Essential hacks to help live your best life on a budget


Remember being a kid and thinking, “I can’t wait to be older and have enough money and do whatever I want”? Well, more often than not, the adult world rears its big ugly head and squashes this dream. Faced with the cost of living and house prices on the rise, it’s pretty easy to feel like a lot of the joy has been sucked out of life. Now, perhaps you haven’t found that job with the dream paycheck just yet. Or perhaps life keeps getting in the way of saving for what you want. Whatever the reason, it can be really easy to feel like you’re stuck in the rat race, just spinning that wheel around.

Whether you’re trying to afford an overseas trip, or just trying to save on groceries, we’ve got a list of tips and tricks to help you live the best life possible on a budget.

Disclaimer: Personal Loan Pal is a lender-finding service. We do not offer financial advice. Consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented on this website relates to your unique circumstances.

At home

You’d be surprised as to how many expensive things you can make at home. While having supermarkets everywhere has no doubt made our lives easier, we have lost the art of doing things for ourselves.

Now, while it would be awesome to carve a dining table from scratch, there are much easier places to start when it comes to DIY. Not only is it extremely satisfying and cost-effective to DIY, but you could also easily make these into gifts for your family and friends.

Beauty Products

Not only are commercially manufactured beauty products often filled with chemicals and tested on cute animals, but they are also expensive. Making your own at home can be incredibly rewarding, and fully customizable. Products such as lip balm, lotion, shampoo and face masks are incredibly simple to make at home. You can even reuse your old empty store-bought containers or, better yet, store them in eco-friendly glass jars.

See how to hack DIY beauty products below:


Stop spending money every month on soaps, when you could easily make them at home yourself. Soap making has made a huge comeback recently, and it easy to see what all the fuss is about. Even making liquid soap or hand sanitizer is incredibly easy. The internet is full of easy, DIY soap recipes. Check out the one below:

Cleaning product

We as a society have been swindled into brand name cleaning products. Instead of buying overpriced liquids that will kill three turtles every time you pour it down the sink, make your own. A combination of a few simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda will cut through any mess.

Sauces and condiments

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make your own condiments and sauces. Not only that, but they’ll taste so much better than any mass-produced thing at the supermarket. Whether you’re looking to make your own tomato sauce, mustard, salad dressing or steak sauce, your homemade version will save you money and taste delicious. See how to make some excellent dipping sauces in the video below:

Gardening supplies

Learning how to make your own fertilizer or compost yourself, will save you a heap of money. Imagine making your own homemade strawberry jam out of strawberries you grew yourself with the help of your own fertilizer. You won’t have spent a cent, and you’ll have a delicious pot of jam ready to gift (or keep for yourself). The best part is that you could cut down on waste by adding your decomposable rubbish to your own compost heap!

Pest Control

With summer almost upon us, it is indeed time to face up to the pests we often share our homes with. Instead of paying for expensive pest repellents, there are plenty of homemade solutions you can make for a fraction of the costs. So whether you need to get rid of ants, moths, fruit flies or fleas, there is a homemade remedy for it.

Out and about

Want to get out the house this weekend but can’t spend much money? There are a ton of different options available to you if you’re on a budget.

Free days out

The best things in life are free, right? Well, that’s super debatable. However, there are a heap of free things to do and see. Jump on to your local council’s website to see what free events are happening near you.

Additionally, if you want to escape the city, Australia is blessed with beautiful beaches, countryside and rainforests. Most importantly, they’re often completely free.


Groupon is an online marketplace that offers deals on goods and services of up to 70%. The discounts Groupon offers to consumers allows us to experience new restaurants, bars, hairdressers and adventures we always thought to be outside our budget.

As the vouchers offered on Groupon change all the time, there’s a massive variety on the goods and experiences you can get discounts on. No two Groupon experiences will be the same.


