When you’re trying to reach your personal finance goals, whether it’s saving for a house deposit, or paying down your debt, or any other goal that requires your financial commitment, it’s can feel like all the excitement is stripped away and you’re left with a bare-bones budget that doesn’t accommodate any fun (this isn’t the way you should budget, FYI).
But here’s the thing, at some point, you’re going to have to buy things. You just are. So why not find ways to save money on anything you buy?
Just because you have to purchase things, doesn’t mean you can’t save a little extra to push towards your financial goals, or put back into your own pocket.
Achieving your financial goals doesn’t mean giving up on all the fun things. So keep in mind these few tricks to save extra money, not just on your everyday purchases but on any purchases you need to make.
1 – Shop Around
The internet makes shopping around so incredibly easy now, there’s really no excuse not to do it.
If you’re looking to purchase something, especially if it’s a big ticket item, start doing a little research and shop around.
Be sure to look past the ticketed prices and see if there are any cashback offers (often electrical appliance companies offer cashback after your purchase) or see if one of the stores that offer the item you’re after offers to price match, or better yet, price beat.
Be sure to keep in mind shipping fees if you’re purchasing online, especially if you’re purchasing from overseas.
2 – Use A Cashback Site
If I’m really honest, there’s only one cashback site I use and it’s Rakuten. It’s not that there aren’t any others out there that are good too, I’ve just found that eBates has all the companies I usually buy from (especially Amazon…) and they actually do give you the cashback.
It’s super simple to use, you just sign up, download the browser extension for your computer (or use the phone app) and shop like normal. Whenever you land on a page that has an Rakuten cashback offer a little popup will show asking if you want to activate the offer.
They also have exclusive discounts for certain retailers and will ask you if you want to apply them as well.
I recently had a friend who was talking about booking over $3000 worth of flights and was able to get money back because she activated the Rakuten cashback.
You can really supercharge your savings this way because your cashback saves up and gets sent to you every few months. You can then take all the money you get back and put it straight towards your financial goals. It’s like forced savings. Love it.
Remember to install the Rakuten browser extension when shopping online or use the Rakuten App to shop on your phone to make sure you get your Cashback! I had over $1000 in Cashback last year just by clicking the button. When you join using this link, you get $30 cashback as soon as you spend $30 in the app!
3 – Buy Second Hand
We have become addicted to new, shiny things (ever heard of shiny object syndrome??) and we have this default setting that if we want to buy something, we need to buy it brand new. But that’s totally not the case.
Buying items second hand can save you an absolute fortune! And it’s not just on big items like cars that second hand is often the most financially efficient choice.
Think of things like white goods (fridges, dishwashers), baby clothes and kids clothes (they grow so darn fast!!), tools, exercise equipment, furniture you can upcycle… there are so many possibilities.
Check your local second-hand sales sites, or even join your local Facebook Buy, Swap and Sell groups. You’ll be amazed at what you can find in there for a fraction of the price of brand new.
4 – Rent It Out
Have you ever heard of peer to peer renting? It’s where you rent your item you use sparingly (or don’t use anymore) to others (peers) so they can benefit from the item without having to purchase their own.
There are a whole bunch of peer to peer renting sites available now that go beyond car sharing, bike sharing and Airbnb. You can rent out electrical items, furniture and even general household items.
Think about times when you have big groups you need to cater for, like Christmas or other events. You can rent items rather than purchase to save money, or you can even rent your items you don’t need to use all the time to make money.
Do be mindful of things like insurances that may be required when renting out items. Some sites may offer this as part of their agreement, but you may not be covered if you’re going it on your own.
5 – Use It Then Sell It
How many things are you storing because you think that one day you’ll need to use them again? So, so many!
The best way to make money on something you have purchased is to sell it! You’re probably not going to get back what you paid, but whatever you get is going to be more than if you had left it sitting in storage!
This literally applies to anything you own that is in good working order, can be used by someone else and you don’t want or need anymore.
You can add this in as part of your decluttering process, or simply go through your home and find items to sell. You’ll be surprised at what people buy! I made an extra $2000 in one month from simply selling items I no longer needed on a Facebook Buy, Swap and Sell group.
6 – Ask For A Discount
After managing a large jewellery store, I can tell you that I was honestly surprised when people didn’t ask me for a discount. It is such an easy way to save a whole heap of money on large purchases and we had negotiating margins built into our product pricing system.
I wouldn’t expect you to ask for a discount at your local grocery store, but a simple ‘what’s the best deal you can do on that’ when purchasing items like electrical goods item can lead to a huge saving.
Saving money doesn’t always mean you have to miss out on buying things. It can simply be the difference between buying without thinking, and buying savvy and smart. When you put a little more mindfulness and effort into how you purchase items you want or need to buy, you can save a whole heap of money.
You can pretty much save money on anything you buy, you just have to be smart about how you do it.