If you’re thinking about saving money – living in Sydney can be particularly tough, here are some tips I learnt while trying to save. I like to shop, so this is not going to be a post about never shopping again and limiting yourself on lots of things. We want to make sure saving money is not a chore and it’s a sustainable activity.
Once you get your first job, you’ll start to understand how hard it can be to save money, especially with all the excitement of having a paycheck. Somehow demands increase exponentially and you’ll find you’re actually spending more rather than saving, so here are some tips from my days of saving:
1. Keep a budget
The easiest thing I found was to start an excel spreadsheet and over approximately a month, record your spendings. This doesn’t have to be extremely accurate, but you’ll mostly know what you’d spent your money on. I used to sit down at the end of the week and record all of my expenses. You’ll start to get a pretty clear idea on where you’re spending most of your hard earned cash. Then think whether you can cut back of some of that spending or whether you need that cost at all. You might even discover that what you think is costing a lot is actually not so bad.
I was surprised that if I bought lunch every day versus purchasing groceries at a supermarket and making it, the savings were not as significant as I might have liked, minus all the extra effort. So that was a good to know and I stopped worrying about buying lunch every day since groceries are more expensive most times.
2. Shop the sales
Sign up to shopper notification lists such as Missy Confidential and make a note on when your favourite brands are having warehouse sales. I usually don’t shop all the time but when a warehouse sale comes along, I end up spending close to $600-$700 especially on winter clothes like coats, jackets and boots. You know those items of clothing are the most expensive when you need them (in the middle of winter), so pre-empt those spendings and purchase these items at a warehouse sale in the summer months. For about $600 I can purchase up to 10 items of clothing which would otherwise cost me hundreds of dollars more.
3. Unsubscribe from a lot of the newsletters from online shops
I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of emails from all these stores I signed up to (don’t remember when), potentially when there was some sort of competition or giveaway. Well these emails are all pushing for purchases. “NEW stock”, “20% off SALE”, “You have a voucher that will expire in the next 24 hours”. As systems are getting smarter, you’ll be tempted to buy things a lot! Do you notice those un-bought items stalking you online through re-targetting ads? Precisely! You can’t escape from them online, so don’t also become lured through your emails. Start unsubscribing from the lists and try to limit online shopping to incredible sales, perhaps once every 6 months or even less.
4. Tell your friends
If you’re finding a particular week harder than others in terms of savings, tell your friends that you can’t do a more expensive restaurant or cocktails and be honest. You don’t have to splurge on stuff all the time but also don’t feel bad that you’re trying to manage your finances. There can be a lot of pressure on us to ‘keep up’ with mates on going to expensive dinners or buying rounds of drinks. There will be times your friends will get upset at you or you’ll have to miss out on a group holiday, but make a priority list of what you want and need and how you would like to spend your money. In the end, your friends are not going to contribute to your savings account.
5. Go on mini holidays
Instead of taking a 3 week holiday, pick a location close to you and do a long weekend away, better yet a road trip. Road trips can be very fun and don’t have to cost a lot. Now with the availability of AirBnB, booking an affordable property is very easy and most places in Australia are near the beach. This makes a really cost efficient activity in the summer – get a few friends together and pitch in for a beach house. A long weekend away 2-3 hours away from home can feel like an awesome break and doesn’t have to be expensive.
Some of my favourite spots in NSW:
- Hawks Nest (Find the beautiful white sand beach- Jimmy’s Beach and enjoy some local fish and chips)
- Jervis Bay (Really close to Sydney and feels like you’re in a resort town)
- Blue Mountains (Not beachy, but you’re surrounded by beautiful nature – go on a bush walk and relax in a cottage with a fireplace)
6. Buy stuff in bulk when you can
If you see something on sale that you know you’ll definitely need, this includes household items like toothpaste, shampoo, make up remover wipes , my advice is – get a few packs. You know you’ll use them eventually and when you need something ASAP it’s easy to run over to the convenience store and purchase it at 2x the original price. Who had done that before? Most of us! Me included. I like online stores like Ozsale for buying things in bulk. Yes people will probably laugh at you for purchasing a 20x box of toothbrushes, but it’s waaay cheaper than buying them individually in store, trust me.
I am entering this blog post on saving tips in the Heritage Bank Savvy Saver Competition, so if you liked my post and thought it had some good tips, please vote for me on the leaderboard by clicking the button below:
Thank you! Happy Saving!
