Cheap Holiday Destinations - Cigno Loans

5 Cheap Holiday Destinations from Australia

Daydreaming about your next big holiday? We may be one of the most isolated nations in the world, but there are still some cheap places to travel from Australia.

So, if you don’t quite have the budget for a luxurious cruise or a 5-star stay in Paris, don’t stress.

By choosing the right place and booking at the right time, you can enjoy a fantastic getaway without forking out your entire savings account. Pack your suitcase for one of these cheap holiday destinations from Australia.

 

1. Indonesia

Mount Rinjani, Limbok - Cigno Loans

Pictured: Mount Rinjani, Lombok

For many Aussies, the first place that comes to mind for cheap places to go on holiday is Bali. If your dream holiday involves breathtaking beaches, bustling markets, vibrant nightlife and delicious seafood, Bali may indeed be the best cheap holiday destination for you.

But Indonesia has so much more to offer than this hyped tourist hub.

If you’re put off by Bali’s reputation or have been before and didn’t enjoy it, consider visiting one of these Indonesian alternatives:

  • Lombok – Bali’s less developed and less crowded sister island
  • Solo – a city brimming with authentic Javanese culture and traditional shopping centres
  • Bunaken – a tiny isle with amazing underwater views (ideal for experienced divers)
  • Bintan – an amazing island for golfers and water sports enthusiasts (great spas too!)
  • Yogyakarta – splendid temples, natural wonders, and plenty of shopping opportunities.

 

Cheap Holiday Destination Snapshot: Indonesia

  • Return flights from Australia: Between $450 and $940
  • Budget Accommodation: AU$88 per night on average
  • Meal: AU$3 at an inexpensive restaurant

Average prices based on information from Cheapflights, TripAdvisor and Numbeo respectively.

 

2. Turkey

Pamukkale - Cigno Loans

Pictured: The white travertine pools and terraces in Pamukkale

Current economic struggles make Turkey a very affordable place to travel at the moment. There’s never been a better time to explore fascinating architecture and panoramas, witness the stunning white terraces of Pamukkale, visit ancient ruins, and cruise the Mediterranean in this beautiful country.

If paying your respects at Gallipoli is on your bucket list, now is a great time to book a holiday in Turkey.

 

Cheap Holiday Destination Snapshot: Turkey

  • Return flights from Australia: Between $1,060 and $1,950
  • Accommodation: AU$93 per night on average
  • Meal: AU$6 at an inexpensive restaurant

Average prices based on information from Cheapflights, TripAdvisor and Numbeo respectively.

 

3. New Zealand

Queenstown - Cigno Loans

Pictured: Jetboating in Queenstown

One of the best cheap holiday destinations from Australia is just across the ditch. While the culture and cost of living aren’t hugely different, the affordable flights make New Zealand a very attractive getaway for anyone who just needs some time away in a foreign (but not too foreign) place.

From the rich culture and revitalising thermal springs of Rotorua to the modern metropolis of Auckland, from the thrill-seeking paradise of Queenstown to the glorious national parks and scenery on every horizon, there’s something in New Zealand to delight anyone.

 

Cheap Holiday Destination Snapshot: New Zealand

  • Return flights from Australia: Between $390 and $780
  • Accommodation: AU$225 per night on average
  • Meal: AU$19 at an inexpensive restaurant

Average prices based on information from Cheapflights, TripAdvisor and Numbeo respectively.

 

4. Vietnam

Ninh Binh - Cigno Loans

Pictured: Ninh Binh

In terms of budgeting, Vietnam is the opposite of New Zealand; it costs a little extra to get there, but the cost of living during your trip will be incredibly low. Cheap yet delicious market meals and shopping bargains make Vietnam a dream destination for travellers on a budget.

This means you can save your holiday funds to truly enjoy all the attractions the country has to offer. Some of the most highly recommended things to see and do in Vietnam include:

  • The Cu Chi Tunnels
  • The Mekong River with its floating markets
  • Hoi Ann Ancient Town
  • The shops in Hanoi’s Old Quarter
  • The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Bai Tu Long Bay
  • Lake of the Restored Sword
  • Ninh Binh
  • Hoi An Impression Theme Park
  • Son Doong Cave in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

 

Cheap Holiday Destination Snapshot: Vietnam

  • Return flights from Australia: Between $640 and $1,290
  • Accommodation: AU$132 per night on average
  • Meal: AU$3 at an inexpensive restaurant

Average prices based on information from Cheapflights, TripAdvisor and Numbeo respectively.

