Finance - Budgeting

SellNewBuyNew | 26 September 2018

It can actually be quite easy to save money and it doesn't always require you to give up all your creature comforts.

To follow the tips below, all your need are some negotiating skills.

The first thing you need to do is work out what you spend your money on by looking at your bank statements for the last 3 months.

You will most likely have your living expenses but where else is your money going?

Don't be daunted by this experience. Yes, it can be disheartening to see you spend $50 a week on lattes ($2,600 a year) however, you could uncover some forgotten direct debits as well.

This first step involves you negotiating or canceling any plan, membership, or subscription you have signed up to.

Let's go through them one-by-one:

1. Mobile phone plan and Internet plans

  • If you are not under contracts, give your service providers a call to see if they can give you a cheaper rate for being a loyal customer.

  • If you are under contract, ask how much it would be to change your current contract for a cheaper one. For example, on a phone plan you could cut back on your data and save $20 a month.

  • Consider bundling your mobile phone and internet plan with the same provider to see if they can cut you a deal.

2. Utility bills

  • Again, call up your service provider to see if you can negotiate a better rate or extend the time period where rates are cheaper. Ask them about discounts for paying your bill on time or setting up a direct debit payment method.

3. Take a look at your subscriptions

  • Can you cancel your Netflix subscription and share with a friend instead?

  • Have your signed up to multiple music subscriptions? If yes, cancel all but one.

  • Do you have online newspaper or magazine subscriptions you don't read? You may need to check your iTunes (or equivalent) account for this.

  • Do you have apps on your phone for which you pay a monthly fee to use?

4. Gym membership

  • Be honest – do you really use your gym membership? Could you get by doing some push ups and pull ups and the park? If yes, cancel your gym membership ASAP.

  • Also, check to see you aren't still paying for old memberships at your previous gyms.

5. Car and travel expenses

  • Call up your insurance company to see what your options are in getting a better deal. Again, say you are a loyal customer with a great track record and you are shopping around. They may offer you something to stay with them.

  • Have a look at how much you pay in parking and consider catching public transport instead.

  • Watch your Uber trips carefully and avoid using when the fares are high.

  • Invest in a bicycle – riding your bike to work can be quicker than driving or public transport during peak hour traffic.

6. Close bank accounts that you no longer use

  • This may be incurring unnecessary fees. Close them all immediately and collect any money that is sitting in them.

This in itself will save you a lot of money. Over time, it's easy to forget all the things we signed up to. For the essentials, always contact your service provider and get them to reward you for staying with them. If they don't, feel free to shop around for a better deal for yourself. Eliminate all unnecessary subscriptions and payments. This is the easiest way to save money without having to give up that daily latte!