The First Thing Finance Experts Do When the Cost of Living Goes Up

Cost of living

Life is getting more expensive, and we’re all looking for ways to cut down on costs. While we can ask our friends and family for tips and tricks, and dig around online for ideas, one of the best sources of advice on this is a financial expert.

Financial experts, or money experts as they’re sometimes called, know the psychology behind people’s spending habits and behaviours and where people go wrong in spending and saving. They can see the bigger picture and know from experience that the little changes people make now can hugely impact their future.

We thought it would be worth tapping into three of these valuable resources to ask them how to combat the cost of living. What are these financial experts themselves doing to slash living costs and, at the same time, up their savings? Here’s what they said.

Related: A Money Expert’s Best Advice for Paying Off That Looming Debt

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Natasha Janssens, Money Coach and Founder of Women with Cents

My go-to for saving some cash in a hurry is to:

  1. Shop around on all my major bills — mortgage, insurances, telephone, energy, etc. It can seem like a time-consuming exercise but most companies save their best discounts for attracting new customers so it definitely pays to shop.
  2. Buying cheaper groceries — whether that’s by switching to Aldi or changing brands you buy at your regular supermarket.
  3. Using cashback sites whenever shopping online.

Melissa Browne, Financial Educator and Founder at My Financial Adulting Plan

In addition to diversifying your investments and looking to invest for the long-term, letting the power of compound interest do its magic, I’d suggest these ways to fight the cost of living — all of which I’m doing myself.

Create an Emergency Fund

Prior to COVID, emergency funds or buffer accounts weren’t really talked about. When COVID hit, they were suddenly super sexy. That’s because having a pot of money in case of emergency means that when life happens such as unexpected repairs or illness, you don’t have to dip into the credit card. And no, jetting off to Europe for summer isn’t an emergency.

Live Within Your Means

This one seems so obvious but it’s the secret sauce to having great finances. Too many people are trying to keep up not simply with their peers, but with influencers on the internet who aren’t even buying the products, they’re spruiking. My advice? Unsubscribe, unfollow and unfriend and start to think about what’s important to you, instead of being influenced to think or purchase a particular way. It also means swapping, pausing and cancelling expenses so that you’re plugging up that leaky bucket of unnecessary expenses.

Find Additional Income

Too often we head straight to tightening the belt on our expenses, which is important, but we don’t think about finding more income. Whether that’s a second job, a side hustle, becoming a delivery driver, doing surveys online, renting out your stuff or even completing your tax return — finding more income can be a great way to supplement the rising cost of income and means you’re not solely reliant on your wage.

If you have a mortgage, one of the biggest ways to find more income is to ask your bank for a rate reduction. I’ve found the average rate reduction received to be 0.50% and the biggest saving was $15,000.

Gerry Incollingo, Certified Accountant and Managing Partner of LCI Partners

Do Your Research

My top tip would be to do your research and shop around on necessary expenses that are rarely loyal to their customers. That goes for your energy bill, any insurance including health, insurance, car insurance, etc. Often these services will offer great deals for people to come to them, but they won’t offer the same deal to their existing customers. Shop around and see if you can get a better deal as you can save hundreds.

Bundle Your Insurance

On that note, bundling your insurances with the same company can often come with a discount. For example, if your health and pet insurance is with the same company, they will often give you a better rate. Additionally, many insurance companies offer discounts from various companies. For example, you may be able to get 7% off movie tickets, or a discount on fuel or groceries. Make sure you look up the perks before paying for anything as there may be a code that you can utilise.

Use Rewards Programs

There are so many awards programs, make sure you utilise them. Flybuys, Everyday rewards, Myers One and Cashrewards. If you have a credit card, there are a lot of points cards these days that will get you discounts on all types of things from flights to petrol, groceries and even free credit vouchers. Make sure you earn your points when you shop and make sure you check them to claim the reward. Getting into this habit can honestly save you hundreds each year.

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