Whether you are saving for your next holiday or your dream house, counting your pennies can be a long and tedious process.
But saving money doesn’t have to be so agonising. Women's Weekly spoke to financial planner Adele Martin to get some expert tips.
• Take your lunch to work – this could save you as much as $50 per week. It doesn’t sound like a massive saving, but over a year it adds up to $2,600. Adele notes that this is a whopping $100,000 over the course of your working life.
• Have a look at your home and contents insurance. Adele says that consolidating your polices to one provider can often save money.
• Likewise, Adele suggests shopping around with energy providers – some offer discounts of 10 or 15 per cent if you sign up for 12 months or more.
• Have a good look at your bills, some providers will offer a discount if the bill is direct debited from a bank account.
• Swap pay-TV for Netflix, Lightbox or Neon – Adele says that this could save over $1,00 a year.
• While it might seem like a bit of a pain, sitting down during the weekend to do a weekly meal plan and write a shopping list could save you thousands of dollars a year.
• If you have credit card debt, you could be able to pay it off faster if you move to a credit card that offers an interest free period.
• Adele suggests using separate bank accounts or offset accounts for different types of expenses. For example, a bank account for clothes, make up, getting hair and nails done, an account for entertainment and socialising, an account for household expenses and groceries. Adele says if you put some money into each account every week, you will become more conscious of what you are spending and ensure you don’t over spend.
• While gym memberships are good value if they are being used, if you are not an active gym member it’s just money down the drain.
• When it comes to your mobile phone bill, Adele says that if you are consistently going over the data cap, then you should look at a new phone deal that allows more data.
• If you need a new dress for a special occasion, Adele suggests renting one or borrowing one from a friend.
• And when it comes to clothes, Adele suggest having a good wardrobe cull; selling unused items clothes on Trade Me can give you extra cash to go shopping with.