How to Save Money

2 minute read

Are you price conscious in your everyday spending? A lot of us aren’t for the basic reason that it consumes brain cycles for little percieved reward. Quitting smoking led to an adjustment in the way I value money. Forking out $20 a day for something the literally goes up in smoke can make saving $5 a day on parking seem pretty irrelevant.

In considering my monthly spend I found a number of ways I could spend less without any real impact on my quality of life. Perhaps some of these could help you?

Stop Smoking, Start Vaping ($600/mon)

I’d describe myself as dependant on nicotine. My pack a day habit was costing me $600 a month. I’m now using a vapouriser to get my nicotine fix for $20 a month.

Park 10 minutes walk from office ($110/mon)

Adding 20 minutes of gentle exercise to my otherwise sedentary existance saves me a packet.

Stop buying takeaway coffee ($88/mon)

We have coffee machines at work. It’s free and I’m a good milk frother.

Find cheaper car insurance ($35/mon)

I was surprised how easy this one was. Thanks Google.

Buy supermarket milk ($30/mon)

I was under the mistaken impression that the branded milk was better.

Pay Less for Petrol ($12/mon)

There’s about a 10% difference between low and high prices for petrol depending on when in the cycle you fill up. I can save $6 on a 40 litre tank by filling up at the right time.

A tank lasts me 2 weeks. If you need to fill more often YMMV.

ACCC report on Australian petrol price cycle

Vendors try to mix it up but the graph above is updated daily and gives a good idea of when it’s a good time to buy. They also have petrol prices for other Australian states.

Don’t buy premium fuel unless your car needs it ($8/mon)

I’ve not a petrol head and haven’t even researched this one very well but started saving around $4 on a tank of fuel by not paying for premium.

Australian petrol stations market several types of unleaded petrol. They tend to be 91, 95 and 98 “octane”. I don’t know much about fuel and the higher numbers cost more so I tended to choose 95 or 98 thinking I must be getting more from it.

It turns out some cars (European) require high octane fuels or their performance deteriorates. I checked my Subaru manual and it said I was fine using 91 octane fuel.