New Money Smart figures show that holidays account for $77 in the average Australian household’s weekly budget, adding up to a total of $4,004 a year. Prices for flights, car hire and accommodation peak in December and January, making the annual summer holiday and expensive exercise for families.

Here are some simple tips to save money on your summer holiday by using the sharing economy.

  • Save $455 on car hire by borrowing a car through peer-to-peer car sharing service Car Next Door. A 7-day, 300km round trip in a small car with reduced insurance excess at peak time would cost around $750 in a traditional hire car. The same trip in a local car from Car Next Door would cost just $295.
  • If you’re planning a motoring holiday, save on campervan hire with peer-to-peer service Camplify. Hiring a campervan that sleeps four people costs $260 a night from Jucy rentals, and around $90 a night through Camplify – a saving of $1,190 on a 7-day trip.
  • Accommodation is one of the biggest costs of any holiday. A hotel room by the beach in December could cost around $2,335 for 7 nights. Book a spare room in someone’s home from around $935 for 7 nights with Airbnb and save $1,400.
  • If your furry friend can’t come along on your holiday, you’ll need to find someone to look after them. A cattery or kennel at peak time can cost up to $350 a week. With MadPaws you can find a pet sitter near you to visit your pet each day from around $140 a week. You’ll save $210 and your four-legged friend gets to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.
  • No trip to the beach is complete without a day in the surf. Hiring a board from a surf rental company costs between $40-60 a day, or just $25 a day through peer-to-peer equipment rental platform, Quipmo – that’s a saving of $35.
  • Save money and boot space by hiring baby gear from other parents through Kindershare. Hiring a portacot and pram from a traditional baby gear rental company would cost $80-100 a week. You’ll save around $60 a week using Kindershare.
  • While you’re away rent out your unused driveway or parking spot to someone who needs it – and make around $250 a month withParkhound.
  • Download the free GetReminded app to remind you when you need to update your passport, book all or parts of your holiday as well as reminders about travel insurance, holiday pet care and more.

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As the year comes to a close many of us are dreaming of a holiday in 2020. And it’s hard to juggle budgets and find holiday money with the expense of Christmas looming.
However, there’s good news from Agoda.com to make it easier for you to plan and budget for your holiday.
Because Agoda.com is the first online digital travel booking platform to enable Australians to book and pay for their holiday accommodation via interest-free instalments, and can still access to Agoda’s lowest price deals .You can now choose to pay for your travel accommodation with Afterpay on Agoda.com, paying in four interest-free payments for any of Agoda’s “Book Now, Pay Now” accommodation options.
And there are loads of accommodation options to choose from with Agoda offering over 2.5 million properties globally. There’s accommodation to suit all budgets and travel occasions. You can opt for luxury, mid-range or budget-friendly hotels. Or select apartments, villas or unique properties from Agoda Homes that offer additional facilities such as kitchens, which can be helpful in watching your budget whilst you are on holiday.
How Afterpay works on Agoda.com

  • The Afterpay payment option is applicable on Book Now, Pay Now accommodation
  • At checkout, select Afterpay as your payment method
  • Pay over four fortnightly payments, interest-free
  • The payment option is applicable to hotel room charges only (excluding local taxes, service fees, and additional charges)

Go to www.agoda.com/afterpay for more information.

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Whether you love photography, are Insta-happy or planning a trip – you are going to love this idea. This one’s a game-changer, and as my son and I are budding photographers, we love this concept.

Did you know and have you ever considered renting gear? Yep, I’m talking ‘try before you buy’ cameras? Well, this is a thing! Ted’s Cameras is my go-to store for all things film and has always been. They’re leaders in the field and are very well versed. I’ve always found the service to be outstanding too. Their rental program now offers consumers even more bang for their buck. If you love photography, this is an excellent solution. You can try out amazing camera gear while taking those awesome Insta-worthy shots on a trip.

Here are 5 great reasons to rent cameras 


1. Reduce trip costs by trying out a better kit – for a cheaper price

Get your camera costs down while travelling – consider renting

There are plenty of costs associated with traveling. Think accommodation, meals, sightseeing, tickets for tours and more. The costs all add up. As a photographer, you may not be able to afford to buy a camera outright at first. So, renting is a great way to try out the latest gear, lenses, tripods and bags before investing.

2. You can rent gear that suits your travel destination and needs

Choose a camera that suits your destination and travel goals

Let’s say you usually use a DSLR. These cameras can be bulky and heavy to lug around. For example, you could rent a mirrorless camera. These rival the quality of DSLRs but they’re much lighter. They are a very popular choice for travel photographers. If you are going on Safari or planning to do lots of sightseeing you may need a camera with greater zoom. It would be sad to venture on an amazing trip only to discover photos aren’t the best after the fact.

Mirrorless Cameras – Ted’s Top Picks:

3. You can experiment with specialty lenses

Lenses can make or break a picture. Learn more about them through renting.

