The little life hacks that saved our team over $13,000 this year

The MoneyPlace team spends a fair bit of time thinking about… money.

But even we were surprised that the small little life hacks that we each do, actually added up to quite a lot of money in the bank every year.

The original and the best

Bring lunch: $2080

It’s one of the first things to come up on lists like this, but why is it so hard? Perhaps the incentive you need is the $40 a week that our lending specialist Courtney saves by bringing hers.

Ride bike: $1240

Almost half our team ride their bikes to work. That means we save $8.60 a day compared to catching the bus, train or tram to work in Melbourne (obviously this saving will vary depending on your capital city). We think on average we’d ride three days a week.

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Early morning public transport hacks : $412

If you get off the train in Melbourne before 7:15am you ride for free! You might need to be an early bird for this to work, but on the plus side you’ll usually get a seat.

Our head of risk does this at least twice a week, saving a nice $412 a year.

Cancelled subscriptions : $1800

We’ve all got subscriptions we don’t use anymore, our team recently did a cull of the following:

  • Foxtel ($100/month saving)
  • Charity ($40/month – they now make once off donations)
  • Spotify ($10/month – they also had Apple music)

Marketing offers : a lot!

If you interact with a big corporate – like many of our team – they probably have some great deals.

For example:
Telstra offers $12.50 movie tickets and Moonlight Cinema plus free popcorn. They also do cheap A-league (that’s soccer for the non-sporty types) and AFL (foooottyyy).

Drink free tea : $1040

Drinking tea not coffee to save $4 a day is worth it for our front-end dev.

For others in our team who harbour low level caffeine dependence, bringing a Keep Cup saves $0.50 a day (or $1 if we have two…)!

Delayed spending: 20%

If you want to buy anything, you wait. Some of our team put a hard two week time delay on any purchase. They also make themselves wait till sale time to buy whatever they need.

Switch off appliances: $150

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Switching off lights, fans and air-conditioning that are not used and open windows instead of turning on lights saves us around $150 a year on electricity bills.

Plant cuttings: $200

One of our team is a genius when it comes to plants.

In just one example, she bought a cheap money tree from Gumtree, and used many small cuttings to turn into terrariums and gifts for other people. At Bunnings these cuttings cost at least $5.

More tech, more money

Meal Pal : approx $240 / 3 months

Many many people in our team took advantage of Meal Pal’s promotional deals to save hundreds on their work lunches. It’s a great way to save time and money – but remember to look out for their promotional signups.

Didi vs Uber vs Taxi : $300

Another great tip is to look out for big companies launching into the Aussie market. China’s Didi is enticing new customers using a $20 refer a friend bonus and regular discounting which earned and saved us an easy $300 compared to an Uber,

Bring me home: $50

This is a very new, and very smart, app. It’s only in Melbourne right now, but keep an eye out for its expansion.

It advertises food nearing it’s expiry that you can pick up at bargain prices. It means you can get a quick fix for your arvo sugar craving or even pick up cheap lunches.

Embarrass yourself into saving : over $4000

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One of our tech team brings a unique tech perspective to his saving. He uses budgeting app Buddy to track his budget. If he’s over spending it tells him by how much he’ll overshoot his budget that month, which is usually enough to encourage him back into good habits.

Over a year, he reckons it has altered his behaviour enough to put over $4000 in the bank.

Round up, round up : $1000

Wayne from our customer service team routinely rounds his bank account to the nearest round number, flicking the cash into a long-term saving account.

There are apps that do this for you, but Wayne avoids the management fees with his DIY method.

He saved a massive $1000 from his spare change.

Credit card travel insurance: $400

Many of the team use the travel insurance on their credit cards when they travel – a free add-on that not everyone knows about.

Value time as well as money

As our final tip we recommend the ethos of our head backend developer. Saving money is wise and important, but make sure it’s not at the expense of your time or other things you value.

For example, it might not be worth driving halfway across town to save $5 on your petrol bill.

At the end of the year…

In total, our team’s small daily life hacks saved us a collective more than $13,000.

And now we’re off for a drink to celebrate!