Cost of living in much of the world is at an all-time high with inflation levels at their highest points in recent times. With the rise in inflation an individual’s “real income” is gradually being eroded away with the increasing costs in services, utilities, and consumables.
So here are 10 tips on how to save money in Australia.
1. Paying off Bad Debt!
Bad debt as discussed in my other post is the number one debt you should likely prioritise above all other debts.
This is because it is usually with a higher interest than all your other debts and will accrue interest at a much higher rate. Therefore, paying down any credit cards or personal loans should be your number 1 priority in 2023!
2. Cut Down on Streaming Subscriptions.
Gone are the days of Covid lockdowns and spending whole days, weeks even months in front of the TV. With the rise in streaming subscription services consider having only 1 or a max of 2 streaming services at any one time.
Prioritise your subscription based upon the releases you are interested in, watch them and then promptly cancel your subscription.
3. Change Your Shopping Habits.
Consider changing your shopping habits to help reduce the weekly grocery bill. Reducing the weekly food shop can be done in a variety of ways to suit most people.
This could be shopping at a cheaper retailer such as Aldi or a wholesale Fruit and Veg shop. Moreover, considering buying regularly used items in bulk or non-perishables when they are heavily discounted.
4. Use Automatic Coupon Finder
For those that shop online you will often see the words “coupon” or “voucher” at the online checkout. You should consider installing a browser extension such as “,Honey”.
Honey which was acquired by Paypal in 2019 automatically searches the internet to find you the best coupon discount codes, applying them prior to you paying for your purchase. This saves you the effort of manually searching the web to only find expired offers!
5. Create A Flexible But Realistic Budget
Consider creating a flexible but realistic household budget. Most people set themselves a budget which scrutinizes every dollar, allocating their expenses to the very cent. By the end of the week, they relapse having spent “more than they should of”.
So, it is better to set yourself a realistic budget and take stock of the important things in your life. If you enjoy the daily coffee at work, instead of going cold turkey and having none, consider 2-3 a week only. Every skipped coffee is money in your pocket!
6. Utilise Cashback Offers
Cashback offers are becoming increasingly common as multiple organizations vie for your hard-earned money. My bank offers me regular cashback incentives to spend a certain dollar amount at a particular business.
In addition to this I also receive promotional emails from businesses offering discounts when spending a certain dollar amount. So often through combining these offers I get some amazing discounts. Just be mindful not to spend beyond your limits just to meet the spending criteria.
7. Membership Reward Discounts
Most of us will have membership reward discounts available to us. This could be in the form of cheaper gym membership through your workplace or discount at certain retailers through your private health insurance or utility provider.
These offers will often be in the form of some level of discount, i.e “Save 10% at….”. Through my utility provider I recently had the 2 & 6 month waiting period waivered on my private health insurance as well as $400 credit on my utility bills!
8. Always Check Renewals for Utilities, Plans & Insurances, Never Auto-Renew
When it comes time to renew your plans, whether that be energy, phone, insurances, or internet always check to see if you’re getting the best deal. Often, you’ll find the market has shifted and better deals may be out there.
Most companies rely on the fact that their customers don’t want the hassle of leaving and so you will therefore pay more!
Thus, it always pays to compare what’s out there in the wider market and if you really want to stay with your current provider, see what they’re willing to do to retain your custom.
Hot Tip! With some insurance quotes or similar yearly plans, request these ahead of time. Most will send you email prompts every so often trying to entice you to take up their quote. Sometimes they will offer greater incentives or discounts when doing so!
9. Re-finance Your Mortgage
The number 1 expense for most households is the mortgage. Banks are reliant on their long-term customers not wanting to move their home loan away and are therefore slugged a “loyalty tax”.
Most banks will have aggressive marketing and promotional rates to bring in new customers with better home loan offers. These home loan rates are often better than your current one with a cashback!
With the incremental rises in home loan interest rates, the “interest rate creep” just keeps growing. Over time you could be as high as 5+ basis points more than the rate being offered to new customers. The best thing you can do is ring your bank to request a new rate.
Often the best means of doing this is talking to the “retention team”. These are the people whose very job it is to keep you with the bank. It is always a good idea to have what you want from them in your mind. If you know that “Bank A” has an interest rate of “x” then tell them that.
If they can’t meet your demands, then be prepared to walk away, and join “Bank A”! Read my article for further in-depth discussion on this topic
10. Automate Your Finances.
Automating your finances is one of the most productive and efficient ways to manage your finances. Through automation you able to set aside money for your everyday expenses, mortgage and reach your savings goals.
Through this method you can really accelerate your savings and control your spending. As the process is automated you ‘miss’ the money less and it just happens in the background. This will not only ensure bills are paid on time but that you have the relevant funds in that account ready.
Examples of items I automate are:
- Mortgage repayments
- Investment property loan repayments
- ETF Investments
- All household bills where possible
This level of automation not only saves me time, but it stops be stressing about the small things. I maximise my usage of Offset Accounts available to me to have accounts allocated for particular financial functions.
By implementing these tips, you can make significant strides in saving money in 2023 and beyond. Small changes to your spending habits and a proactive approach to managing your finances can lead to substantial savings over time.