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10 budget hacks when you’re just starting out

No matter whether you’re studying or a newbie in the workforce, it’s still possible to grow your savings. Check out ME Bank’s top 10 tips to help your savings grow.

Get happy

Happy hour used to be a thing at the pub, but these days just about every business offers a happy hour – from cinemas to hairdressers. Even airlines have jumped on the happy hour bandwagon, so keep an eye out for days and times when tickets are available at bargain prices. For instance, Jetstar and Virgin Australia do happy hour sales every week. Shop around for the happy hour outlets and offers in your neigbourhood and beyond.

Avoid the convenience apps

Convenience apps like Uber, Deliveroo and Afterpay can make life easier but there’s no shortage of research showing that they also make it easy to spend and, in turn, overspend. New figures show that young people are spending more than $740 a year on Uber Eats food delivers and Uber fares alone. Go easy on the apps to grow savings.

Bypass takeaway

It can be tempting to grab lunch out, and as an occasional treat, it won’t blow your budget. But as a regular habit, it could leave you strapped for cash. Spend $4 on a morning latte, back it up with a $7 lunch and you’ve blown 11 bucks. Do it twice a week and you’re down by more than $1,200 a year. Whip up a salad or sandwich at home for a DIY lunch to save a fortune on food.

Unsubscribe from online sites

Subscriptions to online retailers can see your inbox clogged with tempting promotions and sales. If you find it hard to resist, unsubscribe so that messages of “50% off” don’t see you fall off the savings wagon.

Time your grocery shopping to perfection

Aim to do your grocery shopping late in the evening or early in the morning when perishables like bread, fruit and dairy products are most likely to be marked down.

Get more from your service providers

Your phone provider, local motoring association, private health insurance and your super fund can offer perks like pre-sale deals or discounted tickets to sporting and cultural events. Not sure what you’re entitled to? Just ask.

Wave your student card around

If you’re a student, get into the habit of whipping out your student card and asking for a discount where applicable. Sites like can show you where to save megabucks on anything from software to clothing.

Embrace meat-free Monday

Take grandma’s advice and eat your greens. Skipping meat just one day a week can see you save at least $750 a year. Stock up on pulses, whole grains and veggies for a cheap burst of nutrition.

Try a clothes swap

Experts say we wear just 20% of our garments 80% of the time – the rest just clutters our wardrobe. Try clothes swaps with friends or visit the local op shop to cut the cost of clothing.

Budget to be the boss of your money

No amount of smart spending will see you save if you don’t know where your money is going in the first place. Free apps like ASIC’s TrackMySPEND let you track your daily spending. It’s a great start to build a personal budget that can show how much you’re able to save – and where you can cut back.


Me BankThis article is brought to you by ME Bank. Visit ME’s website for more information.

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