Not to sound cynical or overly dramatic but everything kinda sucks right now.
Australia's rental crisis is at an all time high.
Everything is expensive AF.
Oh and don't forget we also still have COVID-19 lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce again.
So like many of you I've tried and tested MANY cheats, gimmicks and ploys to save a buck or two during the pandemic.
And I thought... why not share this information with the world because *HOT GIRLS DON'T GATEKEEP.*
Now before you roll your eyes, no, I'm not here to give you unrealistic generic financial advice like "start a budget" or "don't get a credit card."
Because the truth is I'm still not THRIVING in a financial sense, but I am surviving.
And these tricks and facts helped me survive some of the toughest financial moments of my life.
Anyway, without further ado, here's a breakdown of how I survived (sadly not thrived) being broke in a global pandemic and cost of living crisis.
1. For the love of god DO NOT become an Uber driver or Uber Eats delivery driver. I know it may seem like a tempting to earn some extra cash; but trust me in the end it's just not worth your time, money and energy. Once you factor in petrol, regular car cleaning, regular car servicing, upping your insurance coverage, Uber fees and taxes - you barely make a penny!
2. I'm not sure if other cities do this but for us Brissy babes KERBSIDE COLLECTION is the greatest thing to ever exist. Every week residents in chosen suburbs can dispose large household items on the streets for Brisbane City Council to collect. But let me tell you... as soon as these items hit the kerbside, they are up for grabs for anyone and everyone! So if you enjoy being a bit of a fixer upper, I highly recommend driving through the expensive neighbourhoods when it's their collection week. People donate all sorts of things that could easily be sold on Facebook Marketplace. Over the years my partner and I have scored ourselves a coffee table, bedside table, TV cabinet, cupboards, skateboards, surfboards and even a working TV at one point. If there's one thing I've learnt over the years is that rich people are wayyyy too lazy to sell things on Facebook Marketplace.
3. For all my plus size guys, gals and non-binary pals... I have three words for you... PLUS SIZE MARKETS. In several major cities across Australia and even New Zealand there are markets dedicated to the plus size community that allow people to sell and buy pre-owned clothes. So if you're in need of updating your wardrobe or making some side cash, go support plus size markets. Here are some of our faves:
- A Plus Market: Melbourne
- Radically Soft: Sydney
- Double Plus Size Fashion Market: Adelaide
- The Curvy Collective: New Zealand
4. My partner is the biggest coffee snob so it's taken him years to find the perfect at home coffee. Campos Superior will always be his golden child, however, Aldi do a pretty good knock off version with their Lazzio Coffee. And it's more than HALF the price of Campos!
5. Any financial advisor or finance podcast guru would say don't do this buttttttt when you're broke and desperate this is a lifesaver. On several occasions I admittedly used ZipPay to buy a Woolworths voucher so I could afford groceries. Was this an ideal situation for my financial future? Of course not. But when you suddenly lose your job and Centrelink won't give you money for another two weeks, things like ZipPay and AfterPay can be a lifesaver when you have to choose between paying rent and eating dinner.
6. If you're a Brissy babe - listen up! I know there's not a lot to do in Brisbane in comparison to our popular big sisters Melbourne and Sydney, however, we do have CINEPLEX CINEMAS. For under $50 you can score yourself two movie tickets, two large popcorns, two large drinks AND two choc tops. $50 will barely get you two movie tickets at most places! So if you're in need of a cheap night out, a date night or some alone time away from home - Cineplex is the way to go!
7. Buy laundry detergent and dishwashing tablets at your local Reject Shop. No one should be paying $50 for a box of dishwashing tablets - that's more than my hourly wage!
8. GOOGLE COUPONS EVERY TIME YOU PURCHASE SOMETHING ONLINE. No matter what it is go to google and see if there are any coupons floating around on the web. Or if you’re more organised I highly recommend downloading Honey. It's a browser extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout. And best of all - it's free.
9. If you're always tempted to order food on UberEats whenever the emotions kick in (hi, yes, that's me) might I suggest using the Woolworths and Coles apps instead. You get more for your buck, less fees AND you still get food delivered right to your door.
10. Is what I'm about to suggest ethical? Mmmmm no. Buttttt bitches gotta hustle. And times are tough. And stop judging me, okay. Anyway, if you're a student in their final year of university/tafe, might I suggest getting a new student ID card during your last or second last semester. Why? Because student card = student discounts. And student IDs last a good couple of years. So when you're out and about after uni your ID is technically still usable for student discounts. Yes I know unethical blah blah blah but again this is what it takes to survive the broke life. It's not glamorous, it's not simple - you have to HUSTLE.