Imagine always having spare income to add to your investment so that your money is constantly working harder for you? According to Simple Savings’ Jackie Gower, it’s not a pipe dream with these common-sense tips for cutting expenses.
Curtailing your spending is no easy feat, especially if you have a family. But there are some simple ways to cut back that may mean a bigger investment portfolio.
Usually the biggest bill in any household, but luckily, it’s one of the easiest to diminish. As the TV chefs always say, cooking at home is the key. “We know of families who’ve reduced their weekly food bill by as much as 50% as a result of menu planning,” Jackie reveals. Also, look beyond the supermarket. “Taking the time to shop around your local butcher and greengrocer can result in valuable savings.
The answer to saving here, Jackie says, is to review and compare. Do your research and check out deals from different providers. This is not the most exciting task, but Jackie estimates one to two hours on the phone or online could save you several hundred dollars a year.
Potentially another large household expense. “The best way to cut-back on petrol is not to use it. Walk, ride or use public transport whenever possible. Car-pooling is also a great cost-saver. Make a list of your errands over a fortnight and try to get them done in the same area at once.
Everyone automatically reaches for their wallet here, but fun can be reasonably priced, or even free. Check out exhibitions, markets, walks and local fairs. Host a movie or games night, or pack a picnic and head to the beach or a national park. And, instead of buying new toys, join the local library or toy bank if available. The kids can play with exciting ‘new’ toys as often as they like – for free,” she adds.
More thrifty hints…
If you’re terrible with money, downloading an app to track spending could be your salvation. “One tried-and-true app is Track My Spend” our expert says. Finally, if you really struggle with self-control, many banks offer accounts with online-only access, or require you to go in to make a withdrawal. This can prevent you going on mad sprees with your EFTPOS or credit card.
The important thing is to take the first step, as Jackie affirms, “Aim as big or small as you like. Any saving is a good saving.”