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If you’ve ever put on a little weight and your belt has been too tight around your waist, you will get an understanding of a “tight” budget in terms of managing money. Discover two simple ways to save money fast right here.
Here’s the analogy and logic:

  1. Put on weight and you will barely fit your clothes
  2. Put on more weight and you won’t fit your clothes at all
  3. Spend too much money and you’ll have little left in your bank account
  4. Spend even more money than that and you’ll end up broke and possibly in deficit

If you can relate to both of these problems, then read on to discover two quick ways to save money on a tight budget. You might even lose some weight as you do so!
Learn more ways to save money fast here: Save money by thinking of junk mail as cash

Eat soup twice a week

Groceries are one of our biggest spends. Consider eating soup twice a week and your grocery bill will go down dramatically. This is because meat and packaged processed goods (which create many modern dinners) are expensive.
If you eat soup twice a week there are many advantages.
Here they are:

  1. You’ll get two meals each week, which are highly nutritious
  2. You will get your fill of vitamins for the week
  3. You will not spend money on meat twice a week
  4. You will save approximately $20 – $30 depending on the size of your family
  5. You will also lose weight because soups are a light dinner option
  6. The savings are not only in the meat but also in calories (because many of our daily calories can be found in meat)
Ways to save money fast

Ways to Save Money Fast

Shop super wisely

There are some fantastic budget food outlets in Australia. One of the best ones I have found is NQR. As far as I know, this budget food outlet takes are ex-supermarket stock from supermarket shelves which aren’t selling extremely well. But the food is fine and in perfectly good condition.
Here’s a list of some of the stuff I pick up weekly at my local NQR:

  1. Snacks for the kids lunches (E.g. crackers)
  2. Diced tomatoes., pasta sauces and pasta
  3. Milk and sauce bases
  4. Mineral water and beverages
  5. Sliced cheese, chips and dips
  6. Ham and salami for lunches
  7. Sausage pieces for quick noodle dinners
  8. Personal items like shampoo and conditioner
  9. Tuna and canned goods
  10. Other misc stuff

I didn’t realise what a full supermarket NQR now is and I’m astonished at the savings I am making.
More ways to save money fast here: Save money fast with these 12 proven tips
Tip: I’m getting the stuff at half price of what I’d normally get it at Aldi, which is already a discounted store. I’m stoked.
What’s the benefit of shopping at a discount supermarket?
You can use the savings for a gym membership or a new treadmill.
I love a win-win.
Got great tips on ways to save money fast? Share them on my Facebook page.

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We all know that recycling benefits the environment. But if we get smart about recycling, it can also benefit our home budget.
Don’t just separate your trash for recycling – think about how you can re-use things. These 5 nifty recycling tips will save you money, and help to keep your home as clean as your conscience.

It’s in the bag

These days, most supermarkets encourage us to bring our own re-useable shopping bags. Even so, we are still likely to come home with the occasional plastic bag.
Don’t toss those stray bags straight in the recycling bin – give them a second lease on life. Why pay for bin liners when you can re-use the plastic bags that you accumulate through the week?
In the warmer months, dry cleaning bags make an excellent storage solution for your blankets and winter bedding. Before you seal each end, add a few moth flakes to keep things fresh. And when winter sets in, do the same with your unused summer garments.

A cracking idea for egg cartons

Cardboard egg box on wooden table. Top view with copy space
When that twelfth egg hits the frying pan, it is finished for him – game over. But life is just beginning for the empty egg carton that he leaves behind.
When you finish your next dozen, don’t reach for the recycling bin. With their soft texture and unique shape, egg cartons are perfect for storing small items and delicate trinkets.
If you struggle to keep your children’s drawers tidy and organised, clear out their sock drawers and subdivide each one with clean egg cartons. The storage trays are great for separating and sorting small items. I also use them to store Christmas tree balls and other decorations.
When your jewellery box is overflowing, an empty egg carton can solve your problem. Line a shallow drawer with cartons, or create a tiered jewellery box by stacking a few cartons in an empty shoebox, and voilà – your precious gems and baubles will have a cosy new home.

