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7 ways to treat yourself without breaking the bank


Money is tight for many of us right now but that doesn't mean we don't deserve a treat. Here's how to spoil yourself on a budget.

Sponsored by Cashrewards Max. Enjoy a bonus $10 cashback when you sign up to Cashrewards, link your eligible ANZ debit or credit card and then spend a minimum of $20 on your first
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Low on cash but looking for something to cheer you up? You're almost certainly not alone. Millions of us have had a pretty rough go of it recently and, let's be honest, we deserve a treat.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to warrant fun purchases when you're living on a reduced budget. But don't worry, there are plenty of ways to spoil yourself without suffering buyer's remorse.

Use a cashback site for purchases

If you decide you desperately need some online retail therapy, make sure you use a cashback site where you can earn cashback on purchases you're already planning to make.

Cashback sites get a referral for directing you to a particular store. Once you spend money through that store, a percentage of your spend is given to the cashback site. But here's the important bit – cashback sites share that income with you, so you earn cashback on your shopping.

Let's look at Cashrewards as an example. Cashrewards has over 1,700 retailers, including Amazon, Appliances Online, Bonds, Hype DC, Petbarn and UNIQLO.

If you visit those stores via Cashrewards, then spend, you can earn a percentage of your purchasing amount back. The exact amount may change depending on the store, brand, or specific offer but Cashrewards says its members get an average of $335 back every year.

In some cases, you could even earn up to 40% cashback when you spend via Cashrewards. So if that's a larger purchase, you could look forward to a big saving. Just remember, prices, offers, and cashback are subject to change without notice.

🔥 Hot tip: If you're an ANZ customer with an eligible debit or credit card, you can get exclusive access to Cashrewards Max, which means bigger cashback and more benefits.

A man smiles at his phone while paying for something online.

Join a free samples site

Okay, this one's for the really frugal ones out there. Join a free samples site and you'll get notifications when brands are giving away free samples.

The fun bit is that you get little treats dropped off at your door sporadically and, while they are small, they're completely free. Plus, you'll get to try stuff you'd never spend money on yourself.

A woman smiles broadly as she opens a parcel.

Install a discount browser extension

You can install browser extensions that automatically scan for discounts so whenever you shop online for a little pick-me-up, you know you're not missing out on any offers or promotions.

There are plenty of options out there and if you shop online regularly, you could easily save hundreds of dollars a year. Plus, it means no more searching for discount codes and typing them in just to find out they're expired!

A woman smiles at her laptop, phone in hand.

Attend an online auction

Auctions are a great place to pick up affordable items – both new and old. You'll find local auctions for end-of-season items, closing-down sales, estate clearances, police seizures and everything in between.

They're also fun. Often, you have to do an online version of raising a paddle and if you've ever attended an in-person auction, you'll know how that can get your blood pumping.

A woman celebrates a win at her laptop.

Look at online op shops

Yep, op shops have finally made it to the Internet. Vinnies, Salvos and the Red Cross all have online inventories and it looks like they save a lot of the good stuff for their websites.

There's even an online auction op shop, Charity Bay, which lets individuals list items and then donate 95% of the proceeds to a chosen charity.

An older woman opens a parcel containing a teal jug.

Take a personal day

If you have some sick days collected and you're feeling down or stressed, take a mental health day. That is what they're for and you shouldn't feel guilty.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and prevention is always better than cure. So it's better to take a day to relax and unwind then let things build up to the point where you feel depressed or overwhelmed. Treat yourself to a day off.

Two women relaxing at home together.

Arrange a Zoom activity

I know this is hardly a new idea, but many of us have given up on Zoom activities now that we're so deep into the pandemic. Resurrecting your old quiz time or arranging a fun activity with family could be the refresher you need to boost your mood.

Okay, it takes a bit of effort to get the ball rolling but you'll be thankful you did and it's a great reminder of what we can look forward to when this is all over.

A family eats together, while one member joins via video call

Disclaimer: *Cashrewards Max is offered by Cashrewards and not ANZ. The Cashrewards account is not an ANZ account. ANZ business credit cards and ANZ business debit cards are ineligible for membership to Cashrewards Max. T&Cs apply.
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