Well I started our weekly savings blog…. And then as the year progressed and like most years (and most of my resolutions!) it all started to go pear shaped… and not just my body shape that has put back 3 kgs of the 6kgs I lost at the start of the year. BUT that was a different resolution.. back to the saving tips…
Over the next 2 weeks, I’m sharing 10 of the ways we have continued to save money this year. One for each of the weeks I have fallen behind… you’re welcome!
This week are 5 budget busters, and next week is 5 big ways to REALLY save at the supermarket.
1. Prepare a budget
If you haven’t already, it’s time to do a budget. This can be just as important for families that live comfortably than it is for families that live month to month. It is very important to know where your money is coming from and where it is all going. When hubby and I recently reviewed our budget, we realised that we had accrued almost $8,000 in bills and expenses that we would have to pay in coming months. In fact in July we have car insurance, registration, 2 sets of rates and numerous other bills, it usually comes to about $5,000. It is a lot to pay for in one month if we were unprepared. Usually it is our tax return that helps to bail us out BUT this year we are determined not to let that happen. If we can live to our budget, then our tax return can go immediately in to an offset account rather than to a credit card. (Which no longer exits, remember? THIS post) Knowing where we sit financially and planning for the near future and timing of bills will help us save $5-$9K based on our prior years June/July credit card balance. If you don’t have a budget template, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text ‘budget’ and your email address to 0412006675 and we can email one to you.
2. Arrange a Home Loan Health Check
If you’re paying anything more than 4.15% on an owner occupied home loan, then it’s a good time to get a free home loan health check. The interest rate you will qualify for will depend on your personal circumstances, we have had clients get anything from 3.99% to 4.8%. We refinanced our personal home loan this year and we were able to save $2,004 in interest per year and we also qualified for a rebate for $1500 which covered all of our transfer costs. It’s a great idea to subscribe to a reputable mortgage broker (like Accession Finance of course!) as we can keep you up to date with special offers. We have saved our clients this year over $40,000 in interest. We also refinanced our investment property. The best thing is that these savings will continue for the many years to come and we will continue to review every 2-3 years to make sure we’re getting the best deal. You can CONTACT US here to book an appointment or call to find out more.
3. Change it Up
I was blonde. It was fun. But having to visit the hairdresser every 6 weeks was not really working for me. I died my hair back to my natural colour brown. Now I can get my hair coloured every 3-6 months… or never. I did go through a stage where I would put my own supermarket colour in.. it took my hairdresser a VERY long time to get it back to a happy healthy colour and condition but at $26 for 2 boxes, it was pretty good value while it lasted. BUT not something that I would personally do again. Getting my colour done by a hairdresser every 3 months rather than 6 weeks should save me about $600 per year. For $600 per year, I can have a lot more fun as a brunette!
4. Save the Gas
Our gas bill is a big problem for us. If I am to be honest, apart from our 2 week holiday to Bali, I can’t be sure that our heater turned off between April and mid-late October last year… and then on again for a few days in November, December and probably January because… Melbourne!
This year we are trying to make a big cut back on the heating bill (which was about $500-$800 per quarter for 3 of the 4 bills last year) we have purchased some thick and warm robes to keep us warm in the dark. On days where the sun is out we keep the blinds open and we close them as soon as the sun sets and that chill starts to set in the air. We used to think that keeping the heater on 24 hours per day, but not too hot (at about 17 degrees) was a better way to keep the house warm and save power. It may have been… however it slowly crept up from 17 to 20 and the strategy has become much less effective. I’m not sure how much this is going to save us, but I would expect it will be about $300-$400 per year.
5. Go to Ikea
Need a little ‘you’ time and maybe a coffee table? Last time we went to a play centre I spent over $50 on entry and food. At Ikea you can pop the toilet trained over 3’s into Smaland for free, and while they’re looking after the kidlets, you can pop to the café, have a hot dog for $1, a cone for 50c or a Cinnamon bun for $1. You can do a little shopping at Ikea if you like too (but don’t get lost, you have to remain in the boundaries of Ikea!). Our boys had a great time in Smaland playing for the one hour time limit in the ball pit while they are minded by the staff. Who can contact you via the phone and let you know when the hour is up via a beeper. The kids (and I) didn’t want to leave. Parking is free if you scan your receipt. All in all, I probably expect to reinvest my savings into Ikea purchases… but I’m ok with that!
Week 1 – Insurance $190 saved
Week 2 – Gifts/Fun Memberships $388 saved
Week 3 – The $10 Sacrifice $520 saved
Week 4 – Time for the Snip $ 0 saved
Week 5 – BSS $600 saved
Week 6 – Kids Entertainment $1400 saved
Week 7 – Fight Fees $395 saved
Weeks 8-12 – Budget Busters $2904 saved
Total: $6,397 saved
We have excluded the savings that we will have at tax return time- because this is about saving money from our budget and now that we have a budget that reflects our income and saving goals, this should have no bearing… until we get that tax refund which should act as a bonus to our savings.
See you next week,
General Advice Disclaimer:
This represents general information only. Before making any financial or investment decisions, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your personal investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs. This information is based on our personal circumstance and it will be different for everyone. Information provided on this website is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.
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