Simple Savings.com.au Reviewed – Will it Help Australians Save Money?

I joined as a paid member of www.simplesavings.com.au a year ago to see if I could find any useful money savings tips on it. In this review I go through the pros and cons of paying to be a www.simplesavings.com.au member

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The premise of www.simplesavings.com.au is that most people pay too much money for things but never realise it, so they are always behind. They are always in debt and continually playing catch-up. It is a pretty horrible time-deprived way to live.

I can’t see anything wrong with that statement, today’s economy makes it all to easy for people to access easy credit and splurge it on consuming vast quantities of things they actually don’t need.

www.simplesavings.com.au aims to teach you how to become a smarter consumer and says it will be easy. This is arguable, a large part of saving money is psychological – getting into the right state of mind and having the willpower to keep your savings habit without succumbing to temptation and spending all your savings after a few weeks or months.

What You Get for being a Simple Savings Member

  • plusMembers have full access to thousands of tips at the Savings Savings website 24/7
  • plusThe majority of these tips (cleaning, cooking, shopping, paying the mortgage etc) seem to be targeted and quite relevant for families with children, couples and senior citizens. Single people and renters in share houses could also find the tips useful
  • plusThe sites main strength in my opinion is the sense of community it engenders – the idea that all the other members are in the same boat as you and you’re all pulling towards the same goals
  • plusTip sheets for common situations eg: Handmade Gifts for Christmas, Innovative and Low Cost Ways to Save on Cleaning, Budget Travel Ideas and How to Host a Garage Sale
  • plusMemory Triggers which make it easier for you to ditch your old expensive habits and switch to cheaper, smarter ones eg: For people spending lots of money on cigarettes, buying takeaway food every day etc
  • plusRegular email newsletters highlighting new tips and members savings success stories

Why I Didn’t Renew My Simple Savings Membership

  • minusI looked throughout the site and read many of its tips but I didn’t find any tips that were both relevant to me and which I wasn’t already doing
  • minusIn the end I decided that in my case it wasn’t worth renewing membership because of a problem lots of people would like to have … I’m already very good at saving money, sticking to long term plans and investing it in places where it will earn a good return like high interest bank accounts and low cost index share funds

    In fact I was recently interviewed by the Australian Financial Review on the topic of saving and high interest bank accounts ๐Ÿ™‚

  • minusEven if the tips were relevant to me I would still be a bit annoyed at the owners of Simple Savings for not doing “housekeeping” and tidying up out of date tips eg:

    “Get 5% interest with ING – dated January 31, 2004” – ING Direct is no longer the best place to get high interest on savings. In fact their rate isn’t even in the top #10 best rates list at the moment.

    “Transfer debt to Virgin credit card” – dated March 2, 2004 – Virgin Credit cards are no longer being issued as Westpac has bought out rights to all the customers (as of April 3 2008).

    “Computer” tips – quite a few are really out of date, especially when relating to pricing and technical specifications, same applies for pricing of “Telecommunications/Phone” tips.

  • minusI’ve worked in the marketing industry before and also have to constantly delete comment spam on my websites so to me some of the tips looked suspiciously like they were planted there by the company that was being promoted as a great place to buy products/services from. Call me Mr Cynical but that’s what I thought.

However mine is not a common case, for the vast majority of people out there I definitely recommend joining www.simplesavings.com.au. By adopting their procedures and following their tips you’ll quickly start saving money.

At present the cost to join Simple Savings is $47 and to renew a membership is $17.

31 thoughts on “Simple Savings.com.au Reviewed – Will it Help Australians Save Money?”

  1. This has GREAT ideas im 15 and earn $300Aud a week (not much) i take out of that $200 a month and save the rest…. this means at the end of the month i end up with more than i spent!! its a great simple way to save $$$… i get $1000 per month that’s already taking what i take and taking tax…that’s 12, 000 a year yay me !! that’ll get me my first car

    EDITOR: that’s great Matt ๐Ÿ™‚

    Make sure you keep that money in a high interest rate online savings account because $12000 could earn you over $750 in interest over a year at current interest rates.

  2. Nice review Neerav and I would have to agree with most of what you had to say. Especially the part about going through and culling tips. However, what you didn’t mention was the forum that is available to members. I resubscribe every year to have access to that and it is very carefully moderated to keep the standard high. I easily save my $17 renewal fee with tips in the forum. I don’t spend as much time there as I used to but it doesn’t take me much to find a worthwhile tip or recipe to save that $17 and then some

    EDITOR: You’re 100% correct Lightening, I forgot to mention the forum in my + points. It’s quite a busy place with lots of people sharing advice and their experiences

  3. I found this website after Googling for ideas on how to live well on a really tight budget. Being on a pension means that every cent has to be accounted for. I thought this site might be really useful. It may well be, but you have to pay $47 to become a member! Apparently you can then access all the suggestions and tips for saving money. I was really disappointed, as well as a bit annoyed. $47 dollars may not seem like a lot to most people, but it’s an awful lot for me to risk. I wouldn’t have minded paying a small amount, but I cannot see why such a big fee is needed. It doesn’t look as though the website is terribly elaborate, and most of the hints and tips are sent in by members, so where does the money go?

