9 Money Saving Tips You’ve Probably Forgotten All About

9 Money Saving Tips You’ve Probably Forgotten All About
Carly Jacobs

I was listening to the radio the other day (the actual radio – what up 1996!) and they had a segment where they asked listeners to call in with their biggest money saving tips but the segment quickly dissolved into money wasting horror stories.

My favourite was a woman who paid for a monthly cheese box delivery and totally forgot she signed up for it. She just thought a weird secret admirer was sending her cheese every month for a year. I laughed at that one but then I’ve done things just as stupid. I once paid for the same magazine subscription twice and didn’t figure it out until I’d received two magazines for three months in a row. Genius right? I thought they were accidentally sending me two, so I was quietly gifting the extra magazine to a mate of mine until I actually figured out I was paying for it. It was penance for not being honest and telling them after the first month I was receiving two mags instead of one. Guilt got the better of me eventually.

money saving tips

No matter how savvy we think we are with money, most of us screw up every now and then. So I thought I’d put together a few money saving tips you’ve probably heard before but when you read them you’ll be like ‘I totally forgot about Gumtree! I’m so selling my Xbox…’

Sometimes you just need a reminder of the classic(andnot so classic) money saving tips…

1. Start doing the $5 savings plan

I read about this ages ago and it just seems like such a sensible idea. Mr Smaggle and I do this with coins and we usually end up with a couple of hundred dollars at the end of the year and then we take ourselves out for a fancy dinner but this is next level. The premise is that you save every single $5 note you get for a full year. This woman has it done it for 13 years and has saved over $50,000. Just from not spending $5 notes. How unbelievably achievable does that sound?

2. Simplify

About a year ago I stopped buying shower gel, hand wash and general cleaners. I use Dr Bronners for all that stuff now. We have these self-foaming pumps we bought from Muji and use watered down Dr Bronners in the kitchen, bathroom, shower and for general purpose cleaning. It saves us a fortune buying all the different types of soap you need for all the different things. We buy a big bottle about once a year and it’s $25. There are heaps of different scents but we always get peppermint because that’s the first one we ever bought and we love it so much we’re too scared to try a different one in case we don’t like it. We have a lot of soap issues.  We still buy proper toilet cleaner and washing powder but everything else gets the Dr Bronners treatment. Including the cars… and I imagine pets if we had them.

3. Set yourself an allowance for clothing, entertainment, etc

Mr Smaggle and I aren’t foodies and we’re not super into fashion (we like good quality, long lasting clothing) but we’re very into travel so we give ourselves an allowance for that. We put aside an amount each year that we’re comfortable spending on travel and we stick to it. Which means that if we ended up overseas three times in the first half of the year, the second half of the year will be spent in Australia, doing road trips and weekends away. If you spend too much money in one area like restaurants, bars, clothing or shoes, set yourself an unbreakable allowance for that particular thing. If you have a bad habit of spending hundreds of dollars at the pub every weekend, try setting yourself a weekly limit of $50 and if you want to have a few bevvys, invite your mates around instead.

4. Think carefully about the gifts you buy

You might see a cute pair of earrings or a nice notebook and grab it for a friends birthday but if they never use that gift (and chances are, they won’t) it’s a waste of money. Think about taking them out for lunch instead or buy them a lovely bottle of wine to drink with them. It’s a much better use of your money than a random scarf they’ll probably stuff in a drawer and then donate to charity ten years later.

money saving tips

5. Shop your pantry

Did you know that most Australians throw away about 20% of the food they purchase? That equals about $1000 per household per year. It’s literally throwing money in the bin. Instead of going out and buying all the stuff you need for dinner for the week, have a look in your pantry or freezer, see what you have and build dinner around that. Got some mincemeat that needs using? Make taco bowls. Got half a packet of rice? Make something Mexican. Shop what you have at home and avoid wasting money and food.

6. Use Raiz

It’s basically like an investment app to make investing super easy. You can hook it up to your credit card where it will round up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and invest that money. I saved $600 last year with Raiz without even trying. They just took micro amounts of money that I didn’t even notice and invested it. It’s a great passive way to get into investing without a huge amount of risk.

Sidenote: Raiz used to be called Acorns but couldn’t be called that when it launched in Australia because of a naming rights issue so they called it Raiz instead. I just need everyone to know I came up with a much better name. ‘Gumnuts’. How cute is that? So much better than ‘Raiz’ and pays homage to the original name Acorns. If you need me to name something for you, I’m ALL over it.

