It seems everywhere we turn, there’s a reminder of how much more it costs to live these days. The supermarket trip is making our wallets even lighter, pumping petrol raises eyebrows, and you’d be forgiven for not wanting to open those letters with clear windows addressed to you.
But don’t despair, there are things you can do to curb the rising cost of living and keep your finances in shape.
Start with your mortgage
For most people, mortgage repayments will be their single most expensive cost. Interest rate rises can leave you feeling flat about getting that mortgage paid off sooner, but there are practical steps that can save bucks.
- Switching your repayment frequency to fortnightly or weekly repayments can noticeably reduce the life of a loan. It means you’ll make an extra month’s repayment every year, and pay less interest over the life of the loan.
- Making more regular repayments throughout the month (fortnightly or weekly) will reduce the amount of interest calculated. This is because interest is calculated daily, but charged monthly. It all adds up.
- Keep your savings in your offset account to help you pay off your home loan faster by reducing the interest payable on your loan.
- Make small, extra repayments whenever you can. Even just $20 per week can cut months or years off the life of a mortgage.
Curb those recurring costs
Now is a great time to spring clean those monthly debits to make sure you’re paying only for what you need, and clearing out what you don’t need.
- Review your insurance policies to make sure you’re not paying for coverage you don’t need.
- Be honest with yourself about that gym membership – are you using it? And if the cost of it makes you work up a sweat, it might be time to cancel. Remember, you can always sign up again later.
- How much time do you spend watching TV? Streaming services add up fast, but there might be crossover in content that you could avoid paying for by choosing your preferred platform.
- Have you still got a landline? Stick to your mobile phone, and save the monthly extra cost. Even better, research bundles with different companies and save.
It’s the little things
It’s so easy to forget about the small amounts of money we spend, but your bank balance doesn’t. Mindful spending is an important skill when the cost of living goes up. It takes practice, but always remember, every little bit counts.
- You can save energy costs by unplugging appliances when not in use. It really does make a difference to your bill.
- There’s talk of takeaway coffee getting up to $7 per cup (just a regular latte, no fancy milk) so consider limiting your iced latte frappuccino with extra cream to just once per week. Same goes for bottled drinks.
- Cook extra for dinner to have for lunch the next day. Buy lunch one day a week as a special treat.
- Sell things you don’t want or need. You might only get $20 back on your $100 purchase, but better than $0 if it’s collecting dust. If you’ve got heaps to sell, or friends with items to sell, have a garage sale.
- Rethink that extra trip the supermarket to buy snacks, you’ll end up spending more than you intended.
- Use reward points to buy gift cards that help cut weekly expenses like food and petrol. They’re great for purchasing items you need but aren’t in the budget.
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Things you should know
Any advice provided in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable statement(s) on our website before acquiring any product.