 

5. Our Own Backyard

Cheap Holiday Australia - Cigno Loans

One of the best cheap holiday destinations from Australia is… Australia.

Let’s face it: Our backyard is massive. It would take a lifetime of travelling to explore all the cultural and natural wonders our own country has to offer.

So, if your budget is making it tricky to book overseas flights or a long-term stay in another country, why not take a holiday closer to home? You could:

  • Take in the magnificence of Uluru
  • Sightsee the iconic landmarks of Sydney
  • Immerse yourself in the unique culture of Melbourne or Adelaide
  • Take a winery tour through Western Australia’s renowned Margaret River vineyards
  • Explore the rugged wilderness of the Northern Territory
  • Enjoy the beaches and amusement parks on the Gold Coast
  • Hop on over to Hobart for a cool and culturally rich holiday.

… all without spending most of your holiday budget on an expensive international flight.

If things are really tight, check this list of cheap school holiday ideas or apply for a small cash loan with Cigno. Borrowing up to $1,000 could help you afford a much-needed getaway to one of the cheap holiday destinations listed here.

Savings Girl - Cigno Loans

How to Teach Your Kids to Save Money

As kids grow and learn, they sponge up knowledge from everywhere – especially from their parents. So, why not have them sponge up smart money-management lessons? Teaching your kids to save money can help them develop good spending habits early so they’re better able to set up a financially stable future.

If you’re looking for places to start, put these exercises into practice and start teaching your kids to save today. Don’t worry, these aren’t textbook lessons. They’re meant to be fun and interactive.

 

Put Saving into Practice

Girl Earning Pocket Money - Cigno  Loans

You can’t save money without an income, and you can’t have an income without working. If you haven’t already set up a pocket money system with your kids, put together one that offers a weekly paycheque for completing hard labour (or maybe just a few chores).

By giving your kids a weekly income, they get to experience having their own money. It’s up to you whether you use physical cash, set up a bank account for them, or use both. And if you really want to encourage them to work hard and earn more, offer them a reward for going the extra mile (e.g. spraying air freshener after dusting).

Lesson: The harder you work, the more you can earn.

 

Build Goals Together

Savings Boy - Cigno Loans

Now that your kids have money, they might not yet know exactly what they can do with it. A $10 note could get them a small toy, but a dozen $10 notes (after a few weeks of saving) could get them something much bigger.

Sit down with them and talk about the things they might want to save up for. It could be a ticket to a theme park, a new video game or new sneakers. It’s a fun conversation to have. Get excited with them about the possibilities and map out a savings timeline to show them when they can afford these awesome things. Having a clear goal in mind is one of the best ways to save money for kids.

For more tips on encouraging your kids to invest, check out this article here.

If there’s something that they really want now, you can set up the National Parent Bank and offer a loan with repayments that come out of their pocket money. Now, it’ll be tempting to offer a 0% loan, but having a small interest rate will teach them an honest lesson about borrowing.

Lesson: If you plan ahead, you can save and buy bigger things.

Extra Lesson: Working towards a clear goal makes saving easier.

 

Lead by Example

Teaching your kids to save money is a long process made up of lots of little lessons – and a lot of the time they’ll learn from their mistakes. But a big lesson you can do today is to share your family budget and savings goals with them. Explain the necessary costs (e.g. weekly groceries, rent/mortgage repayments, health insurance) and show them how you put aside your dedicated savings. And explain why. Are you saving up for a family holiday or a new car? Or maybe you want to have money kept aside in case of an emergency.

The best money-saving examples are ones that are real and relevant. But you’ll have to put what you say into practice too. That could mean telling them how much you want to buy that cheesecake, but you’d rather save more for the next family trip.

Lesson: You need to keep money aside for important things in life.

 

Shopping for Lessons

Shopping with Child - Cigno Loans

It can be a hard thing explaining to your kids why you can’t buy everything they pick up at Kmart, Coles or Woolworths. So, why not put them in your shoes? Get your kids involved in making your next grocery list. Talk about the budget and then, when you’re at the store, ask for their help to find discounts and affordable options for everything.

If you want to know how to teach your children to save money and keep them busy at the shops, this is a great activity. It also communicates why you can’t always buy new toys or the yummiest snacks.

Lesson: You can’t buy everything you want.

Teaching kids to save doesn’t have to be a boring experience for parents and children. For more fun learning activities, Money Smart has put together a great list of activities online. And if you’re looking for more ways to teach money-saving lessons, check out our article on Teaching Your Kids to Save From a Young Age.

