The data will shock you: The household savings that could change a life

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We often think that donating to a charity will make a big dent to our bottom line but, although it sounds cliché, a little bit goes a long way to those who are most vulnerable. Here’s how you could change a life with your pocket change.

What’s pocket change to us can transform the lives of those less fortunate. Case in point: It only costs $1.60 per day to alter the course of a child’s future.

Children growing up in impoverished areas often don’t have access to basic needs or the same opportunities as those of us here in Australia. By sponsoring a child for just $48 per month, you could provide him or her with the best chance for the future with necessities such as clean drinking water, a safe place to play, and education – and chances are you wouldn’t even notice the expense.

Don’t believe us? Here are seven pain-free ways you can save $48 per month, which is the same amount it costs to sponsor a child.

1. Cut the coffee

Okay, okay, we didn’t want this to be one of those articles that tells you how you could own a house by now – if you’d just quit the caffeine addiction. However, if you gave up two and a half coffees per week (or five every fortnight), you could transform a child’s life. It makes you question how much that second latte is really worth. 

One less coffee could go a long way. Picture: Getty

2. Pack your lunch

(No avocado toast references, we promise).

How many times each week do you buy your breakfast or lunch out? In Australia, this can cost you anywhere from $10 to $25 depending on your taste buds.

If you were to eat out one less day each week — or once a fortnight if you’re a luxurious luncher — you could save anywhere from $43 to $108 each month. 

3. Opt for BYO

While we don’t want to kill your social life, we all know it’s booze that makes a bill.

Go for your dinner, drink your wine, but choose a place that’s BYO and keep the vino under budget or better yet, have a BBQ at home. You could literally turn wine into water — clean water, that is, for those in need. 

A BYO social occasion can be just as fun. Picture: Kate Hunter

4. Reduce your debts

If you’re in any kind of debt, chances are you’re paying a lot of interest to the bank. You could be giving it to someone who needs it by reducing your debts and therefore the amount of interest you pay.

Pay down your debt and channel the interest you would’ve paid into sponsoring a child instead. 

5. Change your phone plan

A quick squiz on a comparison site shows us that mobile phone plans vary greatly, and it’s no shock horror that people often pay for extra features and more data than they need.

Take a look at your usage history to find out what you’re actually using and then shop around for a better plan. We’ve had a look and there’s easily a difference of $50 or more between some offers.

6. Buy home brand

You don’t have to give up your favourite breakfast cereal or the coconut yoghurt from your health food store, but when it comes to household goods such as toothpaste and toilet cleaner, just buy the one that’s cheaper or on sale.

You can stash a lot of cash back into your wallet from being brand agnostic with these types of products.

7. Change your electricity plan

Just like your phone plan, you could save a lot on your power plan by being savvy with your search – and changing your energy habits can make a big difference, too.

Closing and opening your windows and using blankets instead of heating and air conditioning, shortening your showers, and washing clothes during off-peak times (like on the weekends) could make a big dent in your energy bill which could be better spent elsewhere — like on a child’s future.

Over half the world’s children do not feel safe on an average day; millions more don’t have access to clean drinking water or a safe roof over their head. By changing our habits or giving up our little luxuries, we have the power to change a child’s world, helping them to reach their potential and achieve their dreams. Two coffees for an education? That seems like a pretty good trade-off to us. 

Turn your lights off in the day and use windows for ventilation. Picture: Getty Images

If you’re worried about where the money goes, World Vision are very transparent. More than 82 per cent of funds go towards helping people in need through field programs, advocacy work and partnerships that are proven to benefit children and communities. To find out more, visit their website.

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