ME’s 12thHousehold Financial Comfort Report revealed that cost of necessities is the biggest worry for 44% of Australian households.
That’s understandable as these expenses can eat up a large chunk of our income. Below are a few quick tips to save on household essentials:
Go Sherlock on your spending
Investigate what you spend your money on and identify if anything could be cut out – this could be anything from coffee and restaurant meals to dry cleaning and hair colouring. Question what you buy and where you shop – could you be getting a better deal? Set a budget on costs and stick to it. ASIC’s TrackMySPEND app is a good way to keep track of your personal expenses on the go.
Switch to save on utilities
A key step to trim the cost of utilities is ensuring your current provider is competitive. A number of comparison sites are available that can help you identify low-cost providers in your area. Some will help you make the switch to a new provider free of charge.
Look for bargains on groceries
Enjoying savings on groceries is possible if you stick to a few ground rules. Always plan your meals in advance and shop with a list – it prevents impulse buying, which can be a real budget breaker. Never shop hungry, buy in bulk, buy generic products, keep an eye on specials and always check expiry dates. Avoid stocking up on pre-prepared foods – you’ll save a bundle by opting for homemade. And where possible, hit the supermarkets or markets towards the end of the day when fresh produce like bread, fruit and meat is heavily discounted. To keep your food fresher for longer, check out these storage do’s and don’ts.
Don’t overlook your home loan
A new ME survey shows that Australians are a nation of bargain hunters, but are less thrifty when it comes to their biggest purchase – their home loan. While 68% periodically review what they’re paying on their phone plans, 64% their insurance policies, and 60% their energy contracts, only 44% will regularly review their home loan. Negotiating your home loan rate or switching lenders could save, on average, up to $130 per month, $1,560 a year or $46,000 over the life of the loan.
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