Cleaning cloths – rinse and repeat

people, housework and housekeeping concept - close up of woman hands cleaning table with cloth and d
Keeping the house clean is a never-ending battle. To win, you need a constant supply of ammunition – scourers, cloths, and absorbent wipes – to fend off dust, grime and spills. As the battle wages on, the expense of household cleaning supplies can really eat into your budget.
Most people treat their sponges and scouring pads as single-use, disposable items. But play it smart and you can extend their working life and get a lot more bang for your buck.
When a dirty cloth reaches its limits, don’t be too quick to toss it. Most commercial cleaning cloths, scourers and open-weave wipes can be laundered, so you can use them several times. After a thorough wash, return your used cloths to the frontline, to keep fighting the good fight.

Keep a lid on it

Food containers
It’s nice to take a break from the kitchen and treat the family to take-away food from time to time. But when dinner is served in not-so-sustainable plastic packaging, it can weigh on your conscience.
Don’t automatically recycle these plastics. They can often be cleaned and repurposed to store other items. And plastic lids can be put to very good use in your pantry.
Don’t you hate it when your cooking oil leaves greasy smudges on your kitchen shelves? Or how about those naughty aerosol cans that leave stubborn rusty marks?
Clean, clear plastic lids can be placed underneath your oil bottles and aerosols to protect your surfaces.

The multi-function toothbrush

Used ToothbrushIf you brush your teeth as often as your dentist tells you to, you probably go through quite a few toothbrushes. When a toothbrush is no longer fit for cleaning your teeth, don’t discard it – there are so many other things it can still do.
Add used toothbrushes to your cleaning caddy and use those bristles to clean those hard-to-get-to places. Use it to clean cut glass or patterned silverware; to reach dusty corners and crevices; to tackle tile grout; to clean delicate jewellery; to scrub stubborn stove burners; and to remove mud from the edges of your dirty shoes.
Don’t put your next used toothbrush into early retirement – give it a career change!


Author Bio:
Katie Hume is a blogger, digital marketing specialist and community manager for Airtasker, a community based marketplace. People post and receive offers from Airtasker for domestic cleaning in Melbourne, Sydney and other cities of Australia. Katie is a great cook and also enjoys interior design, especially DIY. Living next to the beach, she’s always there (on weekends) swimming, catching up with friends or volunteering as a lifesaver.

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If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know how much I love to travel. I have circumnavigated this glorious globe of ours twice. In my younger days I purchased several of those terrific world tickets that allow you to keep travelling and flying as long as you keep moving in one direction.

Here’s my BIG BONUS travel tip from those days

Back then my basic travel strategy was to ‘live in the sky.’ I would sleep on planes – eating my meals at night while flying. This way, I would always get a great meal and a sleep without forking out any extra dollars. This single strategy saved me thousands as a student traveller and also forced me to stop at a huge number of destinations, which eventually helped satisfy all the travel cravings I’d had.
In total I think I’ve taken well over 500 flights in my lifetime (and counting!), so I figure I’m well qualified to now deliver you this quick summary of my top ten reasons to travel and 40 tips on how to travel on a budget.


Firstly – here are my top ten reasons for travelling

  1. See amazing destinations
  2. Enjoy the thrill of a flight
  3. Sip champagne in economy
  4. Get away from it all
  5. Learn about other cultures
  6. Get the most out of my life and day
  7. Find new inspiration
  8. Get perspective on life
  9. Make new friends and visit family
  10. To have fun!

Makes me think of this song actually…


And now for the big list:

40 tips for travelling on a budget from a gal who’s been there!

Packing

  1. Pack neutral colors that allow for easy matching of clothes
  2. Don’t over pack your bag and risk excess luggage fees
  3. Make sure your check your allowances are correct
  4. Weigh your bag to make sure it is within limits

Bonus packing tip!

