These four things are preventing you from saving money

May 16, 2017
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Once again, the humble avocado has come under attack as the reason why young people will never be able to afford houses. After Bernard Salt ripped into the breakfast trend last year, now we have Developer Tim Gurner telling young people they’ll never be able to afford a house if they continue to fork out $19 for smashed avo every weekend.

As a student, the reality is that house hunting is unlikely to be happening for us any time soon, but we no doubt still feel like the avo attack is directed towards our generation. We don’t know where these Gen Xs and Boomers got this bias for avocado from, but we think there are other things that are way more likely to drain our money. You might not be guilty of all these money mistakes, but they’re definitely things to keep in mind if you want to save those dollar bills.

Forget avo, it’s those exxy bevs

Avo has been given a bad rap, and if you did eat smashed avo every single week it would add up. But most of us aren’t eating it once a week – so where's our money going? More likely into daily coffees and drinks at the bar. Although instant coffee doesn’t have the same appeal, it’s going to save you a lot if you cut back on those daily (or twice-daily) soy lattes. Leave the café coffees as a special once-a-week treat, or for those emergency caffeine moments.

And let’s talk about drinks at the bar – you probs would scoff at a sandwich that cost $9, but you’ll happily pay for that for an alcoholic bev when you’re already drunk and out at a club. While savouring the pre-drinks might be a way to go, we also wouldn’t advise buying a bottle of vodka every single week.

Online shopping discount codes and minimum spends

You think you’re saving money when that promo code pops up in your inbox. “Ummm 20 per cent off everything? Don’t mind if I do!” But this is a real sucker when you weren’t even planning on buying half the things in your cart. The minimum spend can also get you. Why not pay $40 more and you can get free express shipping? It’s too enticing to refuse.

But when you’re shopping online, it’s more important than ever to avoid the impulse buys. After all, it’s so easy to do it when it’s just a click of a button. You can still keep an eye out for discount codes, but only get what you need and pay the cost of shipping – it might add $10 onto the cart, but it means you’re not buying unnecessary items just to get the cost up higher.

You don’t keep track of your taps

Most of us prefer the Tap and Go option when it comes to spending – according to a recent study, 86 per cent of Australian consumers prefer it to entering a pin or paying with cash. It’s easy for small purchases, but if you’re not keeping a track of your taps, then those small purchases can add up. Studies have found that you spend less when you purchase with cash as opposed to card, but this can also be hard to keep a track of when you have to keep physical receipts.

Keep a track of your daily taps and small purchases on an app, or check your bank account regularly. It might also help you discover the black holes where most of your money is disappearing to, like those junk food add-ons to your grocery trip.

You keep adding expenses to your credit card

Instead of paying off your card completely and keeping it at zero dollars, many of us are guilty of paying it off slowly, bit by bit. The problem with this is when you continue to have bills scheduled to come out of that account. You might think your chipping away, but really you’re just standing still or getting further into debt. You can’t save money until that’s completely paid off, so that’s a good starting point.

Image: The Simpsons