Different Loans Represented by Piggy Banks - Cigno Loans

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Different Types of Loans

There are so many variables to consider when looking at types of loans; it can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on the different types of loans, to help you determine the most appropriate loan for your current needs.

 

Secured vs. Unsecured Loans

Secured Loan Metaphor - Cigno Loans

When it comes to taking out larger loans, some of them require you to offer an asset as an added measure of security for the lender. So, if you’re unable to pay back the loan amount, the lender can sell the secured asset to make up for some (or all) of the loan’s value. It’s just an added safety for them. This can come in the form of property, a vehicle or a cash deposit.

Many different types of car loans, for example, use the car itself as a security.

The main differences between secured and unsecured loans that you’ll notice will be the loan amount and interest rate. By securing a loan, lenders are more likely to provide a higher loan amount or a lower interest, reducing your total repayment cost.

 

Fixed Rate vs. Variable Rate

When you pay back most types of loans, you’ll have to pay back the original amount as well as interest. This interest is paid during your scheduled repayments and is dependent on the interest rate. This can either be a fixed or variable rate.

Fixed rates will stay the same over the repayment period. This makes them easier to budget for long term. Variable rates, on the other hand, will change along with market interest rates. Choosing a fixed rate vs. a variable rate is a tricky decision, as interest rates can either climb or decrease over time.

 

Home Loan vs. Mortgage

Well, there isn’t really a choice between the two. To buy a home, you’ll need both a home loan and a mortgage. A home loan is the amount you borrow from a lender to pay for a new property. But because the amount is so high, the loan requires the borrower to sign a legal agreement to pay it back: a mortgage.

By signing a mortgage, your lender takes the title of the property until you completely pay off the loan. Different types of home loans have different prerequisites like the deposit amount and interest rate.

 

Personal vs. Business Loans

As an individual, you’re able to take out personal loans to pay for things that come up. A lender will usually want to see your income and credit score – just so they can determine if you can pay it back or not.

Business loans can be a little harder to set up, but they offer bigger incentives. The amount you borrow can be higher and have a lower interest rate – especially if you secure a business asset like a work truck. But if you need a loan for your business, it doesn’t have to be a ‘business’ loan. You can use personal loans for your business too, but not the other way around.

The most common types of personal loans are small loans that offer a fast approval and payment and require minimal documentation. To learn more about small loans, check out our article on Understanding Different Types of Small Loans.

 

If you’re after a fast cash loan, you can apply for a short-term loan with Cigno today.

Easter DIY Eggs - Cigno Loans

DIY Easter: Craft Ideas and Decorations

Easter is an incredibly fun holiday, and it can be an affordable one too – as long as you don’t blow your budget at the store (we all know how expensive Easter items get). Instead, try these Easter craft ideas to make your own DIY Easter decorations.

All you need to do is get some cheap craft supplies, gather the kids around, then start crafting – from DIY bunny ears to colourful eggs. You’ll get some lovely Easter décor while also keeping the kids entertained for an afternoon – it’s a win-win!

 

Easter DIY Costumes

Easter Crafts - DIY Bunny Ears - Cigno Loans

While the real Easter bunny might not visit your home, you can still have a home full of them. Making your own Easter costumes is a fun way to experience the holiday – especially when it comes to the famous Easter egg hunt.

DIY Bunny Ears

These are a great and simple option that suits anyone’s budget. They can be as simple as cutting out a ring of paper (so it looks like a Christmas crown), cutting out bunny ears, then sticky-taping them together. And because it’s paper, your kids can colour them however they want with crayons, pencils or markers.

If you want pointy bunny ears, make a splint with some cardboard from a cereal box.

However, our favourite DIY bunny ears require a little more crafting. For the basics, all you need are plastic headbands and pipe cleaners. Shape the pipe cleaners into bunny ears then wrap them around the band. Here’s the fun part: with glue and a few craft items, you can cover the headband in soft wool or cotton balls, paste on same bright pompoms or attach pretty flowers.

Easter Hats

Easter masks can quickly get uncomfortable, but kids can wear holiday hats all day. And they’re super easy to make. All you need is:

  • Thin cardboard
  • Twine or elastic
  • A permanent marker
  • A pair of scissors

Fold and cut the cardboard so that it forms a cone. Then cut holes on both sides to thread through the twine. If you want to skip this step, you can by buying regular party hats. Now you can cut out the DIY bunny ears, nose, eyes and thin whiskers. Paste them on and draw a cute bunny mouth.

 

DIY Easter Decorations

DIY Decorated Eggs - Cigno Loans

Now that the kids look Eastery, it’s time to make sure the home matches. These cheap Easter craft ideas add a touch of holiday spirit to bring the Easter magic alive.