Do you ever wonder whether you’ve made the right career choice? Or are you in the decision stages now?
There are so many jobs out there and I personally was so lost for so long. I wanted to try different professions but had to choose one university degree. I decide to do Commerce because I figured it was a broader industry than some which can be very niche. I have been meeting a lot of people recently who have completed degrees in Science but work in PR or finished with a degree in Law and now in finance careers.
So you don’t always have to decide right away on what you want to do. I personally love doing different tests and quizzes online because even though you might not get the result you’re after (Once I got “tradie” as a profession choice! (lol) , you can see what questions you should ask yourself about what you like/dislike, where you see yourself, what preferences you have for work types etc
Those questions are enough to perhaps lead you to an industry/career of choice. You just have to start asking the right questions and go with what you have a passion for.
I can honestly say that choosing monetary rewards over enjoyment and work you will actually care about and be proud of, is not a great long term career option. Stick to what you enjoy doing and have a plan of attack and in enough time things are bound to pay off.
Complete this “Discover Your Dream Industry” Careers Australia Quiz if you want to see what suggestions are out there for you. Even if it is just for fun!
If you discovered that you want to see what courses are available or how you could perhaps change careers, checkout all the courses Careers Australia offer on their website.
Photography by Two Tales Media
Going to the gym is a good exercise (pun intended). I’ve recently started at least attempting to make a regular appearance at mine and spend most of the time I am there on a treadmill for cardio and later in the showers grooming myself back to a normal non-red-faced-puffy-state.
All of those minutes spent sweating do great things for your body and mind. Endorphin release is one of the key benefits for me as I feel like nothing can phase me after my workout – I am a stress fighting fortress! For the skin however, the extra sweat means more breakouts. At least that is what I’ve observed in my recent post-gym observations of the face.
Why? Why can’t we just have it all on a silver platter? The more I ask myself that question the more I realise how life can be unfair. (1st world problems) Can I please not breakout after my gym workout?
It is not all lost, some of it is in your control. I realised that by taking the right beauty products to the gym with me I could avoid the breakouts and other skin issues like dryness.
So here are some of the products which are in my gym bag now:
Gym Bag Beauties
Yes it may seem like a lot at first glance, but I can assure you I can fit all of these into my free David Jones, bag illustrated by Megan Hess. I’ve had this bag for a number of years and will be deeply disappointed when it starts to approach retirement. I should really buy a proper gym bag!
In order to avoid breakouts, you need to cleanse your skin thoroughly. Preferably with products containing salicylic acid or other breakthrough and oil fighting ingredients.
1. I first use Johnson’s Face Care Make Up Remover Wipes to remove ALL makeup.
2.Then The Biore Charcoal Pore Minimiser Cleanser , which comes in a pump bottle and has activated charcoal. Charcoal has a number of benefits, but the one we are after is its absorbing property with all the dirt and gunk being sucked out via magnetic power(!) and helps achieve a deep clean.
While taking a shower at the gym, just put a small amount of cleanser on your palm and massage gently around your face. I sometimes use this cleanser on the back and chest as well, just to prevent any breakouts in those areas too.
3. For all hair needs, I use Scunci hair accessories. Their hairties without the metal clamp are genius and super comfortable and recently I’ve discovered this Bendy headband that you can just shape yourself to the outline of your head. Gold! I believe that my head is shaped in it’s own unique way so when I can customise a headband, it’s always a bonus.
Scunci is a super fun hair brand and now they have a Comfy range
4. One of the best shavers I’ve used is the Schick Intuition with coconut milk and almond oil.
New Schick Intuition with ‘Ribbons’ of moisture
5. The Hair Care Products I use are by two different brands. One might argue that it should be the same brand of shampoo and conditioner but I like to mix it up. My hair is colour treated so I use the Color WoW Shampoo and Frizz Ease Conditioner by John Frieda. I’ve also got a sample of Moroccan Oil to use on hair ends to avoid dryness and frizz.
6. After you’ve cleansed your face, it’s important to add moisture to the skin because it’s been dehydrated while exercising. I use Weleda Hydrating Day Cream. I have dehydrated skin in the best of times so this moisturiser suits me. It’s very creamy and hydrates skin for hours. If you have very oily skin, best to use an oil free moisturiser or a gel base moisturiser.
7. I also usually keep a travel size body wash and body lotion in my bag as essentials when going to the gym.
What beauty products do you take to the gym?
