If there is one thing in common with most Aussies, it’s the fact that our money just doesn’t go as far as it used to. Do you remember when somehow you could last the whole weekend with $20? Or could put $5 of fuel in your car and it would seem to last for ages? Well, times have definitely changed, so here’s our top 5 simple tips to try and save you a little bit extra than what you are now…

1. Cost of Food

It’s pretty hard to get this down unless you choose a diet of baked beans and tinned spaghetti. There are a few things you can do, however, to reduce how much you pay. So why not try one or both of the following? Bulk Buying: Rather than buying the 500g of rice, or the 250ml of cooking oil, take note of how much you are actually paying per unit (which should be displayed below the price of the item.) For example, if the 500g of rice costs $16 per 100g but the 5 kilo bag of rice costs $8 per 100g then you are far better off buying the larger “bulk” item. Yes, the bag is heavy, but that’s what trolleys are for and you wont have to buy rice for quite some time! Join a Cash & Carry style business: These type of businesses offer large bulk buying services to people who have an ABN. They offer food, household goods and non-food items at a much cheaper rate, so do some research and see if you are eligible.

2. Cost of Electricity

We can’t escape it! It’s either the air conditioner in Summer, or heating in Winter. Rather than try to cope without these pleasures, why not do one or both of the following ideas to help chop your electricity bill. Turn of all appliances at power point: Rather than leave all your household appliances turned on at the power point constantly, get into the habit of turning them off at the mains. When you leave kettles, toasters, T.V’s, radios, bedside lamps etc sitting all day with their power switch on, this is actually using power. So turn them all off and watch your electricity bill reduce. Have a candle night once a week: Not only does this sound romantic, it will create great novelty within your family, introduce new ideas and save you one day a week of electricity you would normally use!

3. Cost of Water

Now there’s no need to stop showering….although kids would probably love that idea! Here are some really good tips to get your water bill looking less wolf-like and more like a puppy! Only do a load of washing when machine is full: Too many of us just get into the habit of washing every day or every second day, even when the machine is not full. If you have a top loader that’s another killer, as they can use up to 120 litres a wash. By getting a front loader it can reduce your water consumption to half. (If you have a dishwasher then you should also introduce the rule of only running it when it is completely full too!) Make use of all the public showers we have on offer: This may sound strange but think about it. Every time you take the kids to swimming lessons, go to sports training, to the beach etc. there are generally public showers available. Next time take some soap and clean towel and get everyone to have their shower there, rather than when they get home. It all adds up!

4. Cost of Clothing

We all need to understand that fashion works in cycles. In Australia we have so many second hand clothing outlets and they seriously have not only an amazing selection of clothes, but also generally the latest looks! Start shopping in second hand clothing stores: You do not have to feel bad for going in and purchasing anything at these establishments because they WANT to sell the clothes, so it really is a win/win situation. You will be amazed at how cheap you can get some things for! Make friends aware you are happy to swap/share: Do you know the expression; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Well this highlights this analogy! When you have had enough of your wardrobe, bag up the clothes that are still in good condition and swap them with a friend/family member who will do the same with you. (Or with their kids clothes if you have similar aged children and even partners!) You will be amazed at how someone else can make something that you got very “tired” of, into an outfit that looks great on them and vice versa!

5. Review your finances and insurances

Yes, it sounds like work and it is, BUT it is worth it! Check your mortgage product:  You must ensure you have got the best mortgage product now (because when you first took it out you may have had completely different needs.) Mortgage Brokers are generally happy to do this service for free, so if you aren’t up with all the lingo, seek a professional who is willing to do a free review. Review all credit cards and personal loans: Make sure you have a clear picture of all your debts and what their interest rates are etc. You may want to cut the credit cards up and pile all your loans into one so you just can focus on repaying one loan instead of a handful of them. Many Mortgage brokers can help you review your whole financial status, so make use of their knowledge! Review your insurances when they come due: Seriously, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars just by comparing your car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, car servicing etc….when it comes due. Start paying attention to any advertisements that are clearly trying to attract new clients because this is generally the best time to get a lower premium. So there you have it! 5 simple things you can do to reduce your overall household expenses! Admittedly the 5th point is a bit more complicated, but there always has to be one thing that is difficult in life! If you are thinking about refinancing all your small debts into one, then please consider us, Fair Go Finance! Please don’t worry if you have had bad credit in the past, as we are happy to help both clean credit customers and those that have had some blemishes previously too! So good luck with your family budget and remember that we, at Fair Go Finance, will give you a “Fair Go” if you are looking for any type of cash loan to help you get your budget back on track. Happy Budgeting.

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