Money

8 Ways To Save Money Without Even Trying

Saving doesn’t have to mean suffering. It seems like every article about saving only ever suggests crazy nonsense like not buying coffee. Here, we’ve pulled together some ways to stack clams that won’t make you miserable in the process.

#1 Don’t pay for a haircut

No, really. Major salons like Toni & Guy and Valonz of Sydney are always looking for people to either train new staff with or use for cut examples. All sessions are closely monitored by established stylists; so even if they’re being done by more junior staff, there’s no more risk of losing your locks than a normal trip to a salon.

#2 Drink tap water

wabisabi2015 cat water flickr

Image: Flickr

Stop buying bottled water. At $3-plus a bottle, you’re paying 1000 times more per bottle than it actually costs to produce. You’re contributing to an industry that generates 60,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year in Australia, using over 460,000 barrels of oil. Meanwhile, researchers in the United States found that 45 percent of bottled water brands are predominantly treated tap water. Tap water is free in Australia. Don’t be a mook.

#3 Use the library

Free stuff available from your local library includes books, music, DVDs, magazines and newspapers, with eBooks, eMags and music available to borrow online. A massive catalogue of human creative endeavour is available for free to literally anyone who can get themselves together long enough to fill out a library card application form. You can spend $30 a month in a bookstore or you can use one of the last equitable portals to free education that exists on this planet. Your choice.

#4 Go vegetarian/teetotal

Stocksy_vegetarian_Small_705670

Image: Stocksy

Okay, we promised we wouldn’t hurt you so hear us out on this one: unless you subsist wholly on those curiously smooth BBQ snags that sell for $2 per dozen, vegetables are cheaper than meat. Cut it from your diet at least four nights a week and you’ll be making meaningful savings without really even noticing.

In the same vein, jumping on one of those FebFast/Judgmental January bandwagons for a booze-free month will not only make a scarily noticeable difference to your bank account, you almost definitely see attractive side effects like weight loss, clearer skin and friends that start talking to you again.

#5 Get around your free events

Being frugal doesn’t mean being bored. Every major city in Australia has a multiple public galleries, festivals and community groups that stage free events all the time. Free doesn’t necessarily mean lousy, either – Red Bull Music Academy puts on regular free gigs featuring world class DJs and all you have to do is RSVP. Join mailing lists of your favourite festivals and institutions to stay up to date with what’s going on, and you could save big dollars on your monthly entertainment bill.

#6 Invite yourself to gallery openings

The elusive free drink is hard to come by, unless you know where to go. It’s hard to get yourself on the list of serious free booze parties, but art galleries have a bit of a laissez faire attitude when it comes to party guests, because they don’t want to accidentally exclude someone who might actually buy the art. Join the mailing list of every gallery in town and you could save $30 a month in beer money at an exhibition opening. The culture is also gratis.

#7 Ride your bike

bicycle unsplash

Image: Unsplash

Bike riding is a health-promoting physical activity that people do for pleasure and hipster™ street cred. It makes your brain work better, improves your sex drive and keeps you out of head-wrecking, soul-destroying traffic jams. It’s also free transportation, saving you big bucks on public transportation, fuel costs and taxi fares. The smug superiority you feel as a cyclist commuter is just an added bonus.

#8 Don’t Pay For Stuff

Why pay for things when things are free? Ziilch.com is an Australian freecycle website where people give away their unwanted possessions to anyone who is willing to pick them up. As you can imagine, there is a lot of tired looking junk on the site, but there are valuable things too, like swing sets and sofa beds and Galactic Circus prize tickets. Obviously you can’t approach freecycling with a specific item in mind – it’s all pretty random – but you’re guaranteed to save money if you’re shopping for stuff that’s free.


Simone Ubaldi is a ghostwriter, music journalist, film critic and has co-authored four books, including memoirs of Bon Scott and Mark ‘Chopper’ Read.

(Lead image via Stocksy)

Want to start saving?

Open a Westpac savings account to take control of your money.

Find Out More