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Your weekly mani/pedi

Your weekly mani/pedi
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This little luxury really adds up. In Australia, a nail salon charges an average of $25 for a manicure and $40-$45 for a pedicure. That’s an opportunity cost over 10 years of up to $23,000! All the more reason to opt for a DIY mani/pedi, and save the professional jobs for special occasions.

Gifts

Gifts
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Of course, for particularly big occasions it’s nice to splurge on a thoughtful gift for your loved ones, but if you’re at all crafty or creative, making a gift rather than buying one can be a really beautiful and memorable thing to do. Painting a portrait of their pet, knitting a scarf, cross-stitching their favourite quote, or creating a photo album of the good times you’ve shared is much more likely to be something they’ll treasure forever.

Buying cleaning products

Buying cleaning products
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You really don’t need to spend money on expensive cleaning products. Most of the time, you can use common household items to clean almost everything in your house, and you’ll be keeping your home, yourself and the environment free of harsh chemicals and dangerous ingredients. For example, mixing vinegar and baking soda can clean nearly everything in your bathroom and kitchen, lemon juice can help with stains and grease, and vinegar does wonders for wood floors.

Check out these other natural house-cleaning tips your Grandma probably used.

Buying everything new

Buying everything new
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Sure, it’s nice to have shiny new things, but if you want to help your wallet and the environment at the same time, you couldn’t do much better than buying used. Hunting around in charity shops can earn you near-new clothing. Hunt down garage sales, check out Facebook marketplace or Gumtree where you can find free or low-cost items that people need to get rid of (look out for people moving house, as they’re often willing to let things go for free or very cheap). You never know what bargains you can score, so get out there and thrift!

Here are the things you definitely should be buying from charity shops (and the things you should skip).

TV services

TV services
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TV streaming services can be costly. “Often they’re over $100 a month, which depending on your package, is over $1,200 a year,” says David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks. “A better option is Netflix for about $10 a month or about $120 a year.” Or you can skip both and opt for a streaming device. “If you stick with strong Wi-Fi and use a streaming device such as AppleTV or Roku, you can easily cut your broadband bill in half each month,” says Harris, Jr.

Ordering takeaway

Ordering takeaway
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That cheesy pizza is affecting a lot more than your waistline. “Ordering Dominos Pizza once a week can be about $30, or $1,560 per year,” says Reiling. “Conversely, buying groceries for a meal in place of this to cook can be under $10 per meal for a family of four, or $520 per year.” He underscores that the same thing applies to breakfast. “This can add up to $10 per day depending on your choices – that’s $3,650 per year! As an alternative, make a pot of coffee at home, and buy some eggs and bread for a quick and easy breakfast, which will cost you $365 per year or less.” Of course, many people have been ordering more takeaway during the pandemic, both as a way to support their local restaurants and bars and as a much-needed break from preparing and eating every meal at home. As people lucky enough to be working from home have cut their other costs drastically, you don’t have to feel bad about getting takeout a couple of times a week because the cost will be balanced out by reductions in other areas.

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In-game purchases

In-game purchases
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This is a classic case of being blindsided by small dollar amounts. “Those small in-app purchases start out small, often just $1 or $2, but they can quickly add up,” cautions Harris Jr. “Just one small in-app purchase a day, can take you over $400 in a year.”

These are the other small mistakes you’re making when you try to save money.

Speedy shipping

Speedy shipping
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While online shopping is exceedingly convenient, most of us want our items promptly and will pay extra for it, effectively wasting money. “Online stores know this, and they offer expedited shipping that can add $15 or more to your bill,” says Harris Jr. “Instead, go with the fastest free shipping offered. If you expedited just one or two packages a month, you could spend over $200 extra in a year.”

Bottled water

Bottled water
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It’s super-important to stay hydrated but that’s not permission to buy bottled water by the case. “Bottled water costs 2000 times as much as tap water and the average consumer spends $100 on bottled water every year,” says personal finance expert Andrea Woroch. “Not only is bottled water a waste of money, but it’s an unnecessary addition to landfills.” Instead, Woroch recommends buying a few inexpensive, BPA-free reusable water bottles and keeping one at the office, in your gym bag, and one at home so you always have one to refill.

Gym memberships

Gym memberships
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Because of the pandemic, you likely haven’t been to the gym in months anyway, but have you cancelled your membership yet? Jogging or cycling outside, doing bodyweight circuits in the park or your living room, or even investing in some weights to throw around at home: All of these will keep you fit and save you money. There are also a ton of free workouts on YouTube and plenty of free fitness apps, so you can keep switching up your workouts! A little research and you’ll never have to be bored on the elliptical again.

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