10 ways to save $1000 by Christmas
Simple ways to stash cash before the school holidays
By Practical Parenting team
November 16 2018
1 Book your holidays early
The first and foremost tip for school holiday savings; if you’re planning a holiday, make sure you book as far in advance as you can. Travel search engines such as KAYAK show that you need to book a trip to a popular domestic destination such as the Gold Coast about two months in advance to save at least $50 on flights - which means extra cash for the theme parks!
Approx. savings: $50 per person ($200 for a family of four)
2. Use deal sites
If you enjoy winding down from a busy week with the kids, instead of paying full price for a massage or spa session, you could save about $80 even when treating yourself to a delightful pamper package on deal sites such as Groupon. That means, indulging in your down time without breaking the bank!
Approx. savings: $80 per deal
3. Do your grocery shopping online
As simple as this may sound, it’s often an easier way to monitor your budget as you fill your cart so you’re not surprised by the end amount. You could save about $30 per week by monitoring your cart closely and removing the items you really don’t need, and purchasing longer-lasting produce (such as potatoes, carrots and cabbage).
Approx. savings: $30 per week
4. Spring clean your subscriptions
The kids may love their favourite shows on Foxtel, Netflix, Stan, Presto and HayU; but maybe it’s time to cut down on their TV time. Condensing to two subscriptions (instead of five) could potentially save you $50 per month; and open up to more quality time without screens.
Approx. savings: $50 per month
5. Avail of free activities
Family activities don’t need to cost a bomb. We may love treating our kids to trips to the local theme parks and movies, but it’s not always very cost-effective; especially when you need some extra cash to do just that in the school holidays. Instead of splurging on the movies (and indulging at the candy bar) each weekend, why not pack a picnic and get outdoors for a day at the beach or park? Museums and art galleries are also educational and a great way to enjoy something different, and for free.
Approx. savings: $80 per week
6. Put your gym membership on hold
Research by ING found that the average gym membership costs $57.40 per month, which means if you’re not pumping iron often the only thing perspiring will be your wallet. If you’re worried about having enough cash for family activities these school holidays, most gyms will let you put your membership on hold for a few weeks. Instead of spending the $15 per week at the gym, try cycling with the kids on the weekend, kicking a football in the park or enjoying some coastal walks.
Approx. savings: $15 per week
7. Take advantage of happy hour
Keen to catch up with your colleagues for an after-work drink or two on Fridays? Keep your wallet happy during happy hour by scoping your local bar and pub scene. Apps like The Happiest Hour tell you when and where the best happy hours are. This can help you find cheap eats and $5 wines, so you don’t have to go without simple luxuries.
Approx. savings: $8 per drink (or more)
8. Monitor energy use
It’s all too easy to knock up a hefty electricity, gas or water bill, especially in the cooler months when it can be tempting to have the gas heater all day long! Be clever about your energy use by doing as much as you can to heat and cool your home without using electricity – like sealing doors, rugging up or opening the window! Flicking appliances off at the switch and doing clothes washing during off-peak periods will also save you some extra coin.
Approx. savings: $30 per month
9. Host a Sunday potluck dinner with friends and family
A great way to save some extra cash is to host a Sunday potluck dinner. Invite your close friends, family or neighbours over for a ‘bring-a-dish’ dinner this Sunday. Catch up over yummy food and drinks while sidestepping expensive restaurant bills. Commit to making this a more regular event and not only it will help you to save money, it will allow you to save time on preparing food, creating valuable time to catch up with loved ones.
Approx. savings: $50 per week
10. Utilise set-and-forget banking
By setting up auto-payments that fall within your pay cycle, it means you can pay bills and add to savings accounts automatically. Do your research and find tools such as ING’s Everyday Roundup, which rounds your purchases up to a whole dollar amount and puts the spare change in your savings. ING customers can save an average of $70 per month through this tool, and it’s a great way to save while you spend!
Approx. savings: $70 per month