How to Reduce Your ExpensesFinance . Investment . Savings
This is a list of general expenses someone in their daily life will encounter on a regular basis and the options you have to reduce those expenses. Pick one of these to target each month.
Electricity – Shop around and get the best deal. You may also Reduce your bill using Solar Panels. Savings $100-1200.
Water Utilities – Not much you can do here other than to buy water tanks and setup storage but this in itself is not an effective investment given the cheap cost of water.
Car Insurance – Shop around for the best deal, vary your excess to reduce your premium. Savings $0-500.
Home Insurance – Same as above. Savings $0-500.
Health Insurance – Same as above. Use PrivateHealth.gov.au to search and compare. Savings $0-500.
Fuel/Petrol – Use discount dockets from Coles or Woolworths. ~3% Savings per Year (usually 4c based on $1.50 per litre). Combine 5% discount when buying gift card online, more detail here. Savings $0-500.
Personal/Car Loan – Pay down your personal debt as soon as possible as the interest rate is likely to be above 10%, once you are clear of the debt you can start using that money to save or invest.
Credit Card Debt – Same as above. Reduce the debt as the interest rate is likely higher than 10%. Same goes if you are using Afterpay or ZIP.
Home Loan – Get the Best Deal – I recommend Ubank for a simple low rate. This will take some effort to change but the savings will add up over the years. Savings $0-1000.
Rent – Look at your options here, can you live in a share house? Can you find a cheaper place, perhaps closer to work?
Gym Membership – Options are to cancel your membership and run around the block, do in home exercise, ride a bike, follow instructor videos online (youtube). Savings $500-1000.
Netflix – You can combine this with a friend and have one account with multiple logins. Standard $13.99 per month for 2 screens. Sharing with someone else, savings $84 per year. Or go premium for $17.99 with 4 screens and 4 people saving $113.91 per year. See more here.
Car Service – Depending on the car you have you can take this to any mechanic. Alternatively sell your car and buy something cheap and do the maintenance yourself if you’re mechanically minded. Savings $0-500
Mobile Phone Plan – I recommend buying an unlocked phone, you could buy an inexpensive phone such as the Samsung A20 which at the time of writing sells for $269 at Officeworks. Couple that with a boost mobile pre paid plan for $20 per month and you are on your way. Alternatively look at other mobile plans from TPG, Optus and Telstra. I’d recommend staying away from getting the package deal of the latest Iphone with a plan as you would be paying $50 per month for 36 months plus the monthly access charge. Savings $300 – 500. See more mobile deals here.
Banking – ING have multiple products including no ATM fees, over 2% savings so any banks with fees should be avoided. You may find this difficult setting up however take the time to get this done and you will save money over the course of your life.
Taxi/Ride Share’s – Personally I don’t use traditional taxi’s anymore because of the poor service and thankfully there are now a few options available including Uber, Didi and Ola.
Breakfast – They say this is the most important meal of the day and so as long as you are prepared you can avoid getting that bacon and egg roll with a coffee at your local cafe. See Great Breakfast Options For your Start to the Day. Savings $0-1000
Lunch – You could premake your meals in the evenings before you go to work however I always go out for lunch and spend less than $15 per meal.
Dinner – Premake a bunch of meals for reheating however I find eating the same meal a bit boring.
Coffee – Everyone likes a coffee from a Cafe however with an average price of $5 and buying multiple times can add up over the year. Options are to work out what you like and buy all the ingredients including the coffee machine if you have to. Alternatively you can use the coffee machines at work or if not convince your boss to buy one. Savings $0-1000.
Personal Indulgences – I’d encourage you to keep your guilty pleasures however set yourself a budget to spend.
Clothing – How do you present well and save money? Well the answer is careful selections with a simple wardrobe that can be diversified for many occasions. See How to Spend Less Than $1,000 per year on Clothing and Look Good.
In Summary: Be careful you don’t eliminate the things you enjoy else you risk rebelling against your savings protocol and find yourself faulting and going back to square one with a heavy head of shame. In other words have an amount for splurges so you don’t need to feel guilty about spending on yourself. You don’t have to do everything on the list but it might be an idea to startup one per month until the routine is your habit.