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Many of us across the country have been adjusting to life working from home and many of our favourite services being temporarily closed. With our normal routines turned on their head, we’ve redesigned our living room into a home office and we’ve never had to rely more on our own barista and cooking skills to keep us caffeinated and fed. As restrictions start to ease and we adjust to this new reality, the way you’re spending money may also change, or already has. We’ve put together some ways you can save money as we adjust to the new ‘normal’. 

Don’t quit your daily HIIT

As gyms and other fitness centres have been closed around the country over the last few months, many have moved to online workouts at a fraction of the price or in some cases – free! In order to keep our bodies moving, those who don’t love pilates or HIIT workouts have opted for other free activities such as running, walking and bike rides. As gyms begin to re-open, you may be loving your new set up and the flexibility (and price) of working out from home. If this is the case, consider reallocating your fortnightly membership cost into a savings account. Whether its $10 or $100 it all adds up overtime and could help you hit your savings goal faster.

Bring your cooking skills to the table

Another result of our normal routines changing and restaurants only being open for take away has meant more of us have popped on our chef whites and cooked more meals at home. As indoor and outdoor dining restrictions continue to lessen, keep the saving streak going by continuing to cook more food at home rather than buying take out or going out to dinner where you can. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy going out to eat as well – it’s all about balance. Maybe your weekend Saturday brunch with friends could be hosted at home once in a while or, you could consider running your very own wine tasting event from the comfort of your couch, whilst still supporting local wineries. Similarly, if you usually buy your coffee most mornings, consider breaking up the week with a home brew to keep you caffeinated.  

Put your travel spend on hold

If you had big plans to travel this year, you may have had to cancel your trip. If you’ve been fortunate to receive a refund on your flights and accommodation or any activities you’ve pre-booked, pop that money straight back into your savings account for a future holiday or another long- or short-term goal. If you’ve received credit vouchers instead, use this time to continue saving. When the time comes and the borders reopen all over the world, you might find you’ll have more saved for the trip than you had originally planned for. Did someone say 5-star accommodation?

Get on top of your finances

The extra time on our hands has also meant we’ve had more time to get on top of our finances and re-evaluate where our money is going. Going forward, you could consider reviewing your current phone or electricity providers to find a cheaper option, refinancing your home loan or changing your savings account to one with fewer fees and/or a high interest rate.

Indulge in DIY self-care

If you’ve been trying to keep up with your beauty routine from home, you may have found that you actually aren’t too bad at manicuring your own nails or maybe packet hair dye is doing the trick. Whilst cutting your own hair never ends well, you could consider continuing some of your other at home beauty regimes even once beauty salons re-open. Without sounding like a broken record, consider putting the money you would usually spend on these services into to your savings – cha-ching!

Hold off on adding to cart

Whilst the extra time on our hands has been used for a lot of good e.g. cooking more at home, it has also be used for a lot of ‘not-so-good’, particularly for our bank accounts. If you’ve found yourself adding to cart more times than you care to admit, for future purchases, try to evaluate how essential these items are right now. Take 24-48 hours to think about a purchase before committing and go on the hunt for cheaper deals or promotional codes to keep the cost down where possible. Whilst an expensive massage gun will relieve you from the pain of your non-ergonomic chair at home, referred pain will move from your back to your hip (pocket).

As you can see and have already experienced, the way we spend our money has changed. This extra time at home, forcing us to relax and take a step back has allowed us to save in ways we might’ve not realised. While we should still make time (and budget) to enjoy the things in life that we love like going out to dinner with friends or getting our nails professionally manicured, we have learnt what we can do from home to balance our spending.

Make your money go the distance and try our Budget Planner Calculator to calculate your income and expenses.

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