  4. I ummed and ahed about joining this site. I’ve now been a member for about a year. My thought was: How can spending $47 save you money? Did I make my $47 back? Yes. Too easy.

    Am I way better off financially than $47? I hadn’t really thought back and this has proved to be somewhat interesting…I’d hate to have to put a financial figure on it. And even a year later I’m still having lightbulb moments…have you ever calculated the daily interest that you pay on your mortgage?

    I think you hit the nail on your head *community*. It has really helped me to get into the ‘right state of mind’ and stay that way.

    EDITOR: thanks Sue. reading about your experience will help others decide whether to join

  5. I enjoy simplesavers. I’m nearly 70 and my children call me the original simple saver, but I still learn from the hints and thoughts contributed by other members. I enjoy reading members comments when they suddenly accept responsibility for their financial mess and make a plan to work their way out of it. I also enjoy the way many members support each other emotionally through the difficulties. Despite my age, I would save my annual subscription many times over.

  6. hi there …….i havent joined tho my best friend did and we share all the ideas together im already saving money doing things like the 21 doller challange and buying when going cheap frezzing and stocking up ………having 3 young children who have alergies and can only eat certin foods it gets expensive ,,,,…….i love the site and think that its worth joining maybe go halves with a friend in the cost>>>>>>>>

  7. Hi Neerav,

    Great review of SimpleSavings! I too have heard mixed reviews of the cost of signing up VS the content within.

    Probably about 1.5 years ago I started my own website in this niche of saving money because I felt there was a void in the market. People had 1 of 2 options – Paying to get access to tips that were largely about living a very basic lifestyle to save money and the 2nd was once off articles found through Google on topics you searched for.

    That is why I created ‘Savings Guide’ – http://www.savingsguide.com.au as a free resource for money saving tips.

    The response I have got from the site has been overwhelming with many users positing comments and feedback and getting benefit out of a select number of articles.

    This has led me to undertake a site redesign with a Web Design company to get the site functioning to its full potential (project is starting today, so should be done in 4-6 weeks hopefully).

    The new site will have all the old articles but make them a lot easier to access and read (for Free might I add!) and allow me to focus my time on revising existing articles and writing new ones.

    Once the site is redesigned I would love you to have a look and give me some feedback!

    Talk soon mate,

    Alex

  8. Awesome post.

    So many people look into investing or saving or any way to create a small passive income for now or later, but don’t realise that the way to free up money needn’t be to earn more, but to spend slightly less.

    Don’t cut out neccessities, but cut down on Novelties ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. There are so many of these money saving sites springing up continually on the net. Most make a lot of sense but i always ask the question, how many of the tips offered on the sites are actually practiced by any one. The tips are great but i have not yet implemented any of the suggestions, they take too long and the savings are sometimes miniscule.

    Having said that, saving suggestions on stuff like insurance and travel help.

  10. You also failed to mention that there is a 1yr guarantee that you will recoup your $47 or your money back.

    As you said it is a will power/mind power thing, and as there are so many people working towards the same goal, you have the constant support of positive people not just the friends and family who are constantly saying “I couldn’t be bothered doing that” or “Why would you?” while at the same time bemoaning the fact they can’t afford something.

    I have been a paid member for just 5mths and the information that I have gained from this site is amazing, in fact for the first time in our married life (20yrs) we have managed to save over $5000 which has now been transferred into a high interest bearing account. Thats and amazing $1000 a month!!! and I can still see where we can make savings and our life style is the best it has ever been.

    I was a single parent of 2 many years ago and I thought I knew how to budget, scrimp and save, but the members on this site have been outstanding with the information that they share and the things that you know are not necessarily common knowledge to everyone, especially our younger generation who have been raised in a consumer driven enviroment.

  11. I am a member of simple savings and love it. There is a 365 money back guarantee with the site and to start with I did think of asking for my money back. However there are not only fantastic ideas but there is a lot of support on the site as well.

    The site is about “simple” savings and all those minisicule amounts do add up.

    If it had cost me $47 each year I probably would not have renewed but the renewal fee at $17 is very reasonable.

  12. Sonia, you may be surprised at just what “community” does to achieve goals. I am a proud member of SS and find the forum to be as valuable a resource as the savings vault. An example I can give you right now, is that January has been declared “get a better deal month”. A lot of SSers have been successful in renegotiating phone deals, insurance Credit card interest and lots more over the past week. They share their stories via the forum which in turn inspires others to follow suit. No not every hint suits everyone, but I recently met 15 fellow members and we all have happier, healthier and wealthier lives because of SS, not to mention the great “resource” that comes from just asking a question of others who have been there and done that. Long may SS live!

