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Save Smarter

How comedian Mel Buttle became a savvy saver

Comedian and savvy saver

2022-11-17 00:00

Estimated reading time
5 min

In this article

  • Handy habits to help you save money
  • The importance of having a savings fund
  • How to be a savvy spender

If I’m being honest, I haven’t always been good at saving. In fact, until recently, my ability to save money was all but non-existent.

As a comedian, pay cheques can be few and far between, and pair that with a love of ordering takeout and a few bad investments (read: overpriced cars), bang, you’ve got a pretty poor excuse of a savings account. 

I remember sneaking into my mum’s house one night when I was younger (don’t judge, I had a key), and taking some coins off her bench to pay for petrol. I told her of course, but it wasn’t a fun time. 


After growing up (ish) and buying a house, I can finally say I’ve somewhat figured out how to manage my money. Here’s some of the handy habits I learnt along the way.   

1. Do you really need to order takeaway again?

Like many people I’m time-poor, and as a result I used to spend a lot of money on food. I’d be coming home from somewhere and think ‘I’m so hungry’ and before you know it, $42 is gone on lunch.  But when you’re saving for a house, every cent counts. So, I dialled down the ordering and turned up the home-prepped meals. 

Now, I have a bit more of a system. Every week my partner and I give ourselves a treat – whether it’s going out for breakfast or dinner, clothes shopping or to get a massage. Whatever it is, once I've had it, that’s my treat and I don’t get a second one.

2. Make a plan, Mel

As a sole trader, I also had to acknowledge that I’m operating as a business – so I got an accounting program to help manage my costs and income. This has changed my life. 

Tax was also a big one. No one’s taking out tax when you work for yourself – so I had to be disciplined and set aside a portion of each pay to be able to pay the tax agent at the end of a financial year.

But also, simple things like planning for when I need to pay my car registration (or bills, rates and all those other adult-related things) have helped. I now write everything in my diary so when it's due next time, instead of just waiting for a letter, getting bill shock and passing out, I know what to expect.

3. It’s cool to be savvy

I’m a big believer in saving where you can. And online second-hand exchanges are an absolute goldmine for a bargain. I recently bought new cane furniture for the front deck of my house from an online marketplace and snagged a table and two chairs, plus cushions, all for under $100. 

I also really enjoy good quality linen, like duvet covers and grown-up stuff that I never thought I would be saying. So, instead of having that extra lunch out, I’ll save up to get this French linen doona cover that I've taken a photo of in my phone. When I’ve saved enough or I see a discount code online, then I can go and get it.

And I do things like look on fuel apps to find the cheapest petrol and save a bit from each pay cheque I receive – I don’t have a set amount, but I decide on a number and put a portion of my pay into a separate bank account so I can’t access it as easily as my everyday savings. 

4. Save for absolutely no purpose

Last but certainly not least: have a savings fund. It’s very grown up and boring, but it helps me (especially in this industry) feel financially safe and secure.

When COVID came, I looked at my savings, got a budget together and worked out exactly how long I could pay for things if I didn't get paid a single cent. And I figured out I could survive for several months because I had the safety blanket of my savings. You can’t underestimate that – or when you might need it.

How comedian Mel Buttle became a savvy saver
Mel Buttle
Comedian and savvy saver

Become a savvy saver like comedian Mel Buttle

Learning to save doesn’t have to be hard. And with ANZ’s Financial Wellbeing program, you can learn how.

Plan your spend



This article by Mel Buttle is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  By providing this information neither Mel nor ANZ intends to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations.  You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.