There are plenty of ways to get smart about your money – from apps to old-fashioned clever thinking. There are plenty of ways to get smart about your money – from apps to old-fashioned clever thinking.
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Seven steps to help you save money

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Feeling strapped for cash? You’re not alone. According to ME Bank’s latest Household Financial Comfort Report, more Aussies than ever are being forced to dip into their savings to cover rising living costs.

It’s time for a re-think. Let’s take a look at seven steps to claim victory over cost control:

Review your spending

Think you know where your money goes? Don’t be so sure.

Check out your everyday account statements for the real picture on what your spending looks like. Chances are you’re forking out more than you realise on non-essentials – and small but regular treats such as takeaways are often a key culprit.

Plan your grocery shopping

The cost of necessities is the biggest financial worry for Australian households.

So plan your spending, aiming for one major shop each week to avoid trips to expensive convenience stores. Time your supermarket trips for later in the day when perishables are often heavily discounted. Or shop online to bypass impulse buys.

Check you’re getting the best deal on utilities

We’re being slugged by rising power bills but you don’t just have to wear higher energy costs.

It might be possible to cut hundreds off your annual power bill just by switching to a cheaper provider. Check out websites such as Energy Made Easy or Energy Watch to see if you could save.

ME bank budget
Shop around before you fill up. Photo: Getty

Rethink your mileage

Ninety per cent of motorists regularly head to the same service station to fuel up, yet petrol prices can vary by up to 10 cents a litre across different outlets.

Make a beeline for an independent service station, if possible – the ACCC has found they tend to offer the cheapest fuel.

Petrol prices also vary from day to day. A variety of fuel price websites and apps such as MotorMouth can tell you when petrol is cheapest.

Save even more by rethinking the need for a second car, or make your vehicle earn its keep with a peer-to-peer car-sharing service such as Car Next Door.

Monitor your digital spend

From on-demand TV to excess data charges, staying connected could be draining your bank account.

Cut back where you can, and be sure your plan is right for you. It can work out cheaper to overestimate your data usage rather than pay a fortune for a couple of extra megabytes.

Go easy on convenience apps, hard on money management apps – set clear spending limits for apps that encourage nice-but-not-necessary spending like home delivered meals.

Load up on free apps such as TrackMySpend that make monitoring your spending a breeze.

Don’t let Insta-envy fuel impulse buys – we used to “keep up with the Jones”, these days social media can be the thing that encourages unplanned purchases. Give priority to growing savings rather than “likes”.

Armed with a new approach to living costs, it’s possible rein in spending and keep your savings soaring.

Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence: 229500

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