The cost of living in Sydney is rising every year. So how do you manage to keep afloat in this iconic city. Here are 7 Tips to save money in Sydney !
Following a budget to help you save
Following a budget of any kind is simple. We have a full outline of the 50/30/20 budget we are currently following in response to much needed improvement in this financial area.
Following a budget will help you know where your hard earned money is going. It will keep you accountable for your regular expenditure as well as give you a better understanding of your income.
Since this is one of the most expensive cities in the world a budget will help you save money in Sydney.
Reduce spending, how much does a meal cost in Sydney?
After you have created a budget you should track your spending for a month or so. Write down or use your phone to save every transaction you make. Once you know where your money is going you can begin to reduce that amount.
Giving up a dinner out once in a while isn’t such a bad thing. Finding cheaper restaurants to dine at can be a fun activity as well.
One town we love to eat at is Cabramatta ! we’ve been eating there for years. There are tonnes of restaurants serving all kinds of asian cuisine. It’s super easy to get there via train with the station right in the centre of town. Most times we go there we try a new restaurant. There are new places constantly opening so the options never seem to run out.
Last time we visited Cabramatta we spent $30 on lunch for 3 people. This included entrees, mains and drinks. How cheap is that!?
Dining out is one of the main optional expenses people have. Reducing this cost is extremely simple once you know where your money is being spent. If you cannot go without a takeaway dinner, just do your due diligence and find a cheaper option with the same quality. There is always a cheaper option.
Another optional expense most of us have is booze. In particular, going to pubs and clubs. I do firmly believe it is still important to support local businesses but there has to be a limit on how much you visit the local watering hole. If you frequent a pub more than once a week you’ve basically created a leak in your wallet. Dripping out $6-$8 every beer. Replace one of those visits with a visit to a mates house for those beverages. Drinking at home is 3 times cheaper than at a pub. Sure it’s the social atmosphere we all love but that same atmosphere can be recreated. Remember, it’s not the surrounds that create that atmosphere. It’s the people. Invite your mates over home, chip in for a case of beers and you’ll plug that drip in your wallet.
Once you have successfully tracked your expenses for some time you will be able to efficiently evaluate where your money is being spent. You will be able to cut your optional expenses easily by seeing what is actually necessary to you personally.
Reducing optional expenses is a must to save money in Sydney.
Know where to shop to save in Sydney
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Shop around.
If you’re one of those people that do your entire grocery shopping at one place, you are spending extreme amounts more than those that shop around.
In our weekly grocery shops we split the shop between 3 supermarkets. Coles, Woolies and Aldi as well as the local fruit and veg grocer. Each supermarket has it’s advantages. Diversifying and combining all 4 allows us to minimise the total dollar amount we spend. Never compromising on quality.
This is made easy since all 4 of these supermarkets/grocers are in the one place at our local mall.
If you want to go all in. Research before leaving for the shopping. Check online each item you plan to buy. Check which store offers that item for the lowest. Create a couple lists of what items you will get from what store.
Sydney has hundreds of towns filled with food grocers, supermarkets, fish markets, farmers markets etc. Doing due diligence to shop economically will reward you tenfold.
The main rule to grocery shopping. Never shop on an empty stomach. You will 100% end up buying more food than you actually need.
Always negotiate price
Obviously there are some places that price just can’t be negotiated like at the supermarket. Although we’ve never tried. When purchasing anything big or small always ask if the price can be lowered. Learn to haggle.
If buying second hand goods and services then the price is most of the time negotiable.
A simple technique. Offer lower than you actually want to pay. Most of the time the seller will come with a counter offer closer to the price you are actually willing to pay. You’d be surprised how often this simple technique works!
- Use your buying power to your advantage. The seller needs to sell. There is always a margin put on items that can be haggled with.
- You have more power as a customer over the seller.
- Always be polite when negotiating, no one likes a rude customer.
Evaluate your hobbies
What are your hobbies? And how much do they cost you?
If you’re an active person like myself you tend to have active hobbies outside of a gym membership. Anything from footy to ice skating all have associated costs.
Rule number 1– if you absolutely love it. Don’t give it up.
If your hobby is your passion then it is not something to cut back on. Instead it should be something you prioritize by taking money from lesser priorities to fund (like that night at the pub). Having a passion outside of your daily routine other than the obvious like family and friends is important. Any activity you are passionate about will benefit your mental health as well as physical.
And no. Netflixing is not counted as a passion.
If you lack hobbies and find yourself spending money in your free time due to utter boredom. Find some. Find something that peaks your interest and helps you progress forward in any aspect of life. Be aware of the associated costs as well as the time required to undertake such hobbies.
We have tonnes of hobbies that coincidentally cost bare minimum. Running, hiking, camping, music, blogging and the list goes on. Most of our hobbies had set up costs but once up and ‘running’ it costs nothing or close to it.
To save money in Sydney you should have your time occupied. One of the main reasons people spend more than needed in their free time is boredom.
So basically, keep time, keep money.
Sydney has some of the best scenery in the entire world. One of our hobbies is regularly going out and taking advantage of that. It doesn’t cost anything and is a fantastic way to experience your city in a new light.
To save money in Sydney you have to actually save right?
If you do not save and spend all your income on chicken parmigiana like I used to, you’re in big trouble.
In the frugal community there are a few types and ways to prioritize and seperate your savings.
- Emergency fund (for emergencies only)
- Pay down debts (minimising debt increases your saving capacity)
- Investments (long term investing is very common)
- Sinking fund (fund for upcoming events, holidays and large purchases)
Creating multiple avenues to use your money can help you make more sense of it. Having everything in one account can be very confusing. Make savings part of your regular budget.
Invest in yourself
Increasing your income is a simple way to increase your saving capacity. Whether that be through a rise in pay at your job or through a side hustle.
Investing in yourself means one thing. Learn new skills. Learn the skills required to qualify for that pay rise at work. Give yourself more leverage when entering the negotiation process by feeling more confident and educated.
There are tonnes of ways to increase your understanding of any topic online. Search your desired topic on Youtube to start off with. Find online course providers and compare them based on price as well as the resources they offer. Depending on the topic you wish to learn about you may be able to find free online courses that cover it.
If we’re talking side hustles, do the work. Learn everything and anything relating to your niche. Become an expert in it. Covering all bases you will be able to provide the service/product you are offering at a far higher competency.
Investing in yourself is a sure way to make progress in this crazy city. Slow progress is still progress. If you would like help finding where to study your interests just send us a message through the contact us page! We will be stoked to help you on your journey!
Save money in Sydney!
This is one of the world’s greatest cities. Get out there and experience it.
Instead of paying hundreds to do the bridge climb, just go for a walk over it. Do you need to go to the top?
Catch the train to bondi. Or better yet, catch the train down to Wollongong for the lesser known beaches which in my opinion are far more beautiful.
Drop into flemington markets to shop for fresh fruit and veg.
Take a bush walk in the Blue Mountains and see the 3 sisters.
If you’re buying anything off the facebook marketplace or gumtree, haggle!
Pack a picnic, go for a ride on the manly ferry and have lunch at manly beach.
Walk one of the dozens of trails in the royal national park.
Walk around the circular key and take in the views of the harbour bridge as well as the opera house. Make saving a priority over all else.
We have so much to do here! We live in Sydney’s south west suburbs and have even more to do down this way. Free or close to it. This city is beautiful and huge. It doesn’t take a wallet full of pineapples to be a part of it. Be conscious of how much you spend daily. Assess your habits. Above all else, have fun.