Ho, ho, ho, it’s Christmaaaaaas! Which for most of us loosely translates as ‘no no no, it’s time to spend two week’s wages on poorly thought out gifts for people because society says so’.
I feel ya.
But, here we are. I’m not a saver by blood – I’ve been spending big since I first got my hands on my own cash for helping my Mum with her Kleeneeze business (if u know, u know). But through a lot of trial and error, I managed to find a few ways to cut back expenditure and see the savings add up over time. Saving is a bit like dieting – I’m impatient, and very much all-or-nothing. In short, I’m either stashing my wages and eating kale or I’m hanging shopping bags on the crook of my arm to free up my hands for anything deep fried.
Since it’s December, there are things we spend money on every month that we don’t even need because we’re so busy frantically buying Christmas presents and ‘accidentally’ stepping on the heels of slow walkers in the shopping centre. So, by taking advantage of this busy period and cutting out spending on things we won’t use, we can splash more cash on syrupy coffees and anything mulled.
TRIAL MEAL DELIVERY SERVICES
Hello Fresh, Marley Spoon, YouFoodz, Dinerly – you name it, heaps of these meal delivery services have intro offers or refer a friend offers. For example, you can get $50 off HelloFresh here. That’s almost 3 meals for two people, absolutely free. You can get $35 off Marley Spoon with a bunch of codes flying around the internet at the moment, and often you can earn yourself refer a friend credits when you tell your mates. Do everything in the right order and you can save yourself heaps on your weekly shop for December.
Week 1: $50 free food from Hello Fresh
Week 2: $35 free food from Marley Spoon
Week 3: Get another $50 free food from Hello Fresh by telling a mate.
CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS UNTIL THE HOLIDAYS
If you’ve got time to be watching Netflix in December, I don’t know if we can be friends. Honestly, I’m so busy fitting in Christmas shopping, social occasions and getting a month’s worth of work done in 24 days before the unavoidable shut down that it’s simply not worth my $14.95 a month at the moment.
Cancel your Netflix/Stan/Hayu/ anything that doesn’t have a fee to rejoin and sign up again when your life calms down and you’re neck deep in mince pies. It might only save you a few dollars/quid/bucks but every little counts!
Savings: up to $40 depending on how much of a TV streaming ho you are
PAUSE YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP + GET A FREE APP
Assuming you have a gym membership – which most of us seem to. Let’s face it – none of us are losing any weight in December. It’s silly season, our bosses are practically pouring gin down our necks during the morning meeting, and there’s friends and fam catch ups left right and centre. Just embrace your Christmas kilos and pause your gym membership for the month – most gyms will let you freeze your membership for a few weeks at a time. You’ll give your body a well-earned break, take the pressure off, and save yourself some buckaroonies in the process. If you’re still keen to get your heart rate up over the festive season, download an app called Seven. You can pay for more workouts but the base version is free, and gives you access to a few 7 minute HIIT circuits that involve no equipment. Save your gym dollars and squeeze in a few of these circuits when you can.
Depending on gym cost, ranging from about $18 per week for basic gyms up to $66 a week for F45 style studios: savings = min. $72, max. $264
SWITCH YOUR PHONE PLAN
It’s Christmas – we’re winding down to the end of the year and spending more time scrolling Insta, partly for Christmas gift ideas and partly for hilare memes to make your work pals snort-laugh.
Either way, I’ve gone over my data plan this month. Hey there $20 extra bucks on my bill. If you’ve got the freedom to change plans – many of us do these days – hop on online chat while you pretend to your boss you’re sending a very serious email, and ask if you can change your phone plan to get more data. Just recently Optus offered me 30GB of data for the same price I’m currently paying. No more data splurges for me.
Savings: $20 (at least!)
FILL YOUR FREEZER WITH CHEAP JUNK FOOD
Probably the worst thing I’ve ever advocated, but hear me out. As I said earlier, none of us are losing weight this Christmas – unless of course you’ve got serious willpower, and if you do I strongly suggest you get a personality transplant because trust me, I’ve been there. Sacrificing fun for the sake of weighing 5kg less AIN’T WORTH IT. I’m chunkier but boy am I funkier this Christmas.
So, fill your freezer with junk food. I’m talking real nostalgic junk food. Potato gems, chicken dippers, frozen spring rolls, party pies, Magnums, Ben & Jezza – the lot. Spend about $50 on stock-up treats for your freezer, and trust me, it’ll save you a fortune when you can’t be arsed to cook.
December throws all sorts at us. The ‘I’m so tired preparing for the Christmas break’ evening when you seriously can’t be arsed to whip up that kale salad. The ‘it’s SO FUCKING HOT BRB WHILE I CLIMB INTO THE FREEZER’S INTERNAL MECHANISM’ evening when nothing and nobody can get you to make a dinner higher than a 2 on the effort level scale. The ‘I’ve been Christmas shopping for hours and been elbowed in the face four times’ evening when all you want is to collapse in front of Pointless and let the sweet sweet smell of chicken dippers and potato smilies fill your nostrils.
Your DIY garbage meals will save you about $50 every time you fancy ordering a cheeky Uber Eats or Deliveroo Feed – plus, it might be marginally healthier when you factor in the oven-baked-ness and the lesser chance of over-ordering.
Let’s say you have one ‘fuck it’ night per week in December – $50 per week.
SWITCH TO INSTANT COFFEE
Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m not the first person to tell you to give up your daily soy latte. But seriously, if you can cut back for just a month – even just on weekdays, you’ll see the savings add up. You can snap up a tin of premium barista-style instant coffee for about $7-$10. That’ll make you about 50 cups – that’s $0.15 a cup! Better than $4.50, eh? If you really can’t tolerate simple instant coffee, grab one of these syrups for $4 to sweeten the deal, or make a DIY latte by heating milk of your choice in the micro or the pan (or a frother if you have one) and mixing 1 tsp of the instant with hot water. It’s not quite your barista standard, but you can’t argue with the savings.
The best bit: in hot weather, instant coffee tastes just as good as barista coffee when it’s in an iced latte. Throw a heap of ice, a shot of instant coffee mixed with a splash of hot water and milk of your choice into a cup and BOOM – you’ve got yourself a simple, super cheap summer cooler FOR NUTIN’.
Say you give up 2 coffees a day for 4 weeks (only on weekdays – weekends you can still hit up your fave café) – that’s $9 a day, 20 days in total.
How are you freeing up cash this December?!