One of the most effective ways to boost your savings and/or add to your super is to cut costs around the house. Here we outline some effective opportunities for spending less without feeling as if you’re going without.
1 Dress for success
Using an air conditioner or heater in Australia, especially with increasing electricity costs, hits the hip pocket directly. Think of how you might avoid using the air conditioning for a few hours or a few days each week, by dressing differently or better insulating your home. Consumer body Choice says adjusting your air conditioner by a degree cooler in summer and warmer in winter will increase running costs by 10–15%.
2 Be entertained
Check the entertainment options for which you’re paying. It’s no surprise that a high number of households now have broadband and/or a pay TV subscription. Weigh up the options and determine if you’re getting ‘bang for your buck’ from these services. How much are you spending on TV and movies, and how much do you really use? And are you paying for movies and documentaries when you’re only watching sport channels? Check with your service provider to see what package options are available and customise your subscription accordingly.
3 Shop around
From car insurance to mortgage costs to mobile phone plans, there could be better options that you’re missing out on. Figure out the services that cost you the most then have an honest conversation with the providers about how you might reduce those costs and then shop around. If they want to keep your business they will often find ways for you to save money or get more value out of the amount you’re paying.
4 Lose the landline
With the availability of unlimited mobile phone contracts, increasing options and quality of voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) systems, you might find that you no longer require the traditional landline telephone. This will not only save money but it will reduce the chances of receiving human and recorded telemarketing calls. If you can do without it, don’t pay for what you don’t need.
5 Waste less, spend less
When shopping, look at your options when buying individual-sized cartons of juice, yoghurt, fruit, baked beans etc. They cost more and create more waste. It’s likely to be more cost-effective to buy in bulk, which will in turn keep money in your pocket.
6 Do you need it now?
When people begin to properly record their household expenses, many are surprised by the fact that they have become so comfortable with the ‘need it now’ mentality. Do you need to buy the latest technology when last year’s still does the job? How about the newest mountain bike, running shoes, the most up-to-date fashion or a new car? This is a great way to save yourself thousands of dollars a year – by giving yourself permission to be happy with what you’ve got.
7 Budget, budget, budget
The savings tips highlighted above will only have an impact if you effectively map out your inputs vs outputs. Set yourself goals to work towards and implement the above tactics to give yourself the best chance of achieving them, and speak to your financial adviser to hear more cost-saving tips.
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This web page may contain general advice. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision.