Eight tips to save money on your bills

It’s not necessary to make significant changes in your spending habits to achieve your financial goals. Sometimes, it’s simply understanding where you spend money or finding better deals on your current expenses to save money. This article provides 8 tips to save money on your bills so that you can put the savings to better use.

We work hard to earn our income and even harder to save it to achieve our dreams. Even a few dollars saved on different types of bills over the years can compound into something meaningful. Let’s go through some of the ways that can help achieve these savings.

  1. Track your expenses

Why should you track your expenses? To understand where you spend money so you can make better money choices. First, review your past expenses and then track the future ones.

There are a number of options to help you to track your expenses. You could use an Excel spreadsheet or a mobile app to categorise your expenses such as groceries, transport, entertainment, etc. Online tools can also help by automating your expense tracking.

  1. Give yourself a budget and automate your bills

There is a budgeting thumb rule of 50/30/20 which states that 50% of your after-tax income can go towards basic living expenses, 30% on sundry expenses, and 20% on savings. Once you understand how much you spend weekly or monthly, set a budget for yourself. You can form your own rule based on your personal situation such as 40/30/30 or 60/20/10.

Another small way to save money is by automating bills or setting up direct debits to avoid late fees.

  1. Shop around for insurances

Just like shopping for clothes or electronics, shop around for insurance on your cars, home and contents, and personal insurances including Life, Total Permanent Disability, etc. Usually, an insurance renewal notice is a good reminder. Companies often offer discounts to new customers, so switching insurers could save you a few hundred dollars.

  1. Pay annually rather than monthly

If you can, it’s worth making annual payments on your insurance, car finance, or subscription services rather than fortnightly or monthly. Check with your provider if they offer discounts for annual payment – it’s always better in your pocket rather than theirs.

  1. Controlled use of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) or credit cards

There are different views on the use of credit cards and BNPL services, but there is no doubt that they are popular. Cautious use of these services will create a better spending habit to keep you out of debt and reduce your impulse purchases.

For example, keep a credit card limit that matches your monthly budget and always pay it off on time. It can be an effective way to track your budget.

  1. Check for extra benefits on your current services

Did you know that there are types of credit cards that have in-built travel insurance and rental car insurance? If your credit card has such benefits, you can save on those costs the next time you go on a holiday.

Other services such as your car insurance or roadside assistance can have reward programs and offer discounts on movie tickets or online shopping to their members. It may be worth checking out what is available to you.

  1. Refinancing

Home loan repayments are no different from your regular bills. Refinancing your home loan may allow you a cheaper interest rate and the possibility of paying off your loan sooner.

You could also potentially consolidate other debt and receive additional loan features, such as an offset account.

  1. Check for recurring expenses

Do you really need all your streaming subscriptions such as Netflix, Disney, Foxtel, and Kayo Sports? Often, we forget about these recurring subscription costs as they can be small in dollar value. However, they add up over time. Cancel any you don’t use and these dollars saved can be used to fund your next weekend trip.

It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed when trying to manage your bills, while also saving for a rainy day.

For assistance, speak with a financial adviser who can help with cashflow management, provide access to online budgeting tools, and most importantly, help guide you to achieve your financial goals.

 

The information contained in this article is general information only. It is not intended to be a recommendation, offer, advice or invitation to purchase, sell or otherwise deal in securities or other investments. Before making any decision in respect to a financial product, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified professional. We believe that the information contained in this document is accurate. However, we are not specifically licensed to provide tax or legal advice and any information that may relate to you should be confirmed with your tax or legal adviser.

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