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We have been pinching pennies a bit more than usual around here with me barely working (big change from once being the higher earner in the family). There has been lots of the usual bills coming in, plus some of the unexpected stuff that pops up. So I was motivated to find some quick ways to save big and as a result have managed to save thousands of dollars a year household expenses.
Most of us get a little compliant with many of our bills and expenses. Things like utilities, insurance and connectivity we often leave as is despite all the better deals that pop up, because let’s face it… Life gets busy!
Yet this means throwing away hundreds or thousands of dollars a year potentially.
HERE IS HOW I SAVED $1,247.67 SO FAR THIS YEAR:
First up, car insurance. My renewal notice came along & a few years back they were very cheap due to being mostly online so I expected much the same. It was $471 for 12 months of comprehensive car insurance for my 4 cylinder hatch back.
Then I saw an email for a limited time offer for a supermarket brand insurance that was expiring the next day. They were offering to beat your existing insurance policy by $50. Worth a look. Turns out with my shopping loyalty discount taken into account, it was already almost $100 less than my existing quote… With an extra bonus of one free windscreen replacement for the year. Something my other policy didn’t offer. So my new policy was $383. That’s an instant $88 saving for the year that took 5 minutes.
My mobile phone plan was $60 a month including handset repayments for 2 years. The 2 years was up and I don’t really use my phone for much more than text & a little bit of talk & data. I certainly didn’t need $500 of talk time. I spoke with my service provider and based on usage, I ended up on a $30 monthly plan instead, halving my bill. Still unlimited text, still far more talk time than I needed & a smaller data pack. Plus if I exceed my data, it’s only $10 per GB. Still super cheap.
So there’s another $360 in savings per year.
I had a credit card I never use with a $59 yearly fee plus a $22 rewards fee. I cancelled it. I also cancelled a rewards program that was linked to another card that I’ve never used but was too lazy to cancel because it meant making a 5 minute phone call. Don’t let your laziness waste you money like I did. You can totally make your credit cards work for you. That was another $39 saving a year. Total – $120 saved.
Our internet provider has been unreliable and we needed a new modem and didn’t want to pay for one. Found a new budget version of Australia’s biggest provider offering cheaper plans, no lock in and a $10 modem deal. A saving of $22 a month on our existing deal – a total of $264.
Shopping around for new health insurance saved us $415.67 on our family hospital and extras cover. We only have basic cover but the budget health insurance company actually had more cover too.
See where I’m going with this. A few minutes of your time here and there can save you hundreds, if not thousands a year. I will increase our savings mid year when our home and contents insurance is due with a shop around and double check the car insurance policy for hubby when that comes up too.
TOTAL SAVINGS: $1,247.67
Now here are 7 ways you can save yourself thousands this year:
1. UTILITIES – electricity, phone, internet. The competition is fierce and there’s always new deals being released. We reduced our electricity bills by signing up to a 5% off contract for 24 months. You can usually save a fair chunk by bundling items such as phone & internet. And by reducing your packages. If you don’t need unlimited internet data, reduce your package!
2. INSURANCE – house, contents, car, business. Shop around. Again, lots of competition can mean better deals for you. Most services offer online quotes, special offers and sometimes loyalty discounts if you have memberships with certain networks or credit cards. Also private health insurance, don’t have things like pregnancy cover if you won’t need it. Go for a package that covers what you need, for less.
3. LOANS – Shop around or consider refinancing existing loans for your home, car and other debts. Or approach your finance provider and ask for a deal. They don’t want to lose your business so you will be surprised how much you might save. We scored a lower interest rate on our mortgage when we asked before I went on maternity leave.
4. CREDIT CARDS – Many of the high rewards cards also come with an annual fee. Consider finding a low interest card with no annual fee, or tell them you’re taking your business elsewhere and they will often waive the fee.
5. ENTERTAINMENT – Cable television is a nice bonus but is far from a necessity. The average cable package here in Australia is between $50-100 a month I’d say, and we are guilty of this one (not quite ready to part ways) but imagine saving a potential $500-1200 a year by either cutting back your package or ditching it completely.
6. GROCERIES – stop wasting food. Start meal planning and only buying what you need. Consider home brand options for the things that aren’t as important (although home brand is pretty good these days) or shop around for bargains. Big savings to be had. Buying in bulk may be an option too if you have the space.
7. GIFT CARDS – Often I see special deals to get discount gift cards for grocery and department stores, or even petrol. Often 5% off. That’s an extra $5 left in your pocket for every $100 you spend. It all adds up.
There you have it, 7 ways to save thousands of dollars a year with a few minutes here and there doing your research and planning. Your time is valuable so use it wisely to put more cash back in your family’s pockets!
Do you have any other mega saving tips?