7. Sell your old shit

You never know what someone will buy. We had an ANCIENT fridge that still worked fine that we bought off Gumtree years ago for $100. When we moved we were going to get rid of it but it still worked so we popped it on Gumtree and someone bought it. For $100. We basically had a free fridge for 7 years and we didn’t even have to pay someone to take it away. We put EVERYTHING on Gumtree. Camera gear, electronics, old magazines. Second-hand IKEA furniture even sells well on there. Even if you sell something you don’t need for $50, that’s still $50. So worth the effort of listing it. If you need some tips here’s an article about selling things on Gumtree. 

money saving tips

8. Buy new shit second hand

We buy everything we can second hand. Our current fridge, drier, my Apple watch, our daughter’s stroller and heaps of our professional equipment like camera lenses were bought second hand off Gumtree or eBay. I’m certainly not against buying new stuff but if there’s something we need, we try to get it second hand first. We really wanted a Stoke stroller for our daughter but they were $3000 new and we got a second-hand one that was barely used for $600. Bargain.

9. Return things that aren’t great when you buy them online

I’m usually a stickler for this but the other day I bought a pair of tracksuit pants. I never wear tracksuit pants because I hate the way I look in them. These were a ‘skinny’ pair of tracksuit pants designed to look like tights. I put them on and they looked great… for 5 minutes. Then the knees went all saggy and they looked awful. I liked the way they fitted everywhere else so I cut the tags off and told myself I’d wear them. I haven’t worn them. I know a lot of people would rather forfeit $20 for a cheap top they bought online rather than go to the trouble of going to the post office to return them but you’ll save so much more money if you actually return the items you don’t like. I’m going to return these tracksuit pants anyway, even though I probably won’t get a refund because I’ve cut off the tags. I really hate them and if they can re-sell them that’s better than them cluttering up my cupboard not being worn.

Do you have any money saving tips you use? Care to share?

P.S Also you should totally sign up for my newsletter. It’s full of cool stuff.P.P.S Don’t forget Crochet Coach has a free trial offer period at the moment so make sure you sign up!


  1. Missy D 3 years ago

    I’ve done the $5 challenge, definitely saved a lot, but it’s much harder to do these days since I rarely have cash. But I do the coin jar thing – it currently has more than $200 in it. 🙂

    Other things I do:
    – I pay myself first – savings go into the bank, then other living expenses have to fit into what’s left over
    – use public transport rather than driving/paying for parking
    – packing a lunch for work rather than buying it
    – shop at markets for fruit and veg at the crack of dawn on weekends – seriously, it’s so cheap (and better quality)
    – buy cheese and meats from the deli at the supermarket – it’s way cheaper than buying from the same store in packaging.

    Love the post!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs-Smaggle 3 years ago

      These tips are great! It’s easy to forget about savings but if you take them out first, that’s done! We also market shop – so much easier when you live in the country though!

  2. I know it’s not going to be for everybody, but I went from having a large expenditure on US Amazon for ebooks, to opening up a Kindle Unlimited account instead. I’m not going to tell you how much I am saving, but it’s a LOT :/ I can’t really afford to spend a lot as an early career freelancer anyway.

    I love using Pocketbook (an app founded in Australia!) for tracking my spend. Pocketbook gets you to categorise your transactions (and makes decent guesses about subsequent transactions that it thinks are similar). I can no longer hide from how much my coffee habit costs me 😉

    Also I periodically go through and look for app, magazine, newspaper, software subscriptions that I’ve made through paypal, Apple App Store, etc and make sure I still need/want them. Same goes for streaming services.

    Love the $5 rule. I need to go back to is, since my 7 year old started raiding the spare change lying around the house, making a change jar much less effective!

    I’m a fellow Curly Girl, and have learned how to cut my own hair (unicorn cut), saving me about $150 a time I choose not to go to a hairdresser. And doing the curly girl thing already meant six-monthly, not two-monthly haircuts, saving me an extra 600/year. Again, it’s a choice I’m making while I don’t really have the spare cash to spend on haircuts. I’d seriously love to get a colour done, but yeah, no, better things to spend my cash on 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs-Smaggle 3 years ago

      Yes I have one of those too! I paused it because I’m reading a bit less these days but our baby is sleeping in more predictable patterns now so I’ll have to unpause it! I’m about to get my first salon colour in ages this week but I live in the country now so it’s SUPER cheap!

  3. KezUnprepared 3 years ago

    My husband does the $5 savings thing. When the cash accumulates, he puts it in a term deposit account. I think he wants to do something big with us for his 40th or something. It adds up pretty fast, even if I do get mad that he’s always withdrawing cash randomly from ATMs and then I can’t track our budget spending haha.
    I’ve been using the ShopBack website/app to shop (which if you use it wisely pays you money to shop!) and making sure I check my emails to find discounts and vouchers I’ve received that I used to just forget about when shopping online! I use a Pocketbook app to track spending. When we have time we sell baby stuff we don’t need anymore. My inlaws (retired) are fabulous and enjoy posting our stuff for us when we are busy so we don’t have to meet lots of people at our place. We often tell them to keep the money if it’s a small amount, to say thanks but every bit we do get helps! We are hoping to travel overseas later this year and I’m kind of freaking out so I will try to remember your tips!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs-Smaggle 3 years ago

      Mr Smags does it with coins! He’s also really into his gold AMEX and all the points and savings you get from using it!

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