The rising cost of living has hit Aussies hard, with higher prices at the supermarket, petrol pump and utility bills stretching already tight budgets to breaking point. Keeping up with price rises is challenging when your income doesn’t move in the same direction, and thousands of Aussies are potentially at risk of financial hardship. While you can’t control changing global economies, there are some ways you can help to cut back and save money. Here are 4 tips to help you manage the rising cost of living.
1. Get on top of your budget
Before you can find ways to cut back on spending or put more into your savings, you need to be clear where your money currently goes. Setting a budget and tracking your income and expenses is the best place to start. There are plenty of apps to make this process easy, but a simple spreadsheet works just as well. Remember, a budget isn’t there to restrict you, but rather to empower you. Armed with knowledge about your financial situation, you’ll be best placed to make informed decisions about your future finances.
2. Rethink your energy usage
Running a household can be expensive and costs can quickly add up, so look for ways to reduce energy usage and cut back on your utility bills:
- Only run your washing machine with a full load, and use a cold water setting instead of hot.
- Heat the rooms you’re in rather than the entire home, and get into the habit of closing curtains and blinds at sunset to keep the heat inside your home.
- Turn off appliances that aren’t in use, and use timers to turn off gadgets while you’re out or overnight.
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine during off-peak hours to avoid paying peak energy surcharges.
- Shop around and compare utility providers to ensure you’re getting the best deal available.
3. Shop smarter and reduce food wastage
Trimming your grocery bill can make a significant difference to your budget, as food is often the biggest every day expense after rent or the mortgage:
- Plan ahead. Check what you already have before you go grocery shopping to avoid doubling up and spending unnecessarily.
- Shop with a list. Rough out a daily meal plan for a week and include ingredients you already have in the pantry.
- Shop around. Try shopping at your local butcher, fruit and veg shop, fresh produce markets and even wholesale stores that sell in large quantities and compare prices.
- Buy in season. Buy locally-grown and in-season fruit and vegetables or switch to frozen to avoid paying more than you should.
- Cut down on meat. Try substituting with other protein sources to reduce your weekly food bill.
- Take advantage of specials. Look out for deals or switch to home brands and save.
- Shop online. Avoid overspending by tracking what goes into your basket.
- Sign up for budget or low cost meal kit delivery services to save time on meal planning and shopping.
- Invest in a slow cooker and cook in bulk and freeze extra meals.
4. Get a financial review
If you haven’t reviewed your finances in a while, this might be a good time to do so. A financial review is a thorough examination of your current financial situation. During a financial review, a finance consultant will go over your income and expenses, and look at things like your mortgage and insurance, to help you determine if there are areas where you could cut back on costs.
A finance consultant can also help with advice around things like planning for retirement, growing an investment portfolio, and consolidating debt, all of which will go towards helping reduce costs and improving your budget. To book in a finance review with a Mortgage Express finance consultant, get in touch today.
While all care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no warranty is given as to the accuracy of the information and no responsibility is taken by Finservice Pty Ltd (Mortgage Express) for any errors or omissions. This publication does not constitute personalised financial advice. It may not be relevant to individual circumstances. Nothing in this publication is, or should be taken as, an offer, invitation, or recommendation to buy, sell, or retain any investment in or make any deposit with any person. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt within this publication. A Disclosure Statement is available on request and free of charge.
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