The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Australian households in many ways, but one of the biggest has been our personal and family finances.
If your own income has been impacted, it could be worth seeking out ways to cut unnecessary costs you may be unaware of to save yourself some cash in this time.
Below, the team at Best Financial Friend have rounded up some ways you could start saving today — ways you may not yet have considered.
Renegotiate your mortgage
Homeowners: it is very likely that your mortgage is one of your biggest expenses. There are a number of ways you can check to see if you’re overpaying for your mortgage without having to pick up the phone and engage with a broker if you are not ready for it.
Research some online brokers that allow you to see how your mortgage scores against others to find out if you could be saving here. Some of the savings could be considerable and so it’s definitely worth looking into.
Plan your meals
Assessing your food and grocery expenses can be a really good place to start on the path to saving money. You may be shocked to know how much you actually spend on food each month, and how much of that goes to waste because of poor planning.
Our suggestion? Plan your meals and start with what you already have at home, and if you want to be more aggressive with this strategy, go into your supermarket visit with a strict budget in mind (you should only visit once a week to avoid the temptation to add unnecessary items).
You will soon find you can come up with some great stuff using what you already have at home, and it gives you good reason to look through those cookbooks. Check out our fave recipes using pantry staples here.
Negotiate your bills
Bills, in general, can take up a big chunk of our pay. We’re talking about gas, electricity, phone, internet, and all the other basics for our homes. Our advice here is to shop around, or call up your current provider and ask for a better deal. You’d be surprised at how many businesses are happy to reduce your monthly bill or offer you a better plan to keep you as a customer.
In the end, they want your business too. So don’t be shy to pick up the phone and ask for what is available to you. Businesses like to reward those customers who have stuck around for a long time and have paid their bills on time every month.
Share your house
If everything else seems inefficient in getting you where you need to be financially, you could consider sharing your living expenses. We’re not suggesting you move back in with your parents, but then again, if that is an option, you could always take it.
Sharing a house can be fun and refreshing, provided that you find the right person to share with (imagine if you found the Rachel to your Monica?!). So if this avenue is viable to you, look into leasing out your spare bedroom, moving into a shared house with a friend or finding a flatmate.
You can find or negotiate a short-term lease of six months to see how you feel; all we know is that the savings make this option worth considering.
If you’re reading this, you are already on the path to financial wellbeing. Don’t stop there! Find out other ways you could be saving money, and get yourself a Best Financial Friend today.