    Cheers

    Meg

  13. If someones giving me more ideas about saving, then why not. And if I happen to get my original $47 back, the there’s nothing like it right. And so many people do sound for the idea anyway.

    Linda.

  14. Great review

    For me Simple Savings is a great website and really helpful. I had been working on the idea that there has got to be a better way before joining SS and this is it. I use commonsense with the tips and make sure that they are up to date. Actually there is usually more than one tip but it does set you thinking and then you brainwave your own. The Savings Forum is the best area for tips and the most up to date. And the community support is fabulous.

    My budgeting problems were caused by it’s only a cup of coffee, cheap dinner out, only a bit dearer…..”, I have found the “miniscule amounts” add up to not so miniscule amounts over a year. I have been keeping track on the save o meter and I will have saved at least $10,000 by April (1 year). There have been one or two large savings but the majority have been thinking through purchases. Not buying and buying food in as basic a form as possible and cooking. For example I have knocked $70 off the grocery bill for 2 of us, 2 dogs and 2 cats for very little effort That is $3640 in a year. Sure I spend a bit more time cooking but less additional hours at work. We also now eat amazing food.

    I clicked I was buying ready made dinners to make time to earn money to buy the ready made dinners, takeaways etc. Sad Sally/ Happy Hanna stuff.

    I have a perfectionistic tendancy and am inclined to under-exaggerate savings rather than exaggerate.

    Well worth the money and for those who don’t want to pay $47 there is a fair amount of free stuff.

  15. “seem to be targeted and quite relevant for families with children, couples and senior citizens”

    I think that’s because a lot of young people don’t care about saving when families do care and want to read this information.

    Excellent review and this site should help a lot of people especially in this tough economy

  16. I joined simple saving 7 years ago and paid the full price then I think it was a bit less then the price now whilst still working.
    Once I became a pensioner I found the full price a bit steep for me and so let my subscription go.
    A few years later I joined again and was willing and fully expecting to pay the full price, but wonder of wonders it only cost me $17 to rejoin and for that alone I’m grateful. Simple Savings has helped me cut down the cost of living and also enabled me to pass on some ideas to my two daughters who have familys and are finding it hard to cope in these hard economic times. I recommend it and the idea of sharing with a friend or two is a very good idea. What stops you from sending the ideas via email to share with your friends.

  17. Another SS here – love the site. I use the forum daily, and would pay for that alone to have access to a group of positive, encouraging (mostly) women, who educate me on financial matters on a regular basis. Whatever question you have, someone on the forum will share information and/or their experiences so you can get a range of views and info to inform yourself.

    Just got my best friend to join too. She’s a high income earner with lots of financial commitments and although on the surface she’s doing well, she is struggling to get through.

    $47 to join, $17 to renew – cheap, cheap, cheap!!! And with a money back guarantee too, so if you really don’t think you’re getting value for money, you can always ask for it back. I would never do that as the education and the change of mindset about finances has been worth THOUSANDS in the last 5 years that I have been a member.

  18. Neerav,

    Great review of SS. While I was a member i contributed the community a lot, and found that i was getting a great response to the content i was providing.

    I decided to launch my own site to focus more on the content i was producing, so far the response has been fantastic – see http://savingmoneyexpert.com.au

    Its in its early days but the initial response leads me to believe this site will have a future, i have already hired a full time writer to join the site, and we welcome all contributors to send us an email tips@savingmoneyexpert.com.au and we will PAY people to contribute! and never EVER ask for a membership fee.

  19. I’ve been a SS Member for 4 years now. It is great for a while, but in all honesty I probably keep renewing the membership out of habit now on the off chance I learn anything new. While some of the tips on the forum regarding banking are relevent and current, I find I often have to turn the non-savings chat in the forums off. It is a shame that so many members are more focused on personal problems and issues not regarding money/ time than actually sharing their success stories and how they implemented tips.

    I think the ideas suggested here about making free money saving sites with similar content is fabulous. After all, if money were no issue to concern people, they wouldn’t seek out savings tips right?

  20. Sam! I completely agree with you!!

    There are a number of sites that on the topic of saving money, and while i think they are fantastic, charging for a membership doesnt sit well for me.

    These are people looking for frugal living strategies, tips and tricks, and what they’ve found is a new way to part with X$ membership fee they weren’t already spending!

    My savings tip is to avoid paying memberships to sites and get you and your friends along to free sites like savingmoneyexpert.com.au, the forum section was just launched and needs a community to start posting their knowledge so others can benefit from it for free.

    visit forum.savingmoneyexpert.com.au/forum

  21. I’m a bit late to the party here, but I too am dubious about having to pay an ongoing subscription fee for a service like this. Doesn’t seem very frugal to me!

