I´m in no way a financial adviser or reeeeeally good with money. But I did manage to simplify my life and stop spending money on things that don´t really matter to me. I would like to share some new tips and tricks that helped me save some extra money. Just think about all the money you could save up for traveling or doing things you love. Here we go.
TRAINS I love trains! They are sustainable, romantic, fund and Austrian trains even serve coffee and vegan curry. But make sure to buy your ticket on time with ÖBB Sparschiene Austria. You can purchase your Sparschiene ticket with a 50% discount as early as 6 months before your travel date, but at the latest 3 days prior to departure. or get ÖBB Vorteilscard and get 50% on all tickets any time you need.
BUS Cheap bus transport in Austria is offered by Flix bus and others.
CAR I don´t have a car anymore. I got rid of it after having way too many problems with it. I thought I will buy a new one soon, but it´s been 5 years and I´m still carless. I do take advantage of my boyfriends and friends car a few times a year if I have a transport emergency.
FLYING If you need to fly (that would be with a plane of course but if you can do it on your own please contact me asap!), research and use pages like momondo.com, skyscanner.net or google.com/flights to find best deals.
If possible you can of course bike, walk or join other on the way to work and leave your car at home.
Bring down your electricity bill
Do you know which are the biggest users of electricity in your house?
We have a wood oven/fireplace, so we try to heat up with wood as much as we can. But if we use electric heaters they are definitely the heaviest users, probably our water heater is on 2nd place, than cooker/oven, washing machine, fridge, toaster, computers and phone and lights.
So this is what I do:
- I turn off lights when I leave the room
- I installed energy saving LED bulbs
- I turn off all electric devices when I´m not using them. For instance my laptop and phone chargers, coffee machine, radio.
- I use washing machine after 10 pm or on the weekends to save money. Why? Well maybe that is news for you or maybe it doesn´t exist in your country, but there is day- and night electricity current here. That means the electricity is cheaper at night (usually from 10pm-6am) than during the day when more people are using the electricity (that´s when electric providers charge more).
- I compared prices of Austrian electricity companies on durchblicker.at and switched to a greener and cheaper one.
- Every time I leave the house for a week or more I turn off my water heater. There is no point for water heater running and heating up the water if you are not using it. It also depends on how your heater works. Ours heats up the water overnight (when electricity is cheaper) and we also keep it on minimum heat. But if we are gone just for the weekend it might be smarter to leave it on, this way the heater will just keep the water hot instead of heating it up from zero once you turn it back on. Hope this makes sense :)
- Turn your temperature down a few degrees and grab a blanket and hoodie. Normal room temperature is 18-22C.
- Put silver foild behind the heaters. It will reflect some of the heat that would have been absorbed by the walls.
- If yu have an option move to a smaller/cheaper place.
- Rent your house out, or that extra room on Airbnb when you are not using it.
- Or think about getting a roommate/flatmate
- Stop buying mugs, bowls, glasses, closets just because Ikea came out with a new collection. Just stop going to Ikea because you will probably not be able to resist the cute candles …
- Get rid of stuff you´re not using.
How many rooms, basements, garages or closets do you have in the house that you have no idea what they store? Go through them and get rid of it. You will realize how much things you have that you don´t need. Make a garage sale (or sell them online) and make some money. If they are not worth much just donate them, there are people that need it more than you.
If you downsize it will also stop you from buying new stuff, just because your apartment/house will look amazing after it and you might realize you don´t actually need that much.
I´m not saying I could live on 12 m2 all my life, but it sure was a great lesson to do it for a while. I learned how little things I really use and need every day.
Keep track of your spendings
Make an Excel file or grab a notebook, whatever works for you, as long as you keep track of your spendings.
- Write everything down don´t hide your spendings from yourself
- Set an automatic transfer for all your bills and do them all from one account
- Close bank accounts if you have too many of them
- Find a bank with cheaper or no costs (like Easybank in Austria)
- Get rid of your credit cards
- Open saving account and build an emergency fund and don´t touch it
Do free activities
- Check out the community calendar.
- Visit your local library.
- Get involved in community sports.
- Check out some podcasts.
- Play board games.
- Visit a free museum
- Hike, Run, Swim, Bike, do yoga
- Watch videos and learn things for free
- Go out and take some photos or videos
- Here are 102 Things to Do on a Money-Free Weekend
First 2 parts of my money saving tips
Most of all enjoy the simple things in life.