Living in Australia on a Budget
Living in Australia on a Budget
We all know how difficult it can be at the moment; your wages just don’t go as far as they used to and you run out of money before pay day. With the cost of living rising, it can be difficult to keep within our budgets and make sure all our payments are made on time.
If you are reading this and nodding in agreement then these tips will help you to reassess your budget, save some money and above all have fun doing it! Living in Australia doesn’t have to be so expensive! So, to start with we need to know exactly what we have coming in and what dreaded payments are going out; I know this can be a daunting task but we can’t change our finances without this information.
Once you know what you are paying each month, then start off by looking at your creditor debts, if you have any, as these may need re thinking before creating your complete budget breakdown. If you have multiple credit cards then I would always recommend transferring your credit to a 0% balance transfer credit card. Not only will this consolidate all your credit, but it will also save you money on interest. If you have a single card then choosing a transfer to a 0% interest card will also help to save on your payments as long as you pay off the card before the time limit.
Once you have deduced what your exact payments will be, then you have the budget amount you are left with, it may not be as much as you feel you need but it’s certainly a start. So all the payments left should be your living costs and this is where you can really get creative.
Recycle, Reuse and Rework
If, like me, you love shopping for new clothes or home ware, but your new budget doesn’t stretch that far don’t despair. There are plenty of ways we can rediscover the old and even grab new items at little or no cost. We all have a beloved pair of jeans or jacket that has worn out, but instead of heading out to buy another have you considered patching up the holes or reusing the material to make a whole new item?
There are so many online sewing and mending tutorials that can be taken advantage of that there is no reason that we can’t all give it try and have a few giggles in the process. If sewing is not your thing then why not have a look for Op Shops in your area? There are plenty all around Australia! My personal favorites are the Salvation Army family stores. I have picked up so many bargains from these stores – not just clothes but great quality household items too. Have a look online for your local shop!
If you spend a large chunk of your budget on food, then have you ever considered growing your own? This does mean time investment on your part, but the fruits of your labor could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
The easiest foods to grow are fruits, vegetables and herbs (yes for vegetables you will need access to a plot of land or a garden.) If you decide that you want to give this a try then pick herbs and plants that are seasonal so you can shop around the ingredients you have grown. Herbs can also be grown indoors on window ledges if you have no garden. Another benefit of tending to your crops is that you will also be getting fresh air and mild exercise – perfect.
If you have a gym membership, have you asked yourself if you really need it? Couldn’t you get the same results for free? The average gym membership in Australia is $77 per month, but the great outdoors offers just as much for little expenditure.
Go for a jog along the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live on the coast) and enjoy the fresh air, rediscover that bike in the shed or bring back the 80’s with some roller skates; the possibilities are endless and the health benefits are exactly the same. There are also many running and swimming clubs that offer no joining fee and are great places to meet new people and have fun as a group. You could even buy some dumbbells from Rebel Sport if you wanted to strengthen your muscles! That gym membership doesn’t seem as necessary now does it?
Living in Australia doesn’t have to be as expensive as everyone thinks it does… Follow these simple tips above and you’ll see how easy it is to save tens of thousands of dollars a year!