Category: Money Matters
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Sub category: Spending
 

Five household budgeting hacks

The cost of living is something that affects us all – and in cities around Australia, things only seem to be getting pricier. From energy bills to groceries, our daily expenses stack up pretty quickly, and can make saving seem like an impossible goal (let alone paying off a mortgage).

While we’re not pretending it’s easy to balance a household budget, there are a few ways you can get your spending under control, and take the sting out of everyday costs. Here are our top five tips.

1. Keep your mind on the money

It’s not just a lyric from a Tina Turner song, it’s also a very practical way to start getting your head around your budget. Often we overspend because we’re not conscious of the purchases we’re making, or how they add up – so when you’re whipping that budget into shape, the first thing to do is keep a diary of everything you’re spending. A word of warning: this probably won’t be fun, and you may be tempted not to record every cent! But by being honest, and thorough, you can see where your money is actually going. From there it’ll be easier to work out what ‘non-essentials’ you can cut back on.

It’s also helpful to have easy access to your balance, so you can check it before making purchases. ING DIRECT’s app makes this super easy to do.

2. Shop around

Paying bills isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s a fact of life. And by putting a bit of effort into choosing your service providers, you could actually make easy ongoing savings in the long run. Do a comparison on your gas and electricity providers (ok, it does involve looking at those boring little figures, but trust us it’s worth knowing what rates you’re paying). Similarly, there’s usually a fair bit of choice when it comes to phone, internet and insurance providers, so ask what deals they can offer (especially if you’ve been a long-standing customer and have paid your bills on time). Unfortunately, these days, we often only get what we demand, so it really does pay to ask.

3. Think before you drive

Unless you really rely on it (like if you live in a remote area, or need to play taxi driver to your kids) owning a car may not be worth it – as well as the expense of maintaining a vehicle, don’t forget you’re paying for fuel and tolls too. Opting for public transport could save you a fair bit, and the same goes for cycling (hey, you could even eliminate the need for that gym membership too). There are now handy options like GoGet, so you can still access a car for those times you actually need four wheels.

4. Get your supermarket strategy down

We all have to eat – but contrary to popular belief, we don’t have to spend hours (and megabucks) at the supermarket. With a bit of careful planning, you can not only save trolley time, but you can minimise food waste and make your food budget stretch further. We recommend spending a bit of time each week working out your menu for the week ahead, then doing one big food shop (buying in bulk where you can, and freezing things that won’t keep).

5. Turn trash to treasure

De-cluttering isn’t just good for the soul, it can be great for the budget! If you’re surrounded by stuff that you don’t need or use (is that exercise bike gathering dust in the garage? How about those wedding gifts you’ve never taken out of the box?), why not make the most of it and have a clear out. You can find a new home for your pre-loved goods on sites like Gumtree or Freecycle, or get involved in initiatives like Garage Sale Trail. It’s worth checking these sites when you actually need things too – after all, why buy new when you can recycle?

The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.

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