As most of you know I have a part time job teaching social workers about money so they can then help their clients. It is a fantastic job for someone like me who loves talking and writing about money! I love teaching the course because every time without fail I learn something new from my class that I can then think about using in my life or share with you all. What I find fascinating about personal finance is that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ answer or only one way to achieve a goal, there are different ways that suit different people. Believe it or not some of the most diverse answers come when we talk about different ways to save money….. so here are some of the most unusual ones I have heard lately.
Yep – you read it correctly when I asked one of my classes the other day how they saved money one lady piped up and said “I have cold hard!”…. “er pardon” was my reply. I certainly hadn’t heard that one before and my mind boggled as to what that could be! As she went on to explain that she saves her money as soon as she gets paid putting a set amount of cash in a plastic zip lock bag and putting it in her freezer!!!! Between the meat and the peas apparently!!!! She also went on to explain that putting the money into her freezer means that she won’t touch it, whereas if it is in a bank account she will. She has used this strategy to save for a solar hot water system and is currently saving for a cruise!!! Obviously this one is not great if you get robbed and the robbers are hungry!!! But still, I was impressed with her ingenuity!
Coke bottle anyone?
Apparently an empty 600ml bottle of Coke can hold close to $800 worth of coins, according to one guy from my class. It is often touted on the internet to be $1,000 but my participants claim that is not true and it is more like $800 (what?! something on the internet that is not true!!!). Being a closet Coke drinker I am keen to give this one a go myself. I think it is a great way to save for Christmas!!!
Don’t claim the tax free threshold
When you get a job, you fill in a form which asks whether you want to claim the tax free threshold. Australian residents for tax purposes are entitled to an $18,200 tax free threshold If you select ‘no’ on the ATO form and don’t claim the tax free threshold, you are taxed on that first $18,200. It means you are paying tax on a sum of money, at your regular tax rate, even though you don’t need to. As a result you will overpay tax and get a tax refund at the end of the financial year.
Over-pay your rent
This is another popular one especially to pay for Christmas. Often paying more on your rent means you can have a month off at the end of the year to pay for Christmas.
Saving is a really individual thing, but when you get something that works for you – stick with it.