5 ways to save money without ditching coffees and takeaway24 Jul 2023 3 min read
If it feels like you’re burning through your funds faster than usual, you’re not alone. The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that living costs in the 12 months to 31 March 2023 are the highest they have been on record and were higher than the rate of inflation over the same period.1
People are feeling the pinch of increased prices ranging from groceries to petrol. Getting on top of finances can be tricky at the best of times, let alone when there is more leaking from your bank account to cover the basic costs of living.
But there are ways you can save money. Here’s how:
1. Understand your bank account
Do you know if your bank account has a monthly fee? Some accounts do. So, if you have more than one bank account, you may be paying multiple fees unnecessarily. The easiest way to be sure is to check with your bank. It’s also an opportunity to find out if they have any other accounts that may better suit you.
Top tip: Other unexpected fees can occur when an account is overdrawn (when your balance goes below zero.) Get into the routine of checking your account balance regularly to avoid additional fees.
2. Reduce transaction fees when you travel
Ready to sail the Greek Islands? Hit the ski slopes in New Zealand? Wherever you’re off to, spend time researching which account has the lowest fees for your travel destination and your use. Different banks and account types will incur different charges when making purchases or withdrawals overseas. Again, the easiest way to check is to contact your financial provider.
Top tip: Never assume that the debit or credit card you use in Australia will work overseas. The last thing you want is to be unable to access your funds while travelling, which on top of being stressful, could cost you more in the long run.
3. Petrol and car use
Petrol prices in Brisbane have remained high for the first 3 months of 2023.2 If you drive a large car, petrol is likely to be more expensive. You may want to consider downsizing or investigate an electric or hybrid car. When it comes to finding the best petrol prices, take advantage of the available apps that share daily petrol prices to find the cheapest fuel in your area.
Top tip: If you’re struggling to keep petrol prices down, opt for alternate days on public transport (which is a bonus for the environment) or try carpooling.
4. Tune into your tapping
Tapping your debit or credit card to purchase products and services is fast and convenient. The issue is, however, without physically holding onto and handing over money, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re spending. A good way to test how conscious you are of your expenditure is to track your expenses for a few days. You can use an app to monitor your spending or keep it simple and just note your expenses on your phone. Jot down the amount, what the expense was for and the total amount for the day.
Top tip: Get into the habit of checking your bank account every few days. This can really help you to stay across your finances. With contactless payment becoming the norm, it can be easy to disconnect from your budget.
5. Start a high-interest savings account
One of the ways to save is to start a high-interest savings account. A high-interest account can earn a better return than an everyday transaction account. Saving when times are tough may seem impossible, but it doesn’t need to be. The amount you contribute to your savings account is entirely up to you and dependent on your circumstances. Even if you put small amounts in, you will benefit from compound interest.
Top tip: Check out all high-interest accounts before choosing yours. Don’t forget to read the fine print. Some accounts will have conditions like needing to deposit a certain amount to earn the higher interest.
Do you need help with your finances?
Saving is an important part of money management, but there are several aspects of personal finance that can impact how you live your life. A great way to ensure you are covering all components of your finances is to talk to a financial planner. At NGS, we have financial planners who can create a plan that aims to maximise your financial position and meet your objectives for the future.