Disclaimer: I have been gifted some of these products for a potential review. All opinions are my honest, personal opinions and have in no way been endorsed or sponsored by the respective brands. I did not get sponsored to write this review.
One of my very early blog posts was about FM Hair in Sydney CBD. I love that salon and have been going there religiously for about 5 years. I’ve blogged about them earlier here and then again here when I got my “new hair” with a fringe.
Recently I’ve discovered a new salon which is located on Liverpool street. It’s in the walkway off Liverpool street, connecting you to the World Square shopping area. I was working nearby and saw that there was a new cozy hair salon and a nail bar in one venue called Beauty Story.
Before going to Bali, I decided to try out Beauty Story and get a shellac manicure. I have long stopped getting shellac because I saw some brittleness in my nails, but for a holiday and when I need to keep my hands presentable such as when meeting new people at work, I like shellac because it lasts and just looks polished and neat longer.
Shellac was the original brand that started the whole UV lamp polish revolution, but there are so many brands now that have released nail polishes with the same properties. The good thing about it is that there are thousands of colours to choose from now so you’ll have to make up your mind on which colour you want before sitting down with a nail technician. I chose bright orange because I was already in holiday mode at the time.
Nailpolish Selection at Beauty Story
I paid $55 for Classic Manicure – Shellac polish including cuticle care, massage and shaping.
There is also an option to do a Mini Manicure, just Shellac polish with shaping for $25 (This is a good option when you’re in a hurry and super affordable!)
Instagram capture of Orange Nails in Bali
When I got back from Bali (another story on being stuck in Bali due to Volcanic ash later), I went back to Beauty Story to take off my gel polish and got a more neutral colour on visibly shorter and more practical nails.
Showing off my new Peachbox jewellery with Neutral Shellac by Beauty Story
I enjoyed both of my experiences. The least enjoyable part of the experience is removing the old gel polish because it requires a soak off. I tried to remove Shellac/gel polish at home and it’s always a mess. The nail technicians at Beauty Story are really good at removing the old polish, doing it quickly, efficiently and painlessly. I have found in the past that nail salon technicians can be a bit rough when it comes to removing gel colour and the acetone soak off is harsh enough without that. At Beauty Story, I was confident both times that I wouldn’t get any pulls or cuts because the girls were so professional.
From the looks of it the equipment they use is always sterilised and the nail tools come in individually packaged sterilised pouches which is always good to see. I can’t do manicure/pedicures any more if I see that the nail tools have been used on multiple people without sterilising in between. You see it a lot in Thailand or Philippines and recently Bali. I didn’t like the look of that at all.
I also got my hair washed and blow dried both times when I got my nails done. That’s the beauty of this place, you can get everything done in one go. I never had to make appointments and was able to get service right away.
A wash and blow dry for my hair length (relatively long) costs $30 at Beauty Story. I recognised (from what I am guessing is) one of the owners or the owner and he used to work at FM hair salon. I guess I feel like I am in good hands since I have watched him work on a few people and the results are always amazing. Seriously, you will know who I am talking about straight away. The only guys in the salon with long-ish hair and glasses.
I didn’t get my hair styled by him, but a couple of other hair stylists. I didn’t want to go too curly this time and asked for loose waves. Wasn’t disappointed.
Loose Waves After a Wash and Blow Dry
If you want to be sure there are appointments, best to call up especially if you’re travelling into the city. I would say 90% of the time they’ll serve you right away or within a 5-10 minute waiting period.
For all details – MAP and Phone number click here
Address: SHOP 5/ 123 Liverpool st, Sydney CBD 2000
Phone: 02 9262 9292
Open hours: 10am – 8pm (As far as I know, Every day of the week). Their Google+page says otherwise but I’ve been there on a Saturday and a Sunday both times.
Other services include Facials, Massage, Eyelash Extensions, Perm, Hair Treatments, Hair Colour, Waxing.
* I was not endorsed/paid/sponsored to write this review. This is an honest review from personal experience at Beauty Story. All opinions are my own.
Jetlag can cause havoc to many a traveller’s plan, both on the ground in a new country and on home soil as you try and slip back into everyday life. If you can avoid jetlag, do it at all costs because you will feel fresher, have more energy and you’ll have a clear mind as you travel. If you’re yet to master the art of evading jetlag, here are some helpful tips to make your next long haul journey that little bit more pleasant.