By the way. if you are looking for some high quality travel gear including luggage, backpacks and carry-on luggage, at very affordable prices, check out In Luggage. They offer same day delivery and up to 50% off everything on their online store!


Flights

  1. Book in advance to avoid hefty fees
  2. Double check the fine print on your flight
  3. Use flight comparison sites to get the best deals
  4. Try to package up flights with other goodies like cars & hotel rooms
  5. Avoid being to rigid with travel dates and times
  6. Look for ‘deals’ on sites like Groupon or Livingsocial
  7. Travel out of season

Airport

  1. Eat breakfast or lunch before leaving for the airport. Meals at airports can get pricey – especially if purchasing for an entire family
  2. Shop around online for the cheapest airport parking and book in advance
  3. Consider taking a bus to the airport from your city
  4. Take nibbles on the plane – that you bought at the supermarket – plan ahead
  5. Bring your iPad and stock it with movies
  6. Don’t buy gifts at the airport – buy them when you get to your destination

Accommodation

  1. Shop online and use budget sites to get the best deals
  2. Go to a supermarket upon arrival and stock your hotel room with nibbles
  3. Go for self-contained accommodation options, which allow you to cook & store food
  4. Consider a bus tour of the city – they are often affordable, quick & money-saving
  5. Consider home exchange programs rather than paying for accommodation
  6. Consider campgrounds instead of hotels
  7. Remember that staying just near a big city(in a local town) might be more affordable than right in the middle of a city

Keeping in touch

  1. Turn OFF international roaming before leaving home or risk getting stung big time
  2. Use international phone cards to keep in touch
  3. Use internet cafes or FREE Wi-Fi at places like McDonalds
  4. Plan your day around places that help you keep in touch
  5. Use technology like Snapchat or Viber to save on calls

Transportation

  1. Only hire cars when you are leaving big cities
  2. Checkout car relocation and camper relocation deals at all destinations. They go for as low as $1 per day!
  3. Use a Navman in cities to avoid getting lost and chewing up unnecessary time and money in petrol
  4. Consider deals on public transport (i.e train passes) rather than car hire
  5. Make sure you make use of all concessions available to you
  6. Consider flying or travelling at night to avoid extra accommodation costs

Food

  1. Avoid hotel breakfasts and eat at cheap local eateries instead
  2. Pre-prepare snacks, water, drinks and lunch for your day out
  3. If going out to eat consider lunch over dinner
  4. Consider sacrificing a meal. E.g Eat a big lunch and skip dinner
  5. Consider simple options like noodles for one meal each day

Do you have any fantastic travel tips? Submit them in comments below.
Happy travelling!

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A budget is a must if you want to save money. Trying to  achieve financial goals is a flawed plan without a budget in mind. Creating a plan that works  is only half the job. Sticking to the plan is the vital part of financial goal-setting. This action is often the most challenging when it comes to money management. Organisations like Debt Rescue can help you if you need a starting point. If you learn how to stick to your budget you’ll avoid a bunch of future financial mistakes.

Here is a list of five surefire ways to stick to your budget and achieve your financial goals

Think of cost in terms of your time

When tempted to buy something new look at the cost of that item in a different way. Work out how long you had to work to earn the money for the intended purchase. Now ask yourself – is this item worth, such as, the ten-or-so hours of the time stolen from the family, friends or a hobby you might love? If you think the item is still worth it  – go ahead and buy it! Though generally you will find you’ll be less inclined to give up those earnings when you consider how hard it was to attain the funds in the first place.

Visualise your financial goals

Keep your financial goals clear and in front of you always. Whether your goal is to save for a road trip over Christmas, to secure the latest smartphone, drive a new car, or get out of debt, make sure you keep this goal in front of you. For example, keep it as a screen saver on your phone or stick it to the fridge. Alternatively, stick it to the dash in your car or place it on the mirror you look into every morning. Whatever means you choose make sure the goal is in front of you often. Visualisation is an extremely powerful tool and a picture is much more motivating that words on a page.