Photography can be a big learning curve for newbies. Finding the right lenses is one thing professional photographers know. Getting good at picking the right lense, will take your photos to the next level. These can be pricey though. It’s hard to justify buying a lens that you won’t use on a regular basis. This is where renting comes in handy. Depending on where you are going on holiday, you could rent a specialty lens. You could try a macro, tilt-shift or super-telephoto lens and find delight in how good your photos look. You’ll become even more creative too. For example, you could play around with fish-eye lenses. These capture dramatic landscapes or cityscape images. For travel, consider a versatile all-in-one zoom lens. Enjoy a creative challenge, and bring at least one “unusual” lens, like a fish-eye.

Lenses – Ted’s Top Picks:

4. You can leave more expensive gear at home

Leave good gear at home and take a rental kit

If you’re a professional photographer, you may have invested thousands of dollars in your kit. You can think of renting as a backup system. If you don’t want to risk losing or damaging expensive gear, leave it locked up at home. Otherwise, consider renting if your gear is being repaired. Rental equipment is a great way to keep working in the meantime.

5. You can add travel accessories to your kit

Traveling? Make sure you get the right camera gear. Consider renting and save big. 

Of course, no kit is a ‘kit’ without an incredible range of accessories. The best one to consider is a travel tripod. These are sturdy enough to hold a mirrorless or DSLR camera. They also fold down into a compact size, so they are easy to travel with. Like all tripods, they help with camera shake. That way you can meet every photographer’s goal – which is crisp, blur-free photos.

Ok, I’m going to say it: Walking around with a professional photography kit makes you look well, ‘cool.’ But there’s no point in looking cool if you haven’t got a camera bag to set that kit off. This is kind of like wearing the perfect suit with the wrong shoes. Yeah, style is important when it comes to photography. The bags also have a purpose. They protect your gear while exploring those amazing streetscapes and destinations.


Tripods & Camera Bags: Ted’s Top Picks:

Ready to rent?

Head over to Ted’s Cameras to learn more about their rental program. Put together the camera kit you’ve always dreamed of. Impress people on Instagram and love your passion for photography even more.

Sponsored – In Collaboration with Ted’s Cameras. *On a personal note, Ted’s are excellent. I’ve used their services many times. Their gear and customer service is outstanding.

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Byline author: Bessie Hassan

Christmas is just around the corner and Aussies are tipped to spend $464 on presents alone, equivalent to $8.8 billion nationwide. Though it’s nice to spoil your loved ones, it can be deceptively easy to overspend during the festive season. Decorations, entertaining, gifts and food can all add up, and you don’t want to start the new year with a financial hangover.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au, shares tips to help you cut down the cost of Christmas.

Make a list (and check it twice)

Keep an organised list of everything you’ll need to buy in the lead up to Christmas. This will help you keep track of your spending and prevent unnecessary purchases. Apps such as ASIC’s TrackMySPEND can also be a useful way to monitor your finances. Just remember to cross items off as you go to prevent doubling up.

Compare the pair

If you like to shop online, make sure to price check against other sites before making a purchase. Smaller brands are often stocked by larger retailers who may offer a more competitive price for the same item – particularly during a sale. Bear in mind that postage and handling costs may differ across sites, so take this into consideration when deciding which is the more cost-efficient option.

Stick to your budget

The sentiment “go on, it’s Christmas!” certainly rings true, but just because it’s the silly season, it doesn’t mean you should lose all financial sense. The average Australian faces around $1,727 in holiday debt. To avoid being stung, assess your finances in the lead up to Christmas to create a realistic and workable budget. Set a gift limit

Though it may feel uncomfortable, try to speak with friends and family about setting a spending limit for gifts, or only buying for one person. This can significantly reduce your overall spend, and chances are that everyone else feels the same. Use those unclaimed vouchers

We all end up with a handful of unused vouchers or gift cards wedged in our wallets. Christmas is the perfect time to make the most if them before their expiration date. Every dollar of gift card credit spent is less money from your own pocket. Use them to stock up on food and supplies, or to purchase a gift for someone else. You’ll be amazed how much you can end up saving.

Open a Christmas cracker account

Few people are aware of the benefits of opening one of these hidden gems. Christmas cracker accounts allow you to make deposits throughout the year, but your funds won’t become available until November. By transferring just $20 per week into the account, you can easily have $1,000 saved by the time Santa comes to town. Though it may be a little late this Christmas, now is the perfect time to start saving for next year.

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Just because I’ve made a career out of penny-pinching, doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally get swept up in the fantasy of a luxury lifestyle. If you’ve ever made the rookie error of signing up for one of those supposedly “secret” hotel websites, you probably know what I mean. It’s easy to be lured in by their daily e-mails and spend hour upon hour scrolling through photographs of exclusive beach resorts. I sometimes imagine what it must be like to indulge in a frosty cocktail while enjoying the ocean view from a private pool. I’ve even been tempted by the advertised prices to click through to read the details of the “deal.” Sigh! But you know me. I haven’t fallen off the thrifty wagon yet.

