Hospo Voice

How do you save money on a hospo budget?

January 3, 2021

Our best money saving tips for hospitality workers

Did you know that 47% of hospo workers don’t have enough money to cover a month of basic living expenses if something went wrong? Actually, yeah… you probably do know that. It’s the reality heaps of us faced this year with the pandemic lockdowns.

What we’ve all learned is how quickly life can change and how important it is to have a bit of a buffer. But how do we create that savings buffer when we’re earning bugger all? Here are some money-saving tips for hospitality workers.

Start small

According to Kelly Shay from ME Bank, we should all have around 3 months of living expenses. But obviously, it’s impossible to get there all at once. Don’t let the goal put you off–it’s important to just start saving whatever you have and build it up. Kelly said you can start with a smaller goal:
Start by saving 1-2 weeks of living expenses and build on it each pay so it grows from there.”

Know what you’re saving for

When you’re starting your money saving routine, it’s helpful to have a goal in mind. If it’s a holiday, set up a separate account and call it ‘Byron savings’. Then next time you’re about to put those cute shorts into your online cart, think to yourself–do I need another pair of cut-off shorts that are only a slightly different shade to my other pair, or do I need a holiday to Byron? Yep, that holiday will win every time.

Think about what you spend on food

If you don’t get meals included at work, the money you spend on lunch or dinner out can add up quickly. At the beginning of each week, try to think about what meals you’re going to need at work and start to meal plan. You could even do some batch cooking on your day off. Then, every time you leave the house, make sure you grab enough food and water to cover you (including snacks) so you don’t have to buy any food.

Get thrifty with your threads

Wearing second-hand clothes has never been so cool. Not only does it save you money, but there are bucket loads of environmental reasons we should give our clothes a second life. Check out your local vinnies store or get on Facebook marketplace to pick up some free or low-cost fashion finds.

Negotiate a better rate

Go through all your bills – phone, internet, electricity, insurances. When they come up for renewal, see if you can get a better rate from either your provider or a new provider. It takes a bit of time, but it’s worth it for the hundreds of dollars in savings.

Save those tips or cash-in-hand wages

Cash-in-hand is tricky – not only are you less protected, but it’s also harder to save money and be disciplined. Oh yeah, and it’s illegal.

If you’ve got no choice, Kelly said to make sure you know how much it costs to live, know how much you can save and spend.
“Put your savings into an account that earns interest, doesn’t sting you with monthly fees or requires you to deposit regular amounts – like ME’s online savings account, she advised.

Join Hospo Voice

If you are earning cash-in-hand, or you’re not sure whether you’re being paid correctly, joining a union like Hospo Voice could the answer. Union membership might seem like an extra expense, but Hospo Voice membership starts at just $9 a month. Our members know how much pay they should get and how to make sure they get it. Joining could be your ticket to instant savings!

 Find out how Hospo Voice has helped hospo workers like you.

Sugar, Spice & hospo advice

Get the latest news. Delivered fresh to your inbox.

Latest news


Order here. We’ll deliver them to straight to your inbox


For general enquiries please use the form.
If you have a question about an issue at work or your rights, head straight to our Mobilise app to get fast, reliable answers.

Media enquiries? Get in touch