Set some smaller goals

Set milestones for your financial goals so that you are breaking bigger goals down into smaller chunks.  This way you will build momentum and a continuous sense of achievement. Achieving smaller goals will stop you losing motivation. For example, if your goal is to save a large deposit for a home you might be looking at living frugally for a few years. This can be depressing – unless you are creative with being frugal like me! By setting smaller savings goals and rewards along the way you will be able to ‘tick off’ savings and feel proud and inspired along the way.  Enjoying small rewards is vital to achieving these goals. For example, buy a small item for your home every time a monthly goal is met.

Count costs

Stay disciplined and avoid spending where possible. Ask – What am I giving up to have that item now? Keep the big picture in mind at all times using the visualisation techniques described above. If the latest fashion in shoes means you have to live with your parents for six more months longer, are those shoes really that special? Or would getting into your own place sooner be a better trade-off? Get into the habit of questioning every purchase and its viability. This way you’ll always stick to your budget.

Get creative

Set a challenge to see how creative you can be each month. How much can you shave down each household expense? See if you can cut your grocery bill in half this month. What can you cook and eat for this amount of money? Start going on the hunt for specials and see what you can cook up with those sale items at the supermarket. You might surprise yourself and your loved ones with a new dish and even a culinary masterpiece!
With the intense marketing happening out there, the temptation to spend is stronger than ever and this makes sticking to a budget even harder. Stay focused, disciplined and motivated while you keep your eyes on the prize.
Tip: Be sure to hang out more on sites like the Savings Room to keep that momentum up! After all, you are a product of your environment!
Most of all – if I can do it – so can you!
How do you motivate yourself to stick to your budget? Share your top tips in the comments box below.

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You don’t have to break the bank to create a breathtaking outdoor living space. With a little ingenuity and inventiveness, anyone can bring a new vibe to a tired space. Read on for some tips on how to achieve the latest look for less. Or get a professional in to do it, such as Additions Building.

1. Cheap landscaping

Landscaping doesn’t have to involve thousands of dollars and there are many ways to get materials cheaply or even for free. Contact your local council; they often give away free trees, mulch and compost. Call in some favours from your friends or contact local gardening groups. You can often get a lot of cheap labour and/or cuttings this way. Just be aware that you’ll probably have to return the favour at some point! Demolition sites are also an excellent way to pick up free bricks, stones and other materials but always seek permission before doing so.

2. Timing

You can often pick up trees, plants and other landscaping materials cheap if you pick the right time to purchase. Many garden centres and hardware shops try to get rid of old stock at the end of specific seasons so look into what’s available in your area. Buying younger (and smaller) plants is another way to save money as an established tree costs a lot more than a juvenile one.

3. Recycle and reuse

Before starting your project, look at what you already have. Can you recycle or reuse anything? Use your imagination and reflect on ways you can incorporate existing materials. That hideous garden gnome can be repainted and revitalized. If you are going for a theme, think about how you can include existing ornaments into your design. Spraying tired old objects with silver or gold paint can bring about an amazing transformation but be sure that they fit in with your vision of the finished area.

4. Get thrifty

Check out local car-boot and garage sales. Scour flea markets and second hand stores. Keep your eyes open at the charity shops, where you can pick up some great bargains for use in your outdoor living space. Read the local paper’s advertisements or spend time investigating bargains online and even on Facebook. People often give away items for free (or for cheap!) so get to know the best resources for your search. Spread the word that you’re ‘on the look-out’ for materials and ask your network of friends and other contacts to help you find what you’re looking for. There is power in numbers!

5. Think outside the square

It’s great to make alternative uses for stuff that you may have lying around. Drill some drainage holes in a pair of old boots and plant them up. Or use an old piece of drain-pipe as a planter box for wild flowers. The possibilities are endless! Old glass jars make great miniature herb gardens and shells gathered from your next trip to the beach ccan be threaded on to some twine and hung from a tree. Do you have tips of your own to share? Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty with DIY crafts and projects? Comment below and join the discussion!

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