This is a blog to share about saving money tips when I’m an international student and stuck in Melbourne.
A small change in your spending can up to thousands in savings.
If you want to have more money in your bank account, you have two main 2 options:
- Earning more
- Saving more
For me, I believe that earning more is absolutely better compared to saving more. However, during the pandemic of Covid-19, earning more is not that easy for me.
Therefore, I start to consider saving more based on what I earned for the last couple of months. And I was shocked when knowing how much I can save by small adjustments in daily habits. I can save more than 2000$ for the last couple of months just by applying these simple saving money tips.
In this story, I will share with you all of them. Because I think that the things that work well for me can work for you as well. As all of them come from daily habits that most of us are having in common, but just a small adjustment, your financial game can change rapidly as I did.
Saving Money Tips No.1: Limited time to eat outside
This is the first habit I change completely from the time Covid-19 start in Australia. If you are in Melbourne CBD, you will find out that you can get whatever you want, from any country just at your street corners. All of them are very delicious and tasty to eat.
And this is an “issue” for us!
Before Covid-19, I really enjoy hanging out with friends to have dinner or lunch together all the time, and rarely cook at home as a hobby of a young boy. On average, the cheap meal on the street normally cost me 12$ while expensive like hot pot, buffet, BBQ,.. can up to 50–70$/pp. It is a lot of money when I think back now for just a meal a day!
But during the last three and a half months, when the situation of a pandemic be more serious in this city. I decide to cancel all the eating out with my friends, as all of us are so afraid and all the restaurants are just take-away. But bringing the take-away food to eat at home is not that interested as eating in the restaurant, and I feel more fun when I cook for myself instead.
Now, I feel so thankful for this decision, I save a lot of money from it. And I will make a quick calculation for you to show how much I can save when just eating at home.
Coffee: 5,5$/day. Monthly: 5,5 x 30 = 165$
2 meals/day = 24$ to 50$. Monthly: 24/50 x 30 = 720$/1500$
Eating at home
Coffee: 1 pack (21 serves) = 7$. Monthly: (7:21) x 30 = 10$
3 meals/day = 10$–15$*. Monthly: 10/15 x 30 = 300$/450$
Note: I can buy different kinds of meat, from beef, lamb, seafood, chicken. But most of the time I eat fresh seafood mix or fish from the supermarket.
Normally I have breakfast at home so I don’t want to calculate here. Because I didn’t change the money for this meal.
As you can see, I can save at least 575$ or up to 1205$ from changing the habit of eating outside only. This is a great deal, especially when you are a social person and facing financial hardship during the COVID-19.
Saving Money Tips No.2: Stop buying discount cloths
During this tough time, you can easily find the discount price from most brands. So this is a really good deal for you to shopping this period of time if you still have good money and really want to have some new clothes.
But I have a quick notice for you that:
Don’t buy the stuff because it has a discount price, let buy the stuff if you really need it!
This is one of my biggest lessons for the last couple of years. I don’t say that I have a lot of money to buy whatever I want, but I love shopping, this is true. Especially when you are surrounded by all your friends who go to Uni in the morning and enjoy hanging out shopping in the afternoon.
This is fun but not good for your pocket, let be honest. And when you need to pay all the bills by yourself, this habit should be changed if you don’t want to be broke soon.
Before, whenever I see a new cloth or interesting pieces of stuff for me that have 30% or 50% discount. I will love to buy it. And believe that I’m the luckiest man in the world when I can buy the stuff at just half price.
But the reality is NOT!
The fact of spending money on discount clothes
When I spend 210$ to buy a cloth 300$ (30% discount), it means that I lost 210$ instead of I am saving 30%.
I didn’t recognize it for a long time, and just realize for last year when I move house and recognize I have nearly 30 shirts that I just wear 1 or even not yet that cost me more than 100$ each.
So, when you also can change the mindset from you get a good price (X% discount) to the mindset that you are spending XXX $ to buy the stuff that you don’t sure if you need it or just because of the discount price, you will save more than you can imagine.
Saving Money Tips No.3: Buying groceries at a cheap price
There are several technics that I learned recently that help me to save a lot when buying groceries from the supermarket or the market in Melbourne.
First of all, let buying seasonal foods.
It will help you to save a lot when you buy the food based on the season. So, you can choose fresh foods at cheaper prices compared to normal.
For example, now in Melbourne in the season of apple, so you can buy a kg of apple for just 2 dollars while in September or October, the price can go double to 4$ or 5$ per kilo.
Check the half-price day of supermarket
In both Coles and Woolworths, they have the half-price day that switches together. Therefore, choosing to buy in the supermarket on a cheap day will help you to save a lot. For example, if Coles has a sale price on Monday and Wednesday, you can get a sale in Woolworth on Tuesday and Friday.
Buying the frozen veggies and supermarket brand’s food
After studying nutrition in my “master of trainer” program from the Australian Institution of Fitness, I recognize that frozen foods are still good and have enough nutrition compared to fresh ones. While the price is normally cheaper and you can keep it for a longer time.
So if you live by yourself, and lazy to cook complicated meals with veggies, just need to buy a pack of mixed veggies for 3$ to 5$. So you can eat for a week (in my case for 1 person). This is so far cheaper and more convenient compared to buying fresh veggies.
About the supermarket’s brand, there is a truth that it is always the cheapest compared to other brands. And maybe it is not good as the other brands, but I’m sure that it is 70% to 90% similar to the quality, not too much different but you can save half price or even more when choosing the products from supermarket’s brand.
Saving Money Tips No.4: Limited your weekly spending
When you know how much you spend, you know how much you should earn.
The definition of weekly spending has just been familiar to me for several months. Actually, before I didn’t have any idea about weekly spending — I just spend whenever I want without too much concern. I don’t say it is good and does not cover all the young people. But I know that this is a trap that many young people like me are facing.
Making money and spending without concern about savings.
But the pandemic changes everything. Because my income is dropping out rapidly, I have no choice to start to consider seriously about the financial situation. And one of the lessons that I learned is about “Making a spending limitation weekly”.
It helps me to control the amount of money that I’m going to spend every week. So, I can learn how to track my money, what I should spend on, and what is optional that I can choose to spend on it or not.
If you don’t have this habit before, let start to do it from today. You will recognize that you can save a lot of money by stopping buying unnecessary kinds of stuff in a week.
Let use your mind to buy instead of your heart.
To sum up,
These are 4 daily habits that I adjusted during this tough time and help me to save a lot and learn many valuable lessons about money. And I hope that these tips that I share here will give you the ideas to save more and help you get over this tough time better with a smarter financial plan.
And this is another story that I want to share with you about “4 things to remove if you want to achieve more in life” that gives you another aspect about the view “work less, get more”.
P/s: Thank you for checking this blog, I am also running a Youtube Channel to share a lot of insights and stories related to Business, Media & Marketing, Personal Finance & Self Development that you can