According to CEO World, Australia ranks as number 16 in the world for the most expensive countries to live in - slightly higher than our Kiwi cousins who come in at number 17. It seems that living in this beautiful country of ours certainly comes with a price tag, and we know that managing your finances can be challenging at times. Saving money is hard too, and we all know that. Spending money is the easy task. Many people spend more than they earn, so it’s a good idea to develop some healthy financial habits, like putting away at least 10% of your weekly income into savings or investments. How can you do that? Well you can start by reducing your monthly living costs - here are 7 great ways to do just that.
1. Run your household like a business
Running your household like a business means making a profit by earning more than you spend. Or to put it more plainly, don’t spend more than you earn. Take a good hard look at what you’re spending money on and identify your discretionary and non-discretionary expenses. Discretionary expenses are all the non-essentials, like going out for dinner, buying that new outfit you’ve had your eye on or hitting the cinema for some chill out time. Non-discretionary expenses are everything that you’re obliged to spend money on, such as food, accommodation and transport. Before you start buying those discretionary items, first make sure your essential expenses are covered – and if you include a savings target of 10% in your essentials, you’ll soon find that you can start to get ahead in the financial stakes.
2. Say hello to homemade food
One of the hardest things to do is to stop getting food and drinks from restaurants. Whether it’s dining out, takeaway lunches or your daily latte, all those little indulgences add up - taking a toll on your budget and increasing your living costs without you really noticing it. If you want to keep those costs down, start by saying hello to more homemade foods. Getting creative in the kitchen can be fun and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much impact it can have on your financial future. Check out these flavoursome budget family meals that all come in under $5 per serve.
3. Cook it! Don’t throw it away!
Speaking of homemade meals, if you keep throwing away your leftovers, then you’re pretty much throwing your money away too. You’re just defeating the whole purpose of cutting down on your expenses and saving money. So, it’s time to go crazy over leftovers! Make good use of your refrigerator to keep all left over food fresh so you can reuse it for another day. For more tips, check out our recent blog on awesome ways to cook leftovers.
4. Find some place cheaper to live
For most of us, our biggest monthly expense is the rent or mortgage. If a big chunk of your monthly income goes towards keeping a roof over your head, maybe it’s time to find somewhere that’s a little easier on the pay check. It never hurts to keep a close eye on what’s happening in the housing market and a little downsizing can actually be good for the soul because you can get rid of all that clutter that’s been piling up. And while we’re on the subject of clutter, don’t forget that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure - so get all of that stuff you don't use listed on eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.
5. Consolidate your bank accounts
Many of us have multiple bank accounts and credit cards. The problem with this is that it usually means multiple fees, and this could hurt your budget. Consider consolidating your bank accounts and credit cards so you can reduce those fees, and your monthly expenses along with it.
6. Get yourself out of debt
You’ve heard it many times before. You’ll be hearing it again now. Get yourself out of debt! If you want to reduce your cost of living, then paying off your debts is one of the best ways to achieve it. Consolidating your debts through a small personal loan may get you one step closer to that goal. Or, if you're struggling with personal debts of more than $8,000 - it may be time to seek help from a debt management specialist.
7. Take good care of your health
OK so taking good care of yourself isn’t necessarily going to help you to reduce your living costs - but keeping fit and healthy is essential to ensure you reduce the likelihood of getting sick. The last thing you need in these challenging times is for a chunk of your hard earned cash to have to go towards medical bills. So, make sure you eat right, get in some daily exercise, and keep your home environment clean and sanitised so you don’t get sick.
A final thought
Reducing your cost of living by following these tips can help you save a significant amount of money, resulting in a better financial future (remember the old saying – take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves!). But it’s not always going to be easy. If you need any assistance with consolidating your debts, or finding the money for an emergency or an unexpected essential cost, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans from $1,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours - so you can begin your journey to better financial management today!