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Curbing your spending can feel like such a drag. But you don’t have to say goodbye to life’s pleasures. Here’s how.

  1.   Cancel your gym membership. Were you back on that treadmill in January but now you’re losing steam? Cancel that direct debit and find some weights for home (probably very cheap on Gumtree) or a dog to walk. You can also try out classes or gyms free of charge. Just don’t get sucked into a membership.
  2.   Dance with the lights off. If you’re into dancing and nights out, a cheaper alternative is No Lights No Lycra. For just $7, ordinary dance lovers pile into a dark hall to dance like no one’s watching. It’s addictive!
  3.   Stop the flat whites. You can make a very decent cup of coffee with your own mini coffee grinder. If you really can’t stop take-aways, buy a Keep Cup and save 50c off each order (at many cafes).
  4.   Don’t order in. If you’re fond of take-aways, it’s time to get a meal box, which costs from $9 for a healthy meal. Yes, you have to cook it yourself, but it’s worth it.
  5.   Hold off on the upgrade. If you’re usually the one queuing outside the Apple Store for the next release, why not extend the life of your device and switch to a cheap SIM-only plan?
  6.   Don’t charge it, pay for it. If you pay off a credit card in full every month, try paying by debit card for a month or two. Once you’re spending real money, you’ll find yourself holding back.
  7.   Be social and frugal. On Facebook, join your local ‘buy swap sell’ and ‘Freecycle’ groups. You can sell stuff or advertise what you’re looking to buy cheaply or get free.
  8.   Befriend the coupons. If you still want to get your hair done and eat out, there are always offers available for treatments and experiences through sites like Scoopon and Cudo.
  9.   Try out some share economy. If you always stay in hotels, try Airbnb. For the price of a single hotel room, a group of you can enjoy a night away.
  10. Borrow the car next door. If you don’t use your car much, you can ditch it and use carnextdoor.com.au for as little as $6 per hour. You can also list your own car and enjoy a bit of extra income.