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How to find savings in your budget

How to find savings in your budget

21 June 2022 | 5 min read
The news of an interest rate rise can come as an unwelcome surprise, no matter what your financial position. We have provided some information on creating a household budget and highlighted some strategies you could look to implement to help you manage the higher costs of living.

Establish a budget

Budgeting is a learned skill and can help you feel more in control of your money. It can assist you in understanding your financial situation, reducing debt and reaching your savings goals. Our online budget planner can help you track your income and expenses to keep on top of the family budget.

When looking to take control of your money, tracking your spending and expenses will help you know where your money goes, which can help you spend less and save more. You can start by deciding how long you are going to track your spending, recording what you do spend and then reviewing your spending habits.

Tips to strengthen your budget

There are many ways you can review your situation if you are looking to reduce your expenses and maximise your income, consider:

Are all your expenses necessary?

When creating your budget and working through your expenses, try to categorise any expenses into “must haves” and “nice to have”. “Must haves” are things you can’t go without like food and utilities. You may be able to reduce these types of expenses, but not eliminate. “Nice to haves” on the other hand are discretionary expenses and in most circumstances you may be able to go without using these goods or services. For example, eliminating unnecessary media (or multiple) subscription services.

Can you review your existing arrangements?

Reassessing your utility/insurance packages and providers ensure they remain relevant and up-to-date for your personal situation, and you will have a clear understanding of the cost effectiveness of the services being provided to you. When reviewing your arrangements you can:

Compare energy suppliers to make sure you’re getting the best deal by using the Government’s Energy Made Easy

Consider your insurance structures such as excesses that apply (raising your excess could lower your monthly premium), or bundling your insurances together. Find out how to get the best price and protection when choosing car insurance or home insurance.

Review your grocery shopping habits

We all need to eat, and grocery bills are a significant expense in any budget.

Some ways to reduce your grocery bills include:

  • Planning meals in advance and only shopping for ingredients for those meals
  • Consider shopping every 8 days, instead of 7
  • Buying home or generic brands where you can
  • Buying fruit and vegetables that are in season or on sale
  • Cooking meals that can be frozen if you have leftovers

Consider how often you make your mortgage payments

If you’re currently paying your mortgage monthly, you may wish to consider a weekly or fortnight payment approach. Interest on mortgages tend to accrue daily, so repaying more frequently will save you more interest and provide the added bonus of synchronising your mortgage repayments with how often you get paid. If you’re worried about the impact of any rate rise on your home loan repayments, consider making an appointment with your lender to discuss the options available to you.

Other tips to consider

In closely scrutinising your daily activities and expenses, you will discover other ways to strengthen your budget, and some other ideas you may wish to consider:

  • Use a fuel app to fill up for less
  • Use a blanket instead of turning the heater on or use a fan instead of turning the air-conditioning on
  • Not paying delivery fees for takeaway – pick it up instead (or ditch the takeaway and replace with a home cooked meal)
  • Rent your outfit for the next big occasion instead of buying something you may only wear once

State Government provide any concessions, grants or assistance

Each State and Territory has its own concessions, grants and assistance available, which you may not be aware of. The link to each State and Territory resource are included below:

Australian Capital Territory Assistance
New South Wales Savings Finder
Northern Territory Concessions and Payments and Grants Directory
Queensland Smart Savings Concessions and Rebates
South Australia Care and Support including Household Concessions
Tasmania Discounts and Concessions
Victoria Concessions and Benefits
Western Australia Grants and Subsidies

When your budget is working for you

Setting up your budget may take some work. It may include some habit changes, and adjustments to your budget to get things right for you. Once your budget is established and working for you, you can start building some savings and decide what to do with them.

Any advice provided in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable product disclosure statement(s) on our website before acquiring any product.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

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