1. Keep Busy
Upon your arrival abroad, hit the ground running and keep busy to avoid being tired. Adrenalin will kick in and you’ll be able to push through what’s left of your new time zone and collapse into bed at a respectable hour to reset your body clock. A great way to ensure you are kept busy in the first few days of your trip is to book yourself on a boutique tour, with operators such as Gypsian Boutique Tours, from the day you land so you have a set itinerary in place and people to help push you through the jetlag.
2. Use Your Stopover Wisely
If you have a stopover en route to your final destination, use your layover time to prepare yourself for the next flight so you can slip right into the correct time zone upon your arrival. If you are arriving early in the morning and will have to stay awake all day, make yourself tired during your stopover by walking, shopping and eating the entire time. Alternatively, if you are arriving at night and want to go straight to bed for a full night’s sleep in your final destination, have a nap during your stopover and try to stay awake for the entirety of the next flight.
3. Eat Well and Drink Lots of Water
While you are in transit it is important to drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated, especially when flying. It’s also important to eat regularly and, if possible, in line with the time zone you are entering so your eating habits get used to the new routine. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables when you can and avoid soft drink, alcohol and fast-food because it will make you feel fatigued and sluggish.
4. Keep Comfortable
If you need to sleep while in the air, ensure you are comfortable to give yourself the best chance. Always wear comfortable clothes while flying, ask for a blanket if you are cold and use your neck pillow. If you’re still struggling to sleep, drape a scarf loosely around your face to create darkness and listen to some calming music to block out all other sounds. I like to keep my noise cancelling headphones handy to block out crying babies and the aircraft noise.
5. Coffee Helps
When it gets to 10am and you’re feeling like it should be midnight, a cup of coffee will be your new best friend. Drink coffee in moderation throughout the day as you are adjusting to a new time zone as the injection of caffeine will help you stay awake without fatigue for at least a couple more hours. Once you are settling back into a routine, wean yourself off multiple coffees a day and return to just one in the morning.
Ultimately, it is near impossible to avoid jetlag of some degree, but if you take these tips on board, you’ll have the best chance of slipping straight into a new time zone without fatigue and tiredness impacting your plans.
What tips have you got to avoid jetlag?
Whether you’ve been inspired by a home renovation TV show or have been surfing through a few interior design Pinterest boards, chances are you’re reading this because you have big ambitions for your bedroom’s décor. Anywhere you go on social media, there’s likely a photo of a recently redecorated bedroom not far away – maybe it’s your turn now.
You too can have your own chic bedroom by taking on board some of the tips below.
Flooring can play a surprisingly large role in the overall appearance and functionality of the bedroom, as well as the temperature regulation of the area. Carpet is the most common flooring and often the most practical. Not only does it provide a deep, plush and comfortable surface, but it also keeps the warmth in – perfect for the chilly winter months. For the best bedroom floors, you shouldn’t just rush out and buy any old carpet though. There are plenty of online resources for helping you make the best flooring decisions. For example, the Stainmaster Carpet website has a variety of design tools you can use; click here to take a look.
A new coat of paint can do wonders for a bedroom! If your current room is looking a little tired, why not make a change and pick a different colour to what you ordinarily would? A popular trend right now is having one feature wall a brighter or darker colour and the other walls a plain white or off-white. This serves to open up the room and will make it more vibrant and livable.
3. Update Furniture and Lighting
Is there a particular style, theme or era you are aiming for with your bedroom? Why not purchase some new pieces of furniture to go along with the theme and make it seem more complete? There are plenty of fantastic and innovative furniture stores and antique shops where there are many bargains to be found. Lighting is another key aspect of any chic bedroom. Pick lighting that will complement your room’s décor and is suitable for how often you are in the room. Bulb type and whether you prefer ceiling lights or lamps need to also be considered before purchasing. Get all lighting installed by a professional electrician.
Beautiful new bedding is the perfect accompaniment to your brand new chic bedroom. Even if you can’t afford a complete refurbishment, new bedding will make you feel good as new! Crisp white bedding also elevates your room immeasurably, making it look chic and minimal. Make sure you get a few throw pillows in a contrasting colour to really make the bedding stand out.
Creating a chic bedroom can take a long time and be quite expensive, but the result of it all is a beautiful, chic bedroom you will enjoy for many years to come. By focusing on the key areas of your flooring, bedding, paint, and furniture, you can create a consistent and modern look in your bedroom. What are your tips for creating a chic bedroom?
Leave them in the comments below!