    For anyone who’s interested: Myself and a couple of friends have started up an Aussie Personal Finance blog called ‘Wallet Watcher’ (http://www.walletwatcher.com.au) and everything we post is free of charge.

  22. Great review, from the inside. I have always wondered what was in the vault, but considered the landing page to read like one of scammy ‘you will make $1 million dollar’ pages if you follow these simple instructions. The site is a little old school, for my liking so I won’t join.

    Good point about the outdated material, so the deep vault may not be so relevant anymore.

    By the way it looks like they sent the testimonial crew over to make postive comments on this site. Nice move by simple savings I’d say.

  23. I used to really love the SS site but lately the moderation on the SS forum has become so heavy handed and humourless with no rhyme or reason as to why members are suspended etc if they laugh at a joke or do not agree with staff on a personal viewpoint eg homoeopathy. Members feel they are not being heard and that the contract is very one sided with a power imbalance going towards the staff and the consumers being treated as not worthwhile.

  24. Lately this site has gone to the dogs. Staff complain about the difficulties of running the business and their lives. no one is allowed to have a different opinion, and heaps of people have been kicked off because they didn’t like Happy Hannah, Sad Sally, Studley Dudley (really), Marvellous Mimi and all the crew.

    There have been no new tips for ages. All very boring and looking more and more like some weird cult everyday. Save your $47.

  25. I agree with maxine. The paid content seems good to start with, but after a while you notice the tips and hints are recycled and the recipes can be found by anyone who can use a search engine. The forum was a good community, but has recently gone badly awry. Many members are banned from the site without reasons being given to them. They do refund your money of you are banned, however it is probably easier not to join in the first place.

    The forum is not a place to go if you want to be treated as a normal, thinking adult. Unfortunately most current members are not aware of how dissatisfed former customers have been treated as the managment shuts down any negative comment/feedback both on the forum, and also on social media like facebook.

  26. Maxine, I have been suspended from Simple Savings with no reason given. I had been a member for many years and had never received any warnings about breaking forum rules up to this point. I still haven’t been told why I was suspended. I hear that around 30 other members have been suspended/terminated since the weekend.

  27. Hi Neerav Thanks for the comprehensive review of the Simple Savings forum. Sounds a bit rough for Jannine who got suspended without any explanation. I think you can pick up lot of good tips from reading and tapping into the various money saving sites and blogs.

  28. I was also a “signed up and paid for” Simple Savings member for quite a few years.

    I would say that it can be useful for an individual who wants to use the site to motivate themselves to spend their income in a thoughtful, deliberate and meaningful way. When I first joined the site, it was an opportunity for me to really “think” about how I was spending my money and consider how I could spend it in a wiser, more efficient way.

    There are many thousands of hints listed in the “Savings Vault”. However, it is absolutely correct that many are quite out of date and therefore irrelevant. Potential subscribers should also keep in mind that whilst there are “thousands” of hints published, it does not necessarily mean that these “thousands” of hints will be useful for a person’s particular circumstances.

    I also agree with previous posters, that the vast majority of information “hints” and “advice” can be obtained simply by surfing the internet or borrowing books in relation to saving money – for free.

    The forum used to be wonderful place for members to share hints and advice. However readers should be aware that unfortunately the forum has become increasingly dominated over the past couple of years by non-savings related topics and issues. Using the “non-savings chat” facility in the forum reduces, but does not eliminate, a pervading change in the forum’s focus and identity. Additionally, the moderation of the forum is very heavy handed, haphazard and often unfairly applied. This reduces the ability for members to have a balanced discourse.

    In light of these factors, I decided not to renew my subscription.

  29. I have been a member of Simple Savings for many years now and I will continue to renew my subscription. The value that I have gleaned from this site is all in the forum. Yes, the hints and tips are helpful to a certain extent and there are some wonderful downloads but by far the best thing about the site is the forum.

    I’m aware of the ‘bad vibe’ that has been out there recently, with a few members beign banned from the site, but I have never had any problems myself. If you keep your comments positive and ‘above board’ then there is no issue. Management have done a very good job to get rid of the few ‘clicky’ ‘catty’ members who were ruining a good thing for everyone else.

    The threads I choose to participate in are motivational, positive and hugely inspirational! It is in the forum that one can really begin to examine their own mind set when it comes to money and the different choices you can make regarding its management in your life.

    A wonderful site that I can not recommend highly enough!

  30. Quote – “Management have done a very good job to get rid of the few โ€˜clickyโ€™ โ€˜cattyโ€™ members who were ruining a good thing for everyone else.”

    I can assure you that the people who were removed were not “cliquey or catty” at all. Your comment defames a lot of innocent people who have done no wrong.

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