Egg-cellent Decorations

Having colourful eggs is an Easter icon, and they’re simple to prepare. Hard boil the eggs you want to decorate then place them into a cup or bowl (preferably a disposable one) with food dye and vinegar.

You can give them unique patterns by covering parts of the eggs first with Blu Tack or a rubber band.

After at least three minutes, scoop the egg out with a spoon and place it onto some newspaper or back inside the egg carton. You can splatter more dye on them for a cool effect or just wait for them to dry. Now you can apply glitter, cut-out polka dots or draw on lines.

Get creative with how you dye the eggs! Using sponges to apply dye or sandpaper to rub some off can create great patterns.

Cotton-Ball Critters

Egg Crafts - Cigno Loans

First of all, keep those egg cartons from your dyed eggs. They’re about to become home to some new fluffy friends. All you’ll need are cotton balls, googly eyes, thin cardboard, glue and some yellow food colouring.

Start off by cutting up the egg carton into individual cups. If you want a fluffy chick, glue two cotton balls together and dip them into a bowl of water with the yellow food colouring. Pull them out, then wait for them to dry. Cut out a beak from the cardboard and paste it on the top ball, along with some googly eyes.

If you want a fluffy little bunny, keep the cotton ball white and add the googly eyes. Then cut out and paste on a bunny nose and big ears.

Now place your new Easter DIY decorations into individual cups so that they can be set up on a table or played with by your kids. These Easter craft ideas will keep everyone entertained throughout the holiday and make sure there’s more money to spend on all that chocolate.

Cash Loan - Cigno Loans

Where Is the Best Place to Get a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is one of the best loans to get in a wide range of circumstances. Unlike mortgages and car loans, which are restrictive by name, a personal loan can be used for just about anything – whether that’s to cover an unexpected bill or a much-needed holiday.

But where is the best place to get a personal loan? We’ll explore the factors of simplicity, speed and fairness to explain why we believe the answer is right here at Cigno Loans.

Before we get started, it’s important to note that we don’t know your unique financial situation. Our short-term solutions aren’t always suitable for everyone, and they aren’t necessarily the right option for you. You should carefully consider your personal circumstances before applying for any type of loan – with us or elsewhere.

 

Getting a Loan with Cigno Is Simple

Simple Loans - Cigno Loans

The internet has made a lot of tasks easier. And thanks to our online application, one of those tasks is getting a cash loan.

With Cigno, you can apply anytime and from anywhere – from home, while you’re at work, or while you’re out and about.

This means:

  • No waiting for the bank to be open
  • No travel required
  • No standing in queue
  • No uncomfortable conversations.

We provide a modern and convenient way to apply for quick cash when you need it, because getting the best instant loan online should be easy.

 

Getting a Loan with Cigno Is Quick

Quick Loans - Cigno Loans

There’s nothing worse than waiting anxiously for money that you need as soon as possible. Some institutions can take days to review your application and then more days to transfer your cash.

At Cigno, we know that getting your money quickly is essential. When you apply with us, you’ll get an answer within hours. You’ll likely receive your money the same day too (if approved before 5pm AEST).

This can make enough difference to stop a bill going overdue or allow you to make an important purchase sooner rather than later.

 

Getting a Loan with Cigno Is Fair

Fair Loans - Cigno  Loans

To put it simply, the best place to get a personal loan is somewhere that will consider your application in the first place. While some banks and lenders will automatically reject applications based on credit history, the team at Cigno welcomes everyone.

We work with lenders who offer bad-credit loans and loans with no credit checks, which means our approval rate is impressively high. When you apply with us, you know that your application will be considered fairly and honestly, because we believe everyone deserves a chance.

Rather than doing an intrusive check into your credit history, Cigno only asks for your basic personal details and a bank statement to help us understand your current situation. This is typically all we need to process your application.

 

When is Cigno Loans not the best place to get a personal loan?

Everyone’s circumstances are different, and sometimes our financial products may not meet your needs. For example, we’ll recommend looking elsewhere if:

  • You need to borrow more than $1,000 in a single loan.
    • Cigno Loans offers a maximum of $1,000.
  • Your application gets denied.
    • Our approval rate is high, but there are some situations where we might be unable to get your loan approved.
  • You’ll struggle to repay the loan on time.
    • Borrowing money may not be the solution you need right now. Consider calling 1800 007 007 to speak with an independent financial counsellor for free.

