finance

"I saved $25,000 in seven months. Here's how I did it."

Seven months ago I decided to forgo my avocado and get serious about saving.

A serious, move-back-home-with-the-parents, goodbye-online-shopping kind of saving.

My bank account is now $25,000 richer for it.

Given how much I’ve managed to save in such a short amount of time, I thought I’d share what worked for me as the struggle – while real – was more than rewarding.

1. Minimise your living costs

Luckily for me, my childhood room was ready and waiting.  I know this isn’t always the case but put pride aside and consider options like taking on a roomie, or becoming a roomie.

2. Make your spending count

I shopped and swapped boring things like insurance policies (car, contents, mortgage) and paid for the year in full for further discount. It’s the definition of short term pain for long term gain.

I stopped shopping for fun things. I admit to mindlessly online shopping here and there; I continued to look, but rarely bought. I still have a tendency to fill my cart, only to log out and realise days later I forgot to ever press ‘buy’. The funny thing? It doesn’t at all feel like I’m missing out.

How to cut down your grocery bill. Post continues below.

I find satisfaction in wearing out quality products, actually looking after my things (sew that button back on!) and reducing my carbon footprint.

If I simply must buy something, I wait for a significant sale and offset the cost by selling an unwanted item on eBay or Gumtree.

3. Wave goodbye to luxury makeup

I decided to stop buying expensive items, use up what I had left, then shop carefully for cheap cult beauty buys recommended by favourite bloggers or friends.

Garnier BB cream is now a favourite amongst the girls at work for a light weight, made up face. Further, shopping centre shellac mani pedi’s are replaced by shiny, neat and healthy nails.

Not such a sacrifice, really.

Andrea Brunt. Image supplied.
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4. Say 'sayonara' to symmetrical eyebrows...

Kind of. Beauty took another hit in the budget - at home wax kits became the norm for me and while fiddly, they're actually super satisfying.

I took it a step further by using YouTube to teach myself how to brow thread - practicing on my boyfriend's poor cheeks.

I still get my eyebrows professionally threaded every few months to keep them in shape, because that's all I really need.

5. Work, work, work

From the start I was open with my boss about wanting to increase hours and take on more responsibility (making it plain I was financially motivated). I was luckily able to pick up more hours in my main job, and able to give up the casual role I had on the side. I also gained higher duties, and a few months later secured a permanent pay rise.

Working hard, being honest and proactive will never let you down.

The “script” that could save you major dollars every month. Post continues below.

6. Change the way you socialise

Lastly, changing the way I socialised allowed me to seriously save. I was honest with my favourite friends about my plans and we swapped boozy dinners out and cocktail nights to home cooked (still boozy) dinners, fish and chips on the beach, games nights and afternoons in the sun watching the local footy.

Also, gym/gossip (gyossip?) sessions with the bestie became the twice weekly norm.

I still pay my fair share of dates with the boyfriend but we've swapped cinema dates for hikes and drives, at home movie nights, and more creative cooking dates than restaurant dinners. To be honest, these types of dates are just as much, if not more fun.

Changing up what I do, on top of more work, less shopping, less living expenses (thanks to my parents) really allowed me to save.

I've learned I appreciate value for money, spending time with my family, and doing my tiny part for the environment.

Give me another seven months and my brows and bank account will be looking fabulous.

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