Published on March 24, 2016 12:43 pm, by Jen Bakker
For us day to day spending is important to stay aware of. In our family money comes in and goes out at an alarming rate. 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-dos 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 approx. $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.
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.
Health Insurance is a big cost for us, and we have a level of comfort with our provider. However with the recent jump in premiums its time to research.
Gas & Electricity we have stayed with AGL for sometime. When we considered changing they did give us some sort of discount however its 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 MoneyBrilliant 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.
Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.