One New Year resolution that is probably high on everyone’s list this year, with interest rate hikes, cost of living increases and the credit card bill looming, is looking at ways to save money on household expenses.
Try these simple savings tips:
Re-assess insurances, mortgages, energy etc. – get into the habit of checking your health and other insurances to see if the rate you have is competitive. This simple exercise can save you $$$$. There are companies that can take the legwork out of doing these comparisons, so invest time to do this as you start 2023.
Electricity – get comparisons to ensure the best deal. Use the Government’s Energy Made Easy website.
Insurance –compare premiums. Grouping policies with one provider can sometimes get you a discount and savings. And sometimes, your current provider may even offer you an incentive to stay.
Internet and phone – review your monthly usage and plan to see if it still suits your needs. If you are paying too much, look for cheaper options.
Mortgages – with recent interest rate rises it’s important to do your homework and shop around. Always check the fine print before making any change.
Automate your savings – grow your money faster with an online savings account by transferring a portion of your pay directly into your savings account. Organise this with your employer or set up a direct debit. Unlike a transaction account, you can’t spend money directly from a savings account, so it’s harder to dip into. With limited money to budget, you’re more conscious of what your spending.
Quick savings – review your bank/ credit card statements for non-essentials. Particularly subscriptions or memberships that you may have forgotten about and no longer require.
Budget – find out where you’re spending money. Track spending for a couple of weeks – or use your bank statements,and then plan a budget and stick to it! There are budgeting apps that can assist budgeting app
With costs rising, take a close look at that grocery bill:
Eat first – there’s proof that hunger may cause you to purchase unnecessary items, so eat before you shop.
Shop weekly – Planning and shopping once a week can cut down on impulse buys, takeaway and wastage.
Shopping online – with time constraints, many of us now shop online, but use a shopping list, stick to it and don’t be tempted, no matter how good the ‘online only’ specials seem to be.
Meal planning/shopping lists – plan if you want to save. Avoid unnecessary purchases, by shopping with a list. Keep track by storing them on a smartphone app. Make your list, stick to it, and don’t be tempted.
Check out specials – also home brands. Look to frozen, as veggie prices rise.
Shop local markets – shop at your local fresh markets if possible.
Reduce meat – look for mark downs, or buy in bulk and re-pack. Have some meat free meals each week.
Bulk Buy – bulk stores have great deals available, so try buying in a group with friends or neighbours.
Home grown – if you have the space, plant your own veggies. They taste great and it’s fun!
Personal barista – A coffee a day for a year could cost more than $900 – and multiples in a day could be thousands. Invest in your own coffee machine, make your own, and save!
Food delivery – delete the app and try cooking at home
Eating out – ditch the restaurant, have a picnic or BBQ at the beach, park.
More saving ideas
Appliances – use energy-efficient appliances or lights. Save by using appliances outside peak times for lower tariffs. Adjust temperature settings on air conditioners to the most efficient level.
Heating and cooling – only heat/cool the room you’re using, rather than the whole house. Open or close blinds to help control the temperature inside. Block draughts.
Washing – wait for a full load and use cold water where possible.
Turn it off– turn off, at the wall, ‘vampire appliances’, such as gaming consoles, any appliance with a ‘standby mode’, and phones that are at 100% charge, so they don’t use energy when not in use.
Gym memberships – try no-cost classes such as free online workout videos or fitness challenges.
Streaming services – look for free streaming channels or apps.
Holidays – consider camping or day trips for holidays to alleviate the cost of air travel.
Petrol and transport costs – try car-pooling, or ride a bike, instead of using public transport. Free fuel saver apps can show you some of the cheaper fuel prices in your area.
‘Emotional spending’ – using spending as a way to change your mood, also known as retail therapy or impulse buying, can be expensive. Recognise if you are in an ‘impulse buying’ mood, and engage in positive mood-enhancing activities instead, like exercising or time outdoors.
The good old piggy bank – dumping coins into a non-opening piggy bank or jar, can really add up, and how nice is it to get rid of those 50 cent coins! Take it straight to the bank and deposit at the coin counter when full.
Credit card interest – check your interest rate and compare with competitors, Check also for annual fees. Try to pay them off in full each month to avoid racking up excessive interest charges.
Reduce your debt – where possible, save interest by making extra repayments on credit card debt or loans you have.
Delete credit card numbers – try removing stored credit card numbers if you use an online payment service like PayPal. Having to get out your card and re-enter your details to purchase, will allow time to think “do I really need it?”
All the best with your New Year savings resolutions!
Acknowledgments: Moneysmart.gov.au, Canstar, Amanda Horswill, Elise Donaldson, James Hurwood, Justine Davies