8 Easy Ways to Save Money at Restaurants

Note from Cath: Today we have a fantastic guest post from Leila, the creator of the awesome website Child Friendly Dining 8 easy ways to save money at restaurants– it is the place to find all the best cafes, restaurants, play centres and Bar & Bistros that cater for kids.

I know some of you might be thinking it doesn’t make sense to spend your money on eating out. It is cheaper to cook at home. This is true, but a splurge every now and again I think is perfectly OK.

For us, we often head out on a weekend for lunch with our girls. Even the Barefoot Investor talks about being able to go out for date nights.

So for that reason Leila has joined us today to fill us in on how to get the best bang for our buck.

Families love to eat out, but we can’t always afford that luxury. According to recent studies, the average Australian household eats out a whopping two or three times each week!

Dining at restaurants and lunching at cafes is often the first thing to get cut from the family budget when things get tight.

Follow these eight simple steps to control your dining and save money to treat your loved ones to a relaxed family meal – free of any cooking, dishes and mess!

Know Your Limits

Putting a cap on your eating habits can help you not to splurge. Before you go out, set yourself a budget, be mindful about the prices on the menu and don’t over order on food and drinks.Continue Reading →

14 ways to pay off your mortgage faster

Paying off your home loan faster is a common goal that many readers share with me as part of the Kick Start 14 ways to pay off your mortgage fasteryour Wealth Challenge. As someone who is looking to retire early, owning a place mortgage free is high up there on our families list of goals.

I know there is a school of thought that it would actually be better to invest surplus funds and not pay down the mortgage.

The thinking is that your mortgage is only costing you say 4.5%p.a in interest. If you invest instead in the share market or an index fund that generates returns of say 9%p.a you come out ahead.

Whilst the math makes sense, it is not the approach that we have chosen. Since having kids the security off a paid off home is appealing to us.

It will mean that the level of passive income we need to live off for our investments is much less than when we need to service a home loan as well.

If you have an emergency fund and have removed all your consumer high rate debt, then paying down your mortgage can be a great next goal.

14 tips to pay off your mortgage faster

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The Barefoot Investor review: Is it really the only money guide you will ever need?

Scott Pape’s The Barefoot Investor: The only money guide you will ever need book, has taken on a world of it’s Barefoot Investor Book Reviewown and become a bestseller here in Australia.

Everywhere I turn someone is sporting their orange ING cards and referral codes are found at every turn (sorry I don’t have one).

I read his previous book which was written more than ten years ago now. Which detailed 5 steps to financial freedom for someone in their 20’s and 30’s.

The 5 steps were essentially setting goals, managing cash flow, debt reduction, investing (or working your Mojo account – yep the Mojo was around back in the early 2000’s) and insurances.

Given I was only in the early stages of my financial journey it was a good book to lay a foundation.

But after the latest book came out, I was not really that inclined to buy it. From what I had read on the steps I didn’t really think it could teach me anything I did not already know.

But since a reader reached out to me and asked me to do a book review, I bit the bullet and grabbed a copy.Continue Reading →

Why a dollar saved is more than a dollar

Note from Cath: I have a very special guest on the blog today – Serina from Ms Frugal Ears (you can learn the inspiration Why a dollar saved is more than a dollarfor her site name over on her blog).

Since starting this site I have discovered that the personal finance blogging community is a lovely bunch.

No one I have come across see each other as competition, just another person looking to share their knowledge and help other people to understand their finances better.

What is really cool is that Serina and I actually both started our savings and investing journey in the same place. We were a part of an online savings forum back in the day before Facebook Groups where all the rage.

So without further ado over to Ms Frugal Ears for today’s guest post.

My goal is to become a billionaire. My stepping stone goal is to pay off my mortgage. Then I want to grow my net worth to one million (who wants to be a millionaire? I do!), then to double that to have $2 million net worth by 2020.Continue Reading →

7 money saving travel tips

Having a holiday and some relaxation time away from work does not have to cost a fortune. Having recently 7 ways to save money on travelreturned from our trip to Hawaii it inspired me to share some of my money saving travel tips.

Be flexible

It can really pay to have a bit of flexibility in terms of the dates that you travel. Even the time of day that you fly can have a significant difference in the price that you pay for flights.

You can often get some great deals in the shoulder or low season. I managed to score 40% off our accommodation in Hawaii by booking online during a Click Frenzy special.

Some other sites that I have used in the past are Groupon, as they often have package deals that are great value.

I also like to compare the cost of hotels at booking.com since they have a massive range featured on their site. And they have a best price guarantee and no cancellation fees so they have become my go to website to book through.Continue Reading →

Acorns Australia Review: the spare change jar of today

Acorns Australia is an App that can be said to replace the spare change jar of old.

Acorns Australia ReviewBack some years ago whenever I would get some spare change weighing down my purse, I would put it in a jar.

By the end of the year I had always accumulated a decent amount to deposit in the bank.

I never missed the spare change going into the jar and was always pleasantly surprised at how quickly it added up.

If you still use predominantly cash I suggest in my 50 ways to save more post about starting a spare change jar. And making savings jars with your kids can also be a fun kids activity.

However, as we move more and more to a cashless society, the father and son team behind the Acorns App has given us an option to squirrel away our spare change.

Except this time the change is invested virtually in a diversified portfolio.

How does it work?

Launched in Australia in February 2016 Acorns Australia followed in the footsteps of the launch in the US. It is an App that you download and link with your current bank account and credit or debit cards you might like to link up.Continue Reading →

30 of the best birthday freebies

Who doesn’t love a freebie on their birthday?

Since working in lo30 birthday freebiesyalty marketing, I have the annoying habit of signing up for every loyalty program there is available. Mainly for research just to keep on top of what everyone else was doing in the space.

One thing I have learned over the years is that us loyalty marketers love a good trigger campaign. And birthday are as good a trigger as any to prompt a special offer.

My husband celebrated his birthday last week. Nudging ever so close to the big 4-0. His inbox was overflowing with special offers.

So if your birthday is coming up soon, I have compiled a list of 30 birthday freebies in Australia to take advantage of.

Boost Juice

What you get: Free smoothie

How you get it: You need to be a member of the Vibe Club, which is handy to be a part of any way as you can avoid the wait times when you order a juice by ordering in advance on the App.Continue Reading →

Where do our money beliefs come from?

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘money won’t bring you happiness’ or ‘money is a necessary evil’?

Money Beliefs - creating a positive message around moneyThis is the underlying negative message we hear a lot in society. Even in Hollywood films, characters with lots of money are often portrayed as the greedy and selfish villains.

So, our relationship with money begins.

Just the other day I experienced this on a Facebook Group that I am active in. It is a group for mums to chat about finances and one of the mum’s asked a straightforward question about whether the changes to childcare rebates for high income earners were based on pre or post tax income.

Well didn’t the knives come out! This lady was not being arrogant, not once did she big note herself, in fact she even acknowledged that she doesn’t begrudge people on low incomes doing it tough and thinks they deserve the assistance.

All she was trying to do was to see how her finances would be affected by the change.

Sure enough the post turned into a slanging match of people saying that she doesn’t deserve anyContinue Reading →