In a perfect world, everyone would travel, and travel often. The trouble is, as we are sure you’ve already gathered, this ain’t a perfect world. This is a world where everything costs money and plentiful leave allowances are in short supply. While we’re sure you’d love to be saving for your next overseas trip, all of life’s other bills and expenses surely keep popping up and getting in the way.

Luckily, there are still a few tips that will allow anyone, with any budget, to get out there and see the world. So, whatever shape your bank account is in at the moment, listen up.

Comparing airfares

While the modern world has its fare share of ills, shopping around to find the best deal really has never been easier. This is due to one thing – the internet.

With a few clicks, you can have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of cheap flights. The only drawback to this is, there may be too many options. It can be pretty overwhelming sometimes trying to find the best flights on a budget. There are, however, a few things you can do though, that’ll put you in good stead to save a nice chunk of dollarydoos.

Search in incognito mode

Yeah, this may sound a little conspiratorial, but bear with us. Have you ever searched for the same flight a few times and noticed the prices going up? Well, you’re not going crazy. Flight prices do increase when a particular route is searched repeatedly in the same browser. This is the site trying to trick you into panicking, and buying tickets before prices get any higher.

So, to avoid this, always search for cheap airfares in incognito or private browsing mode. It should be pretty easy to find the option to turn on private browsing in the settings. If you are having trouble with it though, just do a quick google search for a shortcut.

Use the right search-engines

While these search-engines will market themselves as the good guys trying to find you cheap flights, their sole objective is really to make a profit. They do this by inflating the price on the flights they offer. For example, sites such as expedia will jack up their prices more than most search engines.

So, finding the right search-engine will go a long way towards finding the best airfare. Here’s our favourite search engines for comparing flights:

While all of these sites are great, we recommend comparing the search results between a few of them to find the best deal. Also, keep in mind that different departure dates may have drastically different prices attached to them. So play around the departure dates to find yourself the best deal.

Be adventurous

When you’re on a budget, it can be hard to stay in touch with your adventurous spirt. Airlines can sometimes make mistakes and this can result in some seriously cheap flights. Don’t worry, these mistakes aren’t going to put you in danger. Generally, flights discounted by the airline are the result of exchange rate mishaps, technical problems or good old-fashioned human error.

So, while the destination on offer may not be somewhere you’re particularly interested in, the cheap airfare might be enough to sway you. AirFareWatchdog is great resource for finding these type of sales.


Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway in Australia, or for accommodation for your overseas trip if you’re on a budget, here’s how you can save:

Cut out the middleman

Just like airfare search-engines, sites that compare hotels will inflate prices to make a profit. So, if you see a room you really like, get in contact with that hotel directly to see if you can save by booking through them.

Companies like Accor Hotels and Hilton have best price guarantees. If you see one of their rooms listed cheaper somewhere else, they’ll match it.

Be open-minded

If you’re an adventurous type, consider booking a “mystery hotel”. Sites like Hotwire find hotels around the world at a discount of up to 60%. The only catch is you don’t find out the name of the hotel until you’ve paid.

Don’t worry though, you’ll get enough of a description so you know roughly where you’re staying and the quality of the hotel.


If you’re looking to avoid hotels and hotel prices, Airbnb is your best bet. With over 5 million listings all over the world, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat Airbnb on variety. So whether you’re looking to rent out an entire family home, or even backyard camping spaces, Airbnb has the scope to find you a great deal.

Live your best life

Saving and developing a budget for your future should not mean living like a monk. Saving and budgeting smarter can allow you to still live the life you want. Travelling to a new places and saving money for a house deposit do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Sometimes though, no matter whether you budget or not, life can catch you by surprise and there’s not a lot you can do. When this does happen, it’s reassuring to know you have a pal in your corner. We are that pal – Personal Loan Pal.

So, if you’re in a jam, and need to be put in touch with a personal loan lender, let Personal Loan Pal take the hassle and tedium out of the process. Apply now and see if we can find the lender for you.