 

If you feel that Cigno is indeed the best place to get a personal loan, our friendly team looks forward to receiving your application and assisting you. You can start your application here or get some helpful advice on our blog.

Baby Budget - Cigno Loans

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Baby?

Bringing a new life into the world is a wonderful thing to do.

But it isn’t cheap.

For both expectant parents and couples planning to begin a family, we’ve outlined the essential costs associated with having a baby so you can build your own pregnancy budget. From medical expenses during the pregnancy to the costs after birth, this comprehensive guide will help mums- and dads-to-be prepare for the financial impact of having a child.

 

Medical Expenses During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Budget - Cigno Loans

Even if you have private health insurance with plenty of pregnancy benefits, medical expenses during pregnancy will add up – from your regular check-ups to the vitamins expectant mums are recommended to have.

Most pregnancy budgets will need to cover:

  • Obstetrics and gynaecology (OB-GYN) medical management fee
  • Monthly OB-GYN appointments
  • Hospital excess (if you go private)
  • Baby scans and tests
  • Pregnancy vitamins.

Making sure a pregnant mother and her child stay healthy during pregnancy is an essential part of the process. So, there aren’t many pregnancy budget shortcuts available for many things. However, all those required check-ups will have different prices depending on whether you visit a private or bulk-billing professional. Decisions like that are up to you.

 

Essential Purchases Before the Baby Arrives

Shopping for Baby Clothes - Cigno Loans

To prepare for the arrival of your family’s newest member, there’s a huge list of items you’ll need to go through and tick off. But not all of them have to cost an arm and a leg. Reach out to friends and family members who may still have these items in good condition, or consider buying some of them second-hand.

The big-ticket items that will cost you a couple grand all up include:

  • Cot
  • Pram
  • Car seat
  • Change table
  • Baby rocker
  • Nursing chair.

With these purchases, you can fit out the baby room, living room and family car for your little one.

But the list of essentials continues. To get ready for daily life (for mum and baby), you’ll also need:

  • Baby clothes
  • Baby swaddles
  • Maternity clothes
  • Pregnancy support belt
  • Baby bath
  • Breast pump
  • Bottles
  • Nappy bag
  • Baby camera
  • Baby carriers.

Another essential thing to consider is how baby-proof your home is. You might need to replace dangerous furniture and vases and spend a little bit of money to make doors and appliances safe for kids as they start to crawl, walk and wander.

 

Weekly Budget for a Newborn Baby

Shopping with Baby - Cigno Loans

After the pregnancy, your newborn baby budget will need to cater to a wide variety of weekly necessities. This is why it’s so important to budget for a new baby well in advance.

This will include:

  • Nappies
  • Formula
  • Dummies
  • Baby wipes
  • Bottle steriliser
  • Nappy rash cream
  • Baby powder
  • Baby toys
  • Family health insurance.

And don’t forget that weekly tub of ice cream – you’ll deserve it. Eventually, your newborn baby budget will turn into a toddler budget, then a young kid budget. Each period has their own delights and their own expenses.

While the essentials are essential in a budget, keep some money set aside for fun things to do with the kids on holidays.

So, how much does it cost to have a child? A lot. In fact, the amount can be very surprising for new parents. But if an unexpected expense does come up out of nowhere that tips over your pregnancy or newborn baby budget, Cigno offers fast loans for a viable solution.

Saving Money on Groceries - Cigno Loans

Handy Tips to Save Money on Groceries

Apart from rent, groceries are likely the most regular expense on your budget. So, if you can save money on groceries – even just a little bit every time you visit the supermarket – those savings could really add up.

Having a few dollars leftover after each trip to the grocery store could go a long way to paying off debts, saving up for big purchases, or just treating yourself to nice things more often. Try these tips for saving money on groceries to discover the difference they can make.

 

Leave the Kids at Home

Crying Kid in Supermarket - Cigno Loans

Grocery stores aren’t designed at random. Snacks, toys and other items that appeal to children are deliberately placed at their eye level and near the front of the store, making it easier for little hands to sneak extra items into your trolley.

Going alone will let you stay focused on buying only the items you need – as well as making for a less stressful shopping experience. This way you can save on groceries without the distraction of complaining kids (or the temptation to say ‘yes’ just to keep them quiet).

 

Consider Loyalty Programs

Sure, a rewards card will give the supermarket access to all your shopping data. But is that really sensitive information? Investigate what kind of savings a loyalty membership could get you, and consider if it’s worth picking up a card.

For example, with Woolworths Rewards, you’ll save $10 for every $2,000 spent.

