There are simple ways that you can hold on to more cash every single day of the week. Take the save-every-day journey with YMM.
Sunday – Cook a meal
Let’s face it, you’re not going to make the wisest financial decisions when your stomach’s grumbling and the only thing standing between you and a family sized pizza is that last $20 in your wallet. So how can you avoid blowing the weekly budget on unnecessary takeaway? You can start by taking the time on a Sunday evening to cook instead of ordering in. This sets up a good pattern for the coming week, and if you’re clever about it you can make enough to last a few days.
Go online and you will find heaps of cheap and easy recipes that can be multiplied for bulk cooking. Just make sure the recipes you choose will last in your fridge or freezer. It also helps to stick to recipes that use ingredients you’re familiar with. That way, you can be sure that any leftovers will be put to good use. Bon appetite!
Monday – Skip the gym and go for a neighbourhood run
Feeling a bit sluggish after a lazy weekend? Monday is the perfect day to get back into your routine with some physical exercise. But with a single gym visit costing upwards of $10 - $15, a daily run on the treadmill can be an expensive endeavour. So why not take advantage of the footpath outside your very own door (hey, that’s what it’s there for!) and go for a run around the neighbourhood instead? You could save up to $400 a year in gym membership fees, not to mention the satisfaction you will get from flaunting your enviable stamina to an array of passers-by.
Tuesday – Take advantage of Cheap Tuesday deals
With the cost of living increasing on all fronts, Cheap Tuesday is no longer a relic from your student days. Plenty of otherwise expensive activities can be enjoyed on a budget by taking advantage of a Cheap Tuesday deal. Still remember the days when you could purchase a movie ticket without taking out a second mortgage? Well take a mid-week trip down memory lane and indulge in your favourite pass-time for only $11! Can’t remember the last time you had a haircut? Plenty of hairdressers and salons offer a Cheap Tuesday deal for those of us who would rather spend our last $200 on the weekly groceries than on addressing the issue of our split ends. Keep a look out during the week for Cheap Tuesday signs in local bars and restaurants, and when that holiest of days rolls round make sure you take advantage of the savings!
Wednesday – Skip the morning coffee
Many of us are guilty of forming an unhealthy, habitual attachment to our local barista. But with most cafes charging around $4.00 per skinny latte, the daily caffeine hit is definitely something you should avoid if you are trying to save. Try drinking tea instead of coffee – it is easy to prepare at home, and you can keep some bags at work for during the day. Addicted to that important feeling you get from carrying around a takeaway coffee mug in the morning? Many cafes will provide free boiling water if you bring your own bag and keep cup.
If you can’t live without a quality coffee, you might want to buy a plunger or invest in a coffee machine. A good quality coffee machine could set you back about $2,000, but if you and your partner each buy five coffees a week you will more than make up that amount within a year.
Thursday – Take advantage of late-night shopping
Avoid the temptation to do your weekly grocery shopping online – online prices are often significantly more expensive than those in store. Take the time to research the cheapest supermarket in your area, and investigate any deals you might like to take advantage of. Write out a list of what you need for the week (remembering that you will be cooking at home) and buy it in one go. While you don’t want to spend unnecessarily, it is usually cheaper to buy non-perishables in bulk (cleaning products, sugar, flour, etc.). Avoid frivolous spending by committing to purchasing only those items that are on your list.
Friday – Enjoy a night in
While your days of clubbing and pub-crawling may be behind you (or perhaps not), going out for a drink or two can still be a major drain on your wallet. The social side of wining and dining is often a major deterrent to opting for a night in – after all, who wants to spend Friday night at home alone? But the best part about staying in on a Friday night is that you can still enjoy all the good aspects of a night out – good food, great wine, and excellent company – while avoiding the inevitable draining of your bank
account. Instead of arranging to meet your friends at a restaurant or bar, invite them round to your place. Request that everyone bring a bottle of wine and some snacks to share. All that’s left for you is to provide the music and some interesting conversation!
Saturday – Explore your city
It can be easy to think you have to spend money to have a good time on the weekend, but that is definitely not the case. All you have to do is be smart about where you go and what you do. Spend some time searching the net for free outdoor events – most weekends the city is bustling with free festivals, concerts, and performances. Remember that just because you can spend money, doesn’t mean you have to. It can be just as fun admiring the items for sale at a market stall as it would be to buy them. Avoid expensive art exhibitions and take a look at the gallery’s permanent collections – they are often just as interesting and are usually free. And if you do find yourself tempted to spend $20 on admission to the Picasso exhibition, or on some local designers’ DIY project, just think where that money would be going if you had opted for the pub instead!
-- By Rebecca Cleaver
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