Imagine being mortgage free. Will you continue to work full time or opt for work/life balance that allows you more time to do those things you never seem to have time for? If you want to save money and pay off your mortgage faster without feeling like you’re always having to go without there’s plenty you can do. Why not adopt some (or all) of the following ways to save money:
We’ve become so accustomed to throwing things out the minute they break, tear or appear to be worn out. Take a close look at the item – can it be repaired? Think glue, sewing, patches, Blutak, toolkit. If it can’t be repaired can it be repurposed or parts of it used to save money elsewhere?
Top tip: Visit the Ringwood Repair Café if you can’t repair it yourself.
In an over commercialised world, taking the time to hand make/ bake a gift will mean so much more to the receiver, and you get to fully customise what it is you’re making. Win. Win. Alternatively, you can give the gift of your time/specialised skill in the form of a voucher. ie. pet sitting, lawn mowing, painting etc.
Top tip: Check out Pinterest for a never-ending supply of ideas.
Host instead of going out
The number of eateries has exploded around suburban Melbourne and if you regularly meet family and friends at them it can be a drain on your budget. Try some good old-fashioned hosting instead.
Top tip: Ask people to bring a plate.
There are plenty of low budget options when it comes to entertainment. Think picnic in the park, paying for streaming service rather than going to the movies, be a spectator at a model airplane/car club, bushwalking, free shows/exhibitions etc.
Top tip: Search Facebook for events near you.
Sell instead of buy
Do you really need another blouse/electronic item/kitchen gadget? Before something new comes into the home find something to sell on eBay or online. Or better yet, get the entire family to cull their belongings and hold a garage sale or ‘pop-up’ sale on your front lawn.
Top tip: Choose a designated area of the home to begin putting aside your items for sale.
Limit convenience items
While we claim we’re time poor, sometimes we’re just lazy and opt for shortcuts. Make larger batches of food and freeze in meal size portions to avoid grabbing take away. Make your own household cleaning and beauty items rather than purchase overpriced ones—not only will they be better for the planet they’ll also be better for your health!
Top tip: Pinterest is a wealth of information for both food and non-food recipes.
Instead of simply renewing your energy supplier contract, your house insurance or buying your petrol at the same service station, shop around for the best prices. Yes, it will take some more of your time but the pay-off will be more money in your pocket to go toward your mortgage.
Top tip: Use online comparison sites to cut down your research time.
Cancel memberships, subscriptions and any other ongoing payments you make toward non-essentials. For example, instead of a paying a gym membership organise regular weekly outdoor exercise sessions with friends – go to the park or even host yoga or boot camp your own backyard.
Top tip: See if your council is holding any free sessions. Maroondah does free Yoga in the Park over the warmer months.
Help the environment and your back pocket at the same time by planting your own veggies, bake your own bread and get back to basics. Be sure to do things in bulk to save time i.e. bake two loaves of bread and freeze one.
Top tip: FoodGawker has recipes from food bloggers all over the world in one convenient portal.
Do you have a skill or talent that you can use to exchange for something a friend or family member can do that you can’t? If you’re handy with the tools or into crafts you might be able to swap items/jobs for something you need like fresh veggies, babysitting, pet sitting or help around the house.
Top tip: Start your own local Facebook group.
Finally, make sure you put the money you save into your mortgage.