 

Shop Around

Shopping Around with Grocery Store App - Cigno Loans

Making separate trips to Coles, Woolworths and Aldi might be a little annoying. But if you’re getting the best price available on every item on your shopping list (and taking advantage of every sale), it’s worth the extra effort.

Get familiar with the costs of your frequent buys at each store so you know for sure you’re getting everything as cheaply as possible.

Use the stores’ websites and apps to price check your groceries on the go and keep on top of any sales and specials.

 

Base Your Meal Plans Around Sales and Seasonal Produce

Adapting your food schedule to suit what’s on special and in season is a great way of saving money at the supermarket – plus, you’ll naturally introduce a fun and healthy variety into your diet.

 

Buy More

Bulk Buying Groceries - Cigno Loans

This may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to save money on groceries is to buy more of them during each trip.

This helps your budget in 3 ways:

  1. It reduces the number of return trips you need to make to replenish your fridge and pantry. This is especially handy if you have a habit of buying extra treats each time you shop.
  2. It ensures you have enough food to make packed lunches during the week and cook your own meals at night (less dining out = more money in your back pocket).
  3. Bulk-buying long-life items on sale can save you money in the long run.

Want to take advantage of an amazing sale by bulk-buying but don’t have the cash upfront right now? Consider getting a quick loan so you don’t miss out on the sale.

 

Only Enter the Supermarket with a Full Belly

Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you’ve eaten recently before heading down to the supermarket, so those unnecessary snacks won’t be quite so tempting. Maybe avoid the pastries section altogether if you can!

 

While you’re trying these tips to save money on groceries, consider other ways you can reduce your household bills too – this helpful article is a great place to start.

Man Using Money Saving App - Cigno

The Best Money-Saving Apps in Australia

There are plenty of apps that can help you spend money – we’re looking at you, online shopping apps and games with in-app purchases.

But there are also some apps that can help you save money.

Whether you’re trying to draw up your monthly budget (and stick to it) or looking to round up purchases to top up your savings account, there’s an app on this list for you. Let’s take a look at some of the best money-saving apps Australia has to offer.

 

Budgeting Apps in Australia

Forget about manually managing your budget in ugly spreadsheets. A budgeting app can take the hard work out of tracking your finances – and even make them look presentable.

There are plenty of contenders for the title of best budget app in Australia, but here are 3 well-reviewed options that are worth a look:

MoneyBrilliant

MoneyBrilliant Budget App - Cigno Loans

  • Standout features: Alerts for low balances and upcoming bills; tax-deductible suggestions; money priorities dashboard tailored to you; notifications about better deals
  • Price: Free (basic version); $9.90/month or $99/year (MoneyBrilliant Plus)
  • Available on: iPhones and Android phones
  • Learn more about MoneyBrilliant

 

Pocketbook

Pocketbook Budget App Australia - Cigno Loans

  • Standout features: Automatically organises spending into categories; helps you set a budget for each category just by tapping and swiping; provides finance notifications; syncs with most banks including ANZ, BOQ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Suncorp, Westpac and many more
  • Price: Free
  • Available on: iPhones and Android phones
  • Learn more about Pocketbook

 

Moneytree

Moneytree Australian Budget App - Cigno Loans

  • Standout features: Keeps all your accounts, cards, super and cash amounts in one place; helps you view and analyse your spending habits with intuitive categories and graphics; also tracks loyalty points and rewards cards
  • Price: Free, with optional monthly and yearly plans for paid services (Moneytree Grow and Moneytree Work)
  • Available on: iPhones and Android phones
  • Learn more about Moneytree

Don’t forget to explore your bank’s free app before exploring other options. It might have all the budgeting tools and support you need.

 

Round-Up Savings Apps in Australia

Remember putting loose change in a piggy bank? Many of those piggies only collect dust now, since most transactions are digital, but there’s a new way to put aside your spare “coins”.

When it comes to apps that round up purchases, Australia is still catching up to other countries. But we do have a few good options to choose from:

Sipora

Sipora Round Up Savings App Australia - Cigno Loans

  • Standout features: Rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest $1, $2 or $5; large selection of stores to spend your savings on including Glassons, Vans, The Good Guys and many more
  • Price: Free
  • Available on: iPhones and Android phones
  • Learn more about Sipora

 

Raiz

Raiz App - Cigno Loans

  • Standout features: Invests your everyday spare change into a diversified portfolio; choose from 6 portfolio types ranging from conservative to aggressive; unlimited deposits and withdrawals
  • Price: $2.50/month (accounts below $10,000) or 0.275% per year (larger accounts)
  • Available on: iPhones and Android phones
  • Learn more about Raiz

 

Other Money-Saving Apps in Australia

These great money-saving apps don’t fit in one of the categories above, but they’re still worth considering:

Splitwise

Splitwise App - Cigno Loans

  • Standout features: Great for organising and tracking shared expenses (e.g. with housemates, travel groups and family); adding expenses is easy; in-built system for sending online transfers and recording cash payments
  • Price: Free, with optional paid subscription for premium features (e.g. receipt scanning and currency conversion)
  • Available on: iPhones and Android phones
  • Learn more about Splitwise

 

Quit That!

