In our family money comes in and goes out at an alarming rate, and for us, day-to-day spending is important to stay aware of. We feel like staying on top of things like groceries, clothes, shoes and drinking (coffee and wine) are what makes a difference to our bottom line.

Having said that, checking in with services and what I will call direct debit spending, are important as well. Those regular amounts that just leave. They keep your lights and TV in action, your mobile and home internet connection working, your gym accessible, car legal to drive and even your debt repayments being made. These things are easy to set and forget.

So I thought I would share my 2016 wins, losses and to-do’s to give you some ideas on where you can try to save.

WINS

Gym membership savings = $29 per fortnight   

I go to the gym with my teenage daughter. I was paying $38 per fortnight for me, and $27 for her. We discovered Fit n Fast (which we love by the way). They charge approx. $36 per fortnight and you can bring a friend for free every time you work out. We grabbed a no joining fee & get your first 2 weeks for free special as well. So win, win, win.

Car Insurance = $400 per year

Each year previously we have shopped around, but this year it seemed there was more competition as well as more ability to tailor your insurance to your needs. There are plenty of websites to compare, we used Compare the Market and saved.

Mobile phone = $5 per month 

We already have fantastic plans with VAYA. One of us (not me) was continually going over their data allowance at a cost of $10 per month. We checked the plans, and found that for $5 extra he could have heaps more data.

Home Loan = $187.50 per year 

As we do every 6-12 months we gave the bank a call to check in on our rate. Most of our loan is fixed but it seems every time we ask them to deduct 0.25% from our $75,000 variable rate loan they do it. If you’ve never done it you should try.

Riding to work 3 days instead of public transport = $17 per week 

Save $27 per week on transport and add back in the bike servicing costs and the cost of the bike at $10 per week.

Limiting before and after school care = $26 per week 

Tweaking our working times slightly has meant that we are able to drop 2 mornings of before school care at approximately $13 per day.

Using the entertainment book = $1,000 per year

We have made our money back this year through accommodation, sporting events and eating out. Since January we have saved money on birthday dinners, and general eating out.

Using the Rewards program on our credit card = $500 per year 

We do all our spending on credit card and pay it off in full each month. This gives us the handy little bonus of points. We use it to redeem vouchers for special occasions where we would be otherwise purchasing them or a gift.

LOSS

Foxtel

We tried to negotiate with them on price, and they said no. I tried to negotiate with my husband on getting rid of it, and he said no. Lose, lose.

TO-DO

Health Insurance

This is a big cost for us, and we have a level of comfort with our provider. However with the recent jump in premiums, it’s time to do some research.

Gas & Electricity

We have stayed with our current provider for some time. When we considered changing they did give us some sort of discount however it’s time to check in and see if it’s a discount that makes it work staying.

There are so many ways you can make savings. You just have to take the time to look. I use the online spending reports to check for amounts that are bigger than I think they should be.

For motivation just think about how that extra cash could help you.

Are you constantly looking for ways to save money? SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES in the comments below. 

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com


  • Taking your own lunch to work instead of buying makes a huge difference. Also doing food prep for the whole week, and freezing things that you haven’t eaten

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  • work out at home or in your local park- cost- free!
    (or my favourite price is free ninety nine lol)

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  • Yeah we try and save where we can.

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  • Firstly, what is an entertainment book????
    I shop around annually for all our insurances – contents, car and health – always looking for a better deal.
    Where we live we do not have an option who provide our electricity, and have to suffer with Ergon.
    We also did not have an option for internet and phone, as Telstra was the only one able to provide us with the service.
    The town we live in is a coastal town, and by no means small, so I just can’t understand why certain companies can monopolise the market – we have no choice but to go through them – and they amount we pay makes me quite angry.


    • Here is a link to the entertainment book http://www.entertainmentbook.com.au/
      If you live outside any of the cities they cater for it might not be worth your while, though we use it for accommodation when we are visiting places all over Australia & NZ. It’s cheaper than wotif & other discount sites usually. And I agree with you about certain providers monoplising areas, it makes it difficult to consider options other than easing back on usage if that’s possible.

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  • The useful sample that easy to apply to my family.Thanks for sharing.

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  • We managed to cut our Foxtel subscription down so we’re treated like new subscribers – from $74 to $51. That was a win. We often revisit our energy suppliers and receive a reduction having both electricity and gas with Energy Australia. And, I always make weekly payments on our services so I don’t get hit with a big bill all at once. In fact, I’m in credit on all of them at the moment. And by having house, house & contents, and car insurance with RACV we receive multiple policy discounts.

    Reply


  • Research on health insurance is on my list too – it’s so painful to do it though!!

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  • I really need to research insurance further also but it seems like it’s such a big job!

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  • theres a few things that I needed to do, research health insurance, wish I could cancel foxtel but husband needs it for work no joke!!, mobile phone cost, car insurance.
    funny that I was thinking about that I may have to find another job ontop of my first one which I work together with my husband but im also 90% with the kids and their schooling, activities. im thinking when can I find the time to get extra income because we are basically paying off the house really but also living comfortably. I just think that we live too comfortably that some things will need to come off….partly myself need to go cold turkey on energy sugary drinks as im addicted to them. get back to the gym as I only have 3 months left to use the contract will also help me stop drinking those silly drinks as il be drinking mostly water. its the motivation that ive lost at the moment.
    life can be tough!

    Reply


  • We check insurance prices and gas and electricity prices quite often – the other big saving is not buying lunch or coffees too often.

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  • We always check out Insurance prices, definitely helps. Some great tips thanks.

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  • Check out any bank account / credit card fees that you might be paying. I was earning points on a credit card but the $99 annual account fee far exceeded the value of any “rewards” I received so I got rid of that one! Also, are you paying unnecessary monthly fees on everyday bank accounts or perhaps are penalised if you don’t deposit a minimum amount per month? Find banking solutions that don’t cost you just to be a customer but rather prefer to serve you as a customer.

    Reply


  • thank you for the tips. We are also thinking of getting rid of foxtel, it is expensive and with presto, stan and all the others on the market I think they might be cheaper. Also its cheaper to just buy all your favourite tv series and movies on dvd these days.

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  • Thanks for the tips. My husband reviews all our plans and insurances every year when they need renewing.

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  • thank you for the great tips!

    Reply

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