Research commissioned by money expert and author ofThe Breakfast Club for 40-Somethings, Vanessa Stoykov, reveals that only 43% of Australians are honest when they talk to their loved ones about their spending habits.
Interestingly, males (41%) and females (44%) are practically on par when it comes to being dishonest.
“The most common reason I find that people lie is because they feel out of control and that it’s much easier to have their head in the sand than take real action,” Vanessa says. “But making a change doesn’t need to be scary, it should actually be liberating, because it will improve your life and put you back in control.”
Vanessa’s top tips to help curb expenses without having to make too many sacrifices are:
1. Think of cheaper alternatives to your favourite entertainment options. The cost of activities like going to the movies quickly adds up, especially if you have a family. Before spending money on activities, consider if there is a cheaper alternative, e.g. if you want to have a movie night try using Netflix or Stan and staying in instead. Even if you splurge on snacks from the grocery store, it will cost a fraction of what you would spend at the movies.
2. Make a list. Making a list of the items you need from the grocery store before you go saves time and money. Plan what meals you want to make, check what you already have on hand, make a list of everything you need, and stick to it. This will stop you buying excess produce and keep the costs to a minimum.
3. Consolidate debt. If you have more than one credit card or personal loan, roll them into one. That will reduce the pressure of paying different payments over a month, and means you only need to pay one bill. You may also be able to access a cheaper rate doing this. Some credit card companies offer 12-month interest free periods to roll over balances. Your bank may give you a personal loan to cover it. Do the leg work and find out what the better deal is for you.
4. Reuse whatever you can. Where possible, don’t buy anything new, instead reuse and recycle what you can. If you eat out and have leftovers, ask for a takeaway container and eat it for lunch the next day or hire a formal outfit for a special occasion rather than buying a new one.
5. Unplug electronic devices you aren’t using. Any device that is plugged into a power point uses up energy – even when it’s in standby mode, and although the amount might be small, it adds up. If there are items like a Playstation or heater that only get used occasionally, turning them off from the power point can save a substantial amount per quarter. Also, call your electricity provider and ask if you can you get a discount if you pay via direct debit.
For more information, visit www.vanessastoykov.com