We’ve all heard the old “skip your daily coffee and take your lunch to work” advice. It’s sound, but boring, and you’ll be unlikely to stick to it for very long! So what are some real proven strategies you can use to save $500 in the next month?
Liz Pulliam Weston, author of The 10 Commandments of Money, devised some tips for saving money out of necessity. After all, the business columnist admits that she used to “run out money before I ran out of month!”
She believes that it’s important for everyone to have a small savings buffer to cover life’s little mishaps, like an emergency dental visit or a blown car tyre, so you don’t have to rely on your credit card.
So, here are some suggestions to help you squirrel away $500 this month (and perhaps next month, too!) so you can gets your savings plan on track: 
  • Strip back to basics
For one month (or the rest of this month), buy only the necessities. That means no morning lattes, no magazines, no takeaway dinners, no new clothes, no manicures – just the bare basics. “You’ll be amazed how much cash is left over,” Weston says. 
  • Sell it on eBay
Do a quick audit of your wardrobe, CDs, DVD collection or jewelry box for any goods you no longer like, need or use. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and eBay is the ideal way to generate a little extra cash. Consider yourmortgage.com.au reader Jane, who turned two old couches she was going to bin into $250 – or Rachel, who sold a few unwanted Playstation games for $135. Get listing! 
  • Sweep your savings
“Take whatever cash you don’t 100% need right now, whether it’s in your purse or in your regular bank account, and sweep it into your savings account right now,” Weston suggests. Repeat this process a couple of times, even if the amount is only $20 or $50, and you’ll see your savings grow. 
  • Manage your banking
Always save at a bank or credit union that is not linked to your regular account, and that can’t be accessed with ATM card. It will make it that much harder to transfer your savings to your everyday account, which will buy you extra time to properly think through any big purchases.  
  • Review your bills and utilities
Do you really need that cable television subscription, with all the bells and whistles? If you cut it back to a basic package (or get rid of it altogether), you could save $50-$100 per month. Ditto for your electricity bill, health insurance and car insurance policies: with a little shopping around, you can save hundreds of dollars.