“A penny saved is a penny earned”

– Benjamin Franklin

How can you boost your savings by making some small, simple changes to your daily and weekly habits? This week we identify our top 10 penny-pinching tips that you can implement right away to reduce your ongoing costs and save your property deposit that much faster.

  1. Avoid drinking bottled water

Not only is regularly consuming standard bottled water terrible for the environment, it can also be a disaster for your hip pocket. If we assume that a regular bottle of water will set you back $2.50, and you’re purchasing one each working day, that’s $12.50 per week or $600 per year, assuming that you work 48 weeks of the year. There are many great water purifying devices that cost next to nothing that you can install to filter the water that comes out of your tap. Save the environment and boost your savings, an easy step to implement.

  1. Bring your own coffee to work

That regular coffee from your favourite café in the morning, and one more after lunch as the afternoon tiredness kicks in can really set you back financially. If we assume that the average cup will cost you $4, even if you’re only having one cup per day, that equates to $20 per week, or a staggering $960 per year. If you’re consuming two cups per day, that quickly adds up to $1,920 per year. Bring your own coffee to work, or better yet, convince your boss or HR to install a coffee machine in the office. After all, what could be better for staff morale than supplying caffeine and allowing employees to save for their property deposit that much faster.

  1. Avoid foreign ATMs

It is still outrageous to us that a bank will charge you to withdraw your own money, so why settle for paying these fees if you don’t have to. Many ATMs across Australia could charge $2 – $3 per withdrawal, and overseas ATMs could set you back even more, with some charging up to $10 to withdraw your own hard-earned dollars. If you were making withdrawals from a foreign ATM in Australia alone just twice per week, that could quickly add up to $100 or more every year.

  1. Do you really need your meals delivered?

Far too often we see employees ordering their meals via the plethora of food-delivery options on offer. While we’ll accept that some of these will deliver for free via a promotion, this is certainly not the case for all of them. These delivery fees could range anywhere from $2 – $5 per meal and can quickly add up eating into your savings. If we assume that you did this each day of your working week, at an average cost of just $2 per delivery, that equates to $10 per week, and approximately $500 per year.

  1. Check your bank statements for subscriptions

When was the last time that you carefully checked your bank statements? If you’re like most people, chances are it arrives and goes straight to the shredder, or you receive it electronically and don’t even bother to open it. Chances are you may be paying for regular subscriptions, for items such as cloud storage, iTunes subscriptions for services that you are no longer using and have totally forgotten about. A $5 subscription alone each week could be setting you back over $250 per year, so be sure to check your next bank statement with a fine-tooth comb and cancel those unwanted subscriptions.

  1. Switch off your appliances at the wall

Electrical devices use what is commonly referred to as ‘standby power’, and some are more efficient than others. For example, if we consider home and office printers, an energy-efficient printer could be costing you nothing in standby power, while an inefficient and outdated printer could be setting you back well in excess of $100, even when you think it’s turned off. By turning your appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them, it is estimated that you’ll be able to save on average an extra $100 per year by avoiding standby power usage.

  1. Revisit your weekly grocery orders

This is a particularly important one for Australian expats living and working in other cities around the world. Far too often we see Australian expats looking to continue purchasing the same goods as they’re used to back home, only to find that they cost significantly more. This can be for a range of reasons, including lower demand, cost of goods being transported and many other reasons. Consider other options for your weekly shopping list, and you may be surprised just how much you could be saving. For example, in Singapore, a tub of Australian butter or margarine could set you back as much as $8, while a local alternative could cost just $2.50. If this is the only change you make each week, that $5.50 saving quickly adds up to approximately $286 each year.

  1. Give up the lotto dream

“But somebody has to win”…this is often the excuse given by those lining up each week to spend their hard-earned dollars on lotto tickets with a hope of winning the jackpot, many of whom fail to realise that if they’d just kept the money in their back pocket they’d be well ahead. The odds of winning a standard Powerball Lotto in Australia are approximately 1 in 76.6 million, and interestingly enough, the odds of being killed by an asteroid are slightly better at 1 in 74.8 million. In simple terms, if you’re not lying awake at night worrying about that asteroid, perhaps it’s time to avoid the lotto ticket splurge and save the money instead. Studies estimate that approximately $1,000 is spent on average on lotto tickets each year, which could be a significant chunk of your annual savings.

  1. The gym membership from the New Year’s Resolutions

It should come as no surprise that the greatest influx of new gym-goers is in January, after the guilt of the over-indulgence of Christmas festivities sets in. By February, if not sooner, the gyms are once again far-less busy and only those that stuck to their resolutions remain. With the average gym membership setting you back over $50 per month, and significantly more in some expat-centric cities across the globe, you could be saving over $600 per year by cancelling the gym membership if you’re not using it.

  1. Clear your credit card debt every month

Most credit card interest is calculated daily, and for those that are only making the minimum repayments each month, you’re doing yourself a disservice. With credit card interest rates often exceeding 20%, even a small balance could be eating into your savings at an alarming rate. Set yourself a reminder each month to clear your credit card as much as possible and get rid of any excess credit cards that you’re not actually using.

We hope you find these penny-pinching tips useful and are able to implement some of them in your daily lives. If you have other tips, let us know in the comments as we’re always interested in finding out what others are implementing to boost their savings.



To a happy and prosperous 2019!


LoanSuite Pty Ltd is your lending partner for all of your home loan, investment property, business and commercial financing needs. With our wide range of lending solutions, expertise in financial planning and investment strategies, and extensive experience in working with both Australian residents and Australian expats, we are your partners for your lending needs.

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LoanSuite Pty Ltd is an Authorised Credit Representative (Credit Representative Number – 494608) of My Local Broker (Australian Credit License – 481374). Important Disclaimer: Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product.