need to be a permanent job; a short occasional burst of casual work might bring in a chunk of money quickly to get you on that holiday or allow that overdue kitchen renovation.

One idea might be to apply for a position at the next election day to do some polling work. Or maybe consider doing some exam supervision at a school or university. The Australian Bureau of Statistics also employs casual workers to help conduct the census. Another option may be to utilise your work skills or hobbies via tutoring work at a local TAFE, school or community centre. These types of casual jobs can pay quite reasonable hourly rates and because they are only temporary or periodical in nature you are not committing to an ongoing job. You may even enjoy the opportunity they give you to meet new people.

Tip 3: Turn hobbies into cash

Any new-found spare time after the kids have left the nest could also be put to productive use by adapting your interests or hobbies into something that could give your savings a kick start such as:

Gardening: If you have a green thumb then maybe you could offer your skills to help others with their garden planning and maintenance.

Babysitting: If you are good with children there may be people in your area who would appreciate some babysitting help.

Doing crafts: If you enjoy a particular craft or hobby then perhaps you could sell your handmade wares at local markets or car boot sales.

Decorating: If you fancy your skills in styling then what about doing a course in home decorating and offering your services in the local area?

Taking care of animals: If you love animals you could start a neighbourhood dog walking service.

Tip 4: Monetise your spare space

If you are still living in a large family home but don’t have kids at home anymore, it may be feasible to partition off part of your home to rent out. If you don’t want the intrusion of a full-time tenant then maybe consider short stay rentals for holiday makers or business travellers such as registering on Airbnb.

The beauty of the cash boost

The great thing about these ideas is that you are not depending on the money from them to fund regular living costs and can, therefore, direct some extra cash into boosting your savings account. Consider putting some serious thought to which ideas suit you and you may be surprised at how quickly they could get you to your goals. You may also have fun along the way!

For more information regarding financial management, send us an online enquiry to get in touch with Bridges, our qualified financial planning partners.

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