Quit That App - Cigno Loans

  • Standout features: Tracks how much money you’ve saved since quitting alcohol, smoking, or any other expensive habit; records time since quitting as well
  • Price: Free
  • Available on: iPhones and Android phones
  • Learn more about Quit That!

Keep reading: Looking for other ways your apps can improve your life? Check out these handy car-related apps.

If you need a temporary boost while these apps help you find your financial feet, a small cash loan from Cigno might be the answer. Borrow up to $1,000 here.

Couple Roller Skating - Cigno Loans

Top 9 Cheap Weekend Ideas

Some weekends are good for catching up on chores and doing adult things. Other weekends are reserved for special functions (weddings, birthdays, baby showers, and so on).

But, every now and then, you get treated to a free weekend – the perfect opportunity for some proper relaxation and fun with your partner, your family, your friends, or even just yourself.

You don’t need to make it rain dollar bills to make your free weekends worthwhile. These cheap weekend ideas will see you through to Monday without dipping into your savings account.

We’ve split the ideas into 3 categories to help you find the right cheap things to do this weekend:

  • Cheap weekend ideas for couples
  • Cheap weekend activities for families
  • Cheap weekend ideas for groups of friends.

 

Cheap Weekend Ideas for Couples

Couple Making a Playlist - Cigno Loans

1. Make a Mixtape/Playlist Together

Learn more about each other’s musical tastes while enjoying some tunes (and maybe some debates!) together. Will your individual playlists complement each other like Beyoncé and Jay Z on Crazy in Love? Or will they clash and burn like Britney and Iggy on Pretty Girls? There’s only one way to find out.

If all goes well, you could even make your shared playlist your go-to soundtrack for road trips together.

2. Take a Trip to the Markets

Take a stroll, grab some cheap snacks, bag a bargain – local markets always provide a fun day out, making them a great source of cheap weekend activities for couples. Just make sure it’s the right Saturday or Sunday of the month for the markets to be on.

Fun idea: Take 30 minutes apart to see who can find the quirkiest gift for under $15, then meet back up and exchange your presents.

3. Go Roller Skating

Head to your nearest roller blading rink or strap on your own skates and hit the local pathways. Either way, you’re sure to have a wheelie fun time rolling along together. If you’re taking to the streets, make a checklist of landmarks in your city and challenge yourself to stop by all of them.

Find other cheap date ideas in our Valentine’s Day on a Budget article.

 

Cheap Weekend Activities for Families

Family Playing Football - Cigno Loans

4. Play Footy in the Park

You don’t need many supplies or any money for this one. Just grab the football, pack the kids into the car, and find a free patch of grass at the park. Your backyard might even do the trick if it’s big enough.

5. Discover a New Cuisine (and Culture)

Choose a cuisine the kids have never tried before. Spend the afternoon reading about that country together (Wikipedia is a good starting point) while listening to relevant musical artists. Then, treat the family to dinner at a nearby restaurant that specialises in that style of food (or cook your own at home if you’re feeling brave!).

This is a great way to expose your children to a different culture as well as expanding their culinary horizons.

6. Make a Maze with the Lawn Mower

Bored kids? Overgrown backyard? Kill two birds with one lawn mower.

Find a simple labyrinth pattern online, then follow it as you mow the grass. Let your little ones solve the maze while you have a cold one, then finish the mowing.

 

Cheap Weekend Ideas for Groups of Friends

Friends Having a Picnic - Cigno Loans

7. Have a Picnic at the Playground

Gather your friends. Pack a basket full of snacks. Bring any card games, frisbees, musical instruments and picnic blankets you’ve got. Suddenly you’re ready for a great day outside.

Bonus points if your local park has a playground. Relive your childhood days by having a swing and a slide. Just don’t hog the equipment to yourselves if there are actual kids there playing!

8. Organise a Scavenger Hunt

  • Zany photos with strangers? Check.
  • Discovering new parts of the city? Check.
  • Rushing from location to location with your best mates? Check.

