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After the craziness of school holidays, Christmas and back-to-school preparations, your wallet may be feeling empty and the budget rather tight. Plus for many people, February is when the majority of credit card bills are due for their Christmas and holiday spending.
Enter the Frugal February Challenge! As the shortest month of the year, February is a great time to perform a ‘financial fast’, reign in your spending, get the budget back on track and aim for those money goals you set for the year.
So how much could you save? By cutting back on your discretionary spending and adopting some (or all!) of our tips, could see those dollars piling up during Frugal February.
- Cut out takeaways for the entire month.
- Meal plan, prep ahead and make your meals from scratch at home.
- Become best friends with your slow cooker for those busy days, and keep a few frozen items like fish fillets and chips in the freezer for busy nights.
- Fill your water bottle and make a coffee in a reusable coffee mug to curb impulse drink purchases when you are on-the-go.
- Ditch the cafe lunches or takeaways, and pack your lunch for work.
- Bake and freeze snacks for school lunchboxes.
- Make using up leftovers a priority, either as lunch or reinventing them into another meal.
- Use up items in your fridge/freezer/pantry before going to the shops. You’d be surprised at how much you can save by living off what you already have instead of shopping for the week.
- Make a list of only the essentials you need to buy and stick to it when you do go grocery shopping.
- Ditch nights out for a dinner party or BBQ at home with friends.
- Gather the family around for a movie night, start that 1,000 piece puzzle that’s been sitting in the cupboard, or drag out the board games for some quality time with the kids.
- Borrow books and magazines from the library instead of buying new ones to read.
- Search for exercise videos on Youtube for a free workout!
- Find activities and attractions in your local area that are free or low-cost to enjoy.
- Cut down on alcohol consumption, or quit completely for the month.
Do It Yourself
- Frugal February is a great time to fix things around the house, whether it’s a leaky tap or sewing a new button onto your favourite shirt.
- If you use any professional services such as cleaning or lawn-mowing, reduce or cancel them for the month and do it yourself.
- Youtube is a great resource for DIY videos! You may even end up learning a few new skills this month.
Find A Better Deal
- Gather up all your current utility bills (phone, electricity) and subscription plans (such as Netflix), and then ring around or Google to see if you can get a better deal, or even pause or cancel the plan for the month.
- Get new quotes for your current insurances and compare them to your current policies to see if you can save.
- What’s your mortgage interest rate? Have a look at the comparison rates available with other providers, then ring your bank to negotiate a rate cut, or find out what you could save by refinancing your home loan.
- Got credit card debt and want to pay it off quicker? Consider transferring the balance to an interest-free or low-rate card to ditch the debt faster.
Make Some Money
- Sell your unwanted items for extra cash, and clear the clutter at the same time.
- Find a side hustle, such as online surveys or market research.
- Sign up for mystery shopping!