JanClaus / Pixabay

Fantasy shop ‘til you drop

In a similar vein to my imaginary holidays, I like to do something I call “fantasy shopping.” That’s when I meet a girlfriend in one of the more shi shi areas of town and, after a congenial lunch or coffee and cake, we take in the window displays of some of our favourite boutiques. Sometimes we even allow ourselves to meander inside and coo over high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets that we can’t really afford. Once or twice I’ve even splurged on some unnecessary (but, to me, affordable) indulgence, like $8 rose-scented pillow spray. Other times we might feign interest in some really expensive designer makeup until an obliging saleslady offers us a collection of small samples.

Spare the budget, spoil yourself

If you’re a loyal Savings Room reader, you might recognise (and even practise) this “how to be rich” fantasy technique. While a huge amount of fun (especially with the aforementioned girlfriend or girlfriends), in all seriousness, there is very much a method to this madness. And it is this: saving can’t – and shouldn’t be – 100% about self-denial. You’ve got to keep living, and above all, enjoy yourself. While I’ll never be on the Forbes rich list, I’ve learned that by letting myself have little luxuries, I really don’t feel like I’m doing without. If anything, those minor splurges keep me playing the long game.

Chrispikeuk / Pixabay

Buy vintage for both style and price

You can even give yourself occasional permission to fulfil an actual big ticket item fantasy. There are always ways to buy luxury brands for less if you are willing to put in some extra time to look for deals. The savings can be particularly good if you don’t mind an older model. People who buy luxury brands tend to take good care of them. If, for example, you’re into Tissot watches, go vintage but don’t pay the hefty price tag. You’re still getting a quality product that has years of life left in it. Not only that, but your find is sure to spark interest. The same principle applies to fashion. You simply need to find a consignment shop in the right neighbourhood and your dreams of a Gucci or Prada purse can be a reality without the thousand dollar price tag.
Of course, if the price you find is still too dear, turn on your imagination! Fantasy vintage shopping, anyone?

Free-Photos / Pixabay

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It’s a wasteful world. Frankly, there’s so much waste I don’t know where to start and I get a pretty sad thinking about it. Luckily there are some great solutions in the marketplace and passionate companies coming together to help reduce food waste while producing win-win scenarios for consumers.
I’m delighted to have discovered RaboDirect have the same passion for reducing food waste as I have – and it’s great we’ve been able to come together to help educate others on this topic. I’ll start with this recently released infographic from RaboDirect (I love a great visual) and then I’d like to tell you an inspirational story about my journey to becoming a No Food Waste Human.
In this post, I’ll demonstrate how small changes in lifestyle habits can make a huge impact on your life in terms of time, money, sanity and world savings. If you love the idea of saving thousands of dollars, putting your savings on steroids and also enjoy a good-karma lifestyle – then read on.

Financial Health Barometer – Food Waste Habits

RaboDirect recently released the infographic below. I especially love the tip about putting your $150 a week in savings into a high-interest savings account and turning that into $7,872 each year! WOW! Add to this the huge savings I can make you (further down this post) and you’ll be a very, very cashed-up good-karma human indeed.

This is life-changing. Hang on to your hat!

Here’s a little information about RaboDirect and what they do:

  • They support local farmers, so Australia can continue to be a leading world food producer and we can eat locally (read: more delicious produce!)
  • They invest into Aussie farms to help our country grow, alongside your savings.
  • They support sustainable farming and agricultural businesses in Australia, which means less waste – which we’re all about!

Learn More: RaboDirect

My No Food Waste Journey

I’m originally from New Zealand – one of the world’s most pristine and beautiful environments. It’s the same environment we also enjoy here in Australia when summer hits. Most of us take for granted the amazing sun and the cleanliness we enjoy while hanging with friends and family at the beach.

The Future of Food Waste

It wasn’t until I ventured overseas (Japan for four years) – that I got a real insight into the future of food waste due to population density and growth and the effects on the environment. My Become a No Food Waste Human and environmental journey started one day on a beach in Tokyo. The beach was so laden with rubbish and food waste – that I actually sat on that beach and cried. Apart from sad stories I’d seen on the news while sitting on a couch, I’d never truly cried for my environment and the world until that day. This experience was raw. Not on the telly. This view was real and truly sad. As a human living on a planet – this was a real awakening for me. Right there – I decided I didn’t want my kids to ever see a beach that looked as sad as the beach I saw that day. The thought of this beach – still bring tears to my eyes. Here’s a visual of the kind of food wrapping, packaging and scraps we’re throwing in bins each day – the kind of rubbish I saw on that beach.

MikesPhotos / Pixabay

MikesPhotos/ Pixabay Fast forward 20 years or so and I’m now into my 10th year as an advocate for No Food Waste</