A scavenger hunt is a great cheap weekend activity for large groups of friends. You just need someone to volunteer to organise it all. Sounds like a job for the mum of the friend group.

9. Test Yourselves at a Trivia Night

Most pub trivia nights are relatively cheap to enter, and then you only need to pay for any food and drinks you consume along the way (eat beforehand to minimise your costs). If you’re friends with a bunch of brainiacs, you might even come away with a nifty prize at the end of the night.

 

A wonderful weekend doesn’t have to be expensive thanks to these cheap weekend ideas. But if you do need a little extra cash to get you through to Monday, consider a small cash loan from Cigno. We approve applications quickly – even on weekends.

Couple Doing Arts and Crafts at Home - Cigno Loans

7 Cheap Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Romance doesn’t have to be expensive. In this article, we discover cheap dates that won’t break any budgets OR hearts.

So, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but you don’t quite have the dough for a bottle of chardonnay, an extravagant bouquet, or breakfast in a hot-air balloon.

That’s OK!

There are plenty of ways to treat your special someone to a magical date night (or day) without cracking open your piggy bank or maxing out your credit card.

These 7 cheap date ideas prove the best things in life really are free – or at least affordable. We’ve categorised them into 3 categories to help you find the right fit for you and your significant other:

  • Cheap date night ideas
  • Cute cheap date ideas
  • Fun cheap date ideas.

 

Cheap Date Night Ideas

Board Games at Home - Cigno Loans

1. Boardgames by Candlelight

Do you and your partner have some interests of the nerdy variety? Treat yourselves to a pleasant date night at home with a boardgame you both love, or try one of these titles that work well for couples:

  • Fog of Love
  • Onitama
  • Codenames Duet
  • Monogamy
  • Our Moments.

Co-op videogames are also a solid option if that’s more your thing. Either way, turn off the lights and set up some candles to establish the mood – this isn’t any old games night, after all.

2. Moonlit Road Trip

Find a scenic route or a panoramic lookout nearby and go for a quiet night-time drive. Put your favourite tunes on during the trip, take some cute selfies with the landscape or cityscape behind you, and embrace the chance to catch up and spend some quality time together. Cheap date night ideas aren’t always about the destination – sometimes the journey is more important.

Keep your romantic road trip cheap with these fuel-efficiency tips.

3. Movie Marathon in Bed

Is there a franchise you both love? Or a series you’ve been meaning to catch up on together? Build a pillow fortress on your mattress and get comfy with some popcorn and/or ice cream.

This is one of the most inexpensive date ideas around, and it requires minimal preparation. Plus, nobody can judge you for binge-watching the Harry Potter films (again) if you’re doing it with your SO on Valentine’s Day.

 

Cute Cheap Date Ideas

Picnic in the Park - Cigno Loans

4. Picnic in the Park

  • Sandwiches with your partner’s favourite spreads.
  • A bottle of cheap wine and some fresh fruit.
  • And a picnic blanket laid out in your local park.

What more do you need for a cute cheap date idea? Bonus points if there’s a lake with ducks or even swans to watch.

5. Getting Artsy, Crafty or Hands-On

Are you and your partner creative types? There’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to embrace your artistic sides together.

Depending on your passions, you might like to try:

  • Drawing portraits of each other
  • Creating a meaningful mosaic together
  • Upcycling an old piece of furniture
  • Writing poetry for each other
  • Taking on that DIY renovation project you’ve had on your to-do list for ages.

 

Fun Cheap Date Ideas

Cheap Date at the Museum - Cigno Loans

6. Museum Crawl

Pub crawls are fun, but they’re not cheap – and the aftermath of all those beers isn’t always romantic.

Instead, why not explore some of the museums, art galleries and other cultural venues that you’ve neglected to check out? Most museums and galleries have free areas to discover, or you may stumble upon a limited exhibit that’s worth spending a little to see.

Acting like a tourist in your home city can also make you feel like you’re on a mini holiday, which is always a nice feeling.

7. Op Shop Extravaganza

So, you’re a couple on a budget. Op shopping combines a fun cheap date idea with a chance to get some serious bargains – it’s a win-win.

Enhance the romance by including some antique stores. There’s something undeniably charming about browsing vintage items as a couple.

Need a proper holiday with your significant other rather than a date night? We’ve got you covered with these 5 cheap holiday ideas.

And if you’re really due for a fancy Valentine’s Day that requires a little extra money, a short-term loan from Cigno could help. Because love may be priceless, but chardonnay sure isn’t.

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