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.


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.



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.


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

  • thank you for the great tips!


  • Far out – thanks for this tip re: home loan. A 0.25 reduction adds up over the term of the loan!!


  • Some great tips :) Thanks


  • Make sure you read insurance terms etc. very carefully. Some have a lot of exclusions, restrictions and Contradictions. You may not be saving as much on Health Insurance as you think you are. You could get a nasty shock when you need to make a claim. One health insurance company that recently changed hands cut a lot of benefits but didn’t reduce their premiums at all. People who pay annually suddenly found out they didn’t have the cover they needed.


  • You can save money on the little things and it does add up! Good article!


  • Thanks for sharing your tips. Always welcome extra tips on budget, finance and saving money.


  • Interesting! I have to do some research about the health insurance. Maybe we will just keep the hospital one and drop the extras one. It’ becoming so incredibly expensive!

    • Health cover is expensive, but has been necessary at times too.

      • Absolutely. We want to keep the hospital cover. But the extras one.. I don’t know. Beside one free dentist checkup and free optometrist visit plus glasses every year, we don’t use it all. And paying ourselves for those ones, it’s probably cheaper than keeping the extras’ cover.

      • This is such a difficult one to make decisions on. I have both, and we pretty much make our money back on extras – gym costs, dentist trips, orthodontist and physio. Every time I consider changing it would impact the rebates and in the end evens itself out. I haven’t given I-Select a go yet, but maybe its time to try them out :)


  • I always buy up big on supermarket specials, especially when something is half price. Also, I buy fruit and vegies that are in season because they are so much cheaper.


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