“How can you afford to go overseas so regularly?” Is a common question I’m faced with from friends and family. If I start to rattle off ‘detailed’ financial jargon like savings rates, investment return and ROI I usually get blank stares and a change of subject. So instead of coming across as even more geeky then they think I am, I say it comes down to priorities and also a blissful fate that there are many ways I save with minimal effort.

I love cooking!

So many people hate the idea of cooking at home, especially for one, however I have always had a passion for food and the kitchen is the only place where I am even a little bit creative. I’ve recently joined a local co-op where we buy fresh fruit and veggies in bulk and then split up between everyone. It works out to be much cheaper and fresher than going to the supermarket each week.

I’m not interested in fashion

Black, navy, white. Those are the three colours you’ll see repeated in my wardrobe for convenience of mix and match, and also because I just don’t care for expensive fancy clothes. I have no ideas what is on the runway and most of my recent purchases have been from the kids section at Aldi.

Or beauty…

I only wear makeup on very special occasions; weddings – yes, most other things – no. I’m lucky enough to now work in a non-client facing role most of the time, or my clients are little people (read children) who couldn’t care less if I look pretty or not. The amount of money I’ve saved on makeup over the years compared to some of my friends is HUGE!

My ideal Friday night is watching lifestyle shows

Call me a nanna (everyone else does) but after a long week my favourite thing to do on a Friday night is have a cup of tea and watch Better Homes and Gardens followed by half a movie before I fall asleep. It helps me relax, unwind and get ready for a productive weekend.

Water is my drink of choice

99% of the time I’ll have water or herbal tea. I’ve never liked the taste of coffee, or enjoyed the sugary rush of soft drinks. I used to really enjoy wine A LOT though due to some health concerns about a year ago now I have been able to cut back to 1 glass ever 2-3 months without even missing it. When eating out you can easily save 20% off the bill (or more!) by not purchasing drinks.

I hate paying full price

I love travel, eating out, and fancy herbal teas. I also need to purchase everyday living expenses just like everyone else; groceries, toiletries, other household items – though rarely will I pay full price. While some people see it as ‘too much effort’ or ‘being cheap’ I see it almost like a game, what discount can I get next!

I’ve written before about the Entertainment Book, which is a handy app on my phone that offers discounts on restaurants, cafés, museums/attractions, accommodation, flights, shopping, grocery stores and more. I am also a member of many of the birthday clubs in Sydney, getting free birthday meals, drinks, and stationary etc. each year – no purchase required. Last but certainly not all I do is a simple ‘google’ for discount codes or free shipping coupons for any online purchases I intend to process. Free shipping, 15% off sign up bonuses and EOFY sales all add up to more money in my pocket.

Final Thoughts

By drawing comparisons to things they enjoy that I’m either not interested in, no good at, or simply don’t do they can more easily understand how I can afford what they say they desire too. Whether or no they take action to readjust or realign their priorities is another story.

What things are you naturally frugal at? Is it a long standing habit, or something you have consciously chosen to cut back on recently that now saves so much you’ve decided to make it stick?