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New Year’s resolutions: How to do more for less

The new year is here and you might want to work out more, eat healthier, learn a new skill or travel. Here’s five budget-friendly ways to smash your ‘new year, new you’ goals.

Setting New Year’s resolutions is fun but making them happen can be exxy. Each year, many of us spend hundreds of dollars on new meal plans, books and sports gear. This year (before buying a new surfboard, skis or state of the art spin bike) take a look at these savings hacks.

1. Shred the costs

The average Aussie shells out around $1,200 a year to get ripped and look good doing it. From supplements to athleisure wear (AKA fancy trackies), this new lifestyle doesn’t always come cheap.   

If you want to get fit without spending up big, swap the gym membership for a running group or local sport. Try apps like Nike Run ClubCentr, Glo or free YouTube tutorials instead of hiring a personal trainer. But if the gym works for you, haggle on the price - it’s possible, trust us!

If you’ve got home gym equipment but don’t use it, list it on buy-and-sell sites to make a quick buck. While you’re there, check out the sports gear you’ve been eyeing off at a bargain price.

2. Healthy diet = healthy budget

If done right, a healthy and cheap diet could be a two-for-one deal. Start by replacing meal kits with free recipes from Taste or BBC Good Food that contain full nutritional info. There’s lots of simple meals online, but if you find one with a long list of ingredients, buy generic brands where possible.

Then, try to limit (but not eliminate) how much you spend at cafes, bars and restaurants. It’s not about cutting yourself off, just cutting down.


Pro tip: Meal prepping and buying in bulk could help avoid those last-minute takeaways. Plus, try to steer clear of the supermarket when you’re hungry. An empty tummy could mean a fuller docket.

3. New skills for next to nil

There’s a world of info out there if you want to learn new skills like coding, ceramics or graphic design. Want a guidebook? Visit the library before heading to the bookshop. Need it explained? Try YouTube, a podcast or webinar instead of a costly masterclass or online course.

Looking for some hands-on training? Swap the private college for a TAFE course or even a volunteering gig. You might not get the fancy certificate at the end, but you could learn more from the experience.

4. Holiday here this year

Some of the best experiences in the world can be done here in Oz (luckily for us while the borders remain closed!). Trade that international flight for a caravan and swap the hotel room for a home rental. While you’re on the road, visit the best pie shops and pubs in the country instead of splashing cash at swanky restaurants.

You could even hike, swim, climb or ride along the coastline. You’ll help boost the local economy, work on those fitness goals and save cash at the same time.

5. Make your money go further

The trick to financial freedom is balancing spending and saving. This is where Free2Spend comes in. It’s our in-app budgeting tool that scans your account (including your income, outgoings and savings goals) then gives you a daily spending limit to help you get there. If you want to grow your savings, knock off some resolutions and still enjoy the things you love, download our app and give it a whirl.

Once you’ve set your goals, see if these savings hacks work for you. If your resolution turns into a regular hobby, go for gold and get all the gear. But if not, that’s okay! You might have a few bruises, but your bank account will be intact.

 

USave and USpend are issued by UBank, a division of National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL 230686.  Before making a decision to acquire either product, you should obtain and consider the relevant Terms and Conditions available at ubank.com.au.


The information contained in this article is of a general nature only. It doesn’t take account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice.