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10 budget hacks when you're just starting out

Superannuation  |  8/06/2018  |   5 min read

Whether you’re new to the workforce or trying to put more aside for a rainy day, it’s still possible to grow your savings. Here are ME Bank's top 10 budget hacks to get you back in the black

Get happy
Happy hour used to be a thing that happened at the pub, but these days just about every business offers a happy hour –from cinemas to hairdressers. Even airlines have jumped on the happy hour bandwagon, so keep an eye out for days and times when tickets are available at bargain prices, i.e. Jetstar and Virgin Australia do happy hour sales every week.

Avoid the convenience apps
Convenience apps like Uber, Deliveroo and Afterpay can make life easier but there’s no shortage of research showing that they also make it easy to spend and, in turn, overspend. New figures show that young people are spending more than $740 a year on Uber Eats food delivers and Uber fares alone. Go easy on the apps to grow savings.

Bypass takeout
It can be tempting to grab lunch on campus and as an occasional treat, it won’t blow your budget. But as a regular habit, it could leave you strapped for cash. Spend $4 on a morning latte, back it up with a $7 lunch and you’ve blown 11 bucks. Do it twice a week and you’re down by more than $1,200 a year.  Whip up a salad or sandwich at home for a DIY lunch to save a fortune on food.

Unsubscribe from online sites
Subscriptions to online retailers can see your inbox clogged with tempting promotions and sales. If you find it hard to resist, unsubscribe so those “50% off” sales clogging up your email.  

Time your grocery shopping to perfection
Aim to do your grocery shopping late in the evening or early in the morning when perishables like bread, fruit and dairy products are most likely to be marked down.

Get more from your service providers
Your phone provider, local motoring association, private health insurance and even super fund can offer perks like pre-sale deals or discounted tickets to sporting and cultural events. Not sure what you’re entitled to? Just ask to find out.

Wave your student card around
Get into the habit of whipping out your student card and asking for a discount where applicable. Sites like can show you where to save megabucks on anything from software to clothing.

Embrace meat-free Monday
Take grandma’s advice and eat your greens. Skipping meat just one day a week can see you save at least $750 a year. Stock up on pulses, whole grains and veggies for a cheap burst of nutrition.

Try a clothes swap
Experts say we wear just 20% of our garments 80% of the time – the rest just clutters our wardrobe. Try clothes swaps with friends or visit the local op shop to cut the cost of clothing.

Budget to be the boss of your money
No amount of smart spending will see you save if you don’t know where your money is going in the first place. Free apps like ASIC’s TrackMySPEND let you track your daily spending. It’s a great start to build a personal budget that can show how much you’re able to save – and where you can cut back.

This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit


This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Issued by Equipsuper Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049 AFSL 246383.  MySuper Authorisation Numbers 33813823017672 and 33813823017518  (‘Equip’, ‘the Fund’ and ‘the Equip Rio Tinto Fund’).

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