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Hot Issues

Saving in a material world

 

It’s not easy to be thrifty in our consumer society. We’re surrounded by so much temptation that it can be difficult to avoid spending money.

So why not try taking a break from spending?  If you can tighten your belt on the little things, it can help ensure you have enough for the odd splurge, that well-earned holiday, or for unforeseen expenses.  

Here are some creative ways to cut your spending.

Get smarter with your spending...

Negotiate on your utility bills.

It’s a competitive market, with energy companies chasing your business. So don’t be afraid to ask your provider for a better deal, or switch providers for a better offer.  Many companies also offer ‘bill smoothing’ so you make even payments throughout the year and don’t have to worry about a jump in your bill when the season changes.

Give up the daily latte!

For many of us, the morning coffee has become an integral part of our working routine. But why not try the coffee machine at work? After three months you could have saved more than $360.

Buy in bulk and get to the market

More Australians are realising the benefits of buying home brands and in bulk. Stock up on daily household staples to make some real savings. And for your fruit and veg, it’s worth trying the market. Buying directly from market traders can mean less mark-up. Get there half an hour before stalls close and you’ll find that prices go down rapidly as traders sell off their stock.

Shop online

There’s also a reason marketers pay a lot of money to put their products at the end of the aisle. It’s just too easy to pop them into your trolley. So why not go online? You might not get quite so many bargains. And you might pay a little for delivery. But you’ll avoid those impulse purchases. And by consuming less, you could spend less.

Leave the car at home

As the weather warms up, you could try walking or cycling to work. You’ll save money, get fit and you might even get to work more quickly by avoiding the gridlock.  And if your workplace is simply too far away, what about cycling to the nearest train station?

Put more into super

You can sacrifice some of your before-tax salary to boost your super and potentially make immediate tax savings. These ‘concessional contributions’ usually carry tax advantages. That’s because these contributions are taxed at only 15% (or 30% if you earn over $300,000pa), which for many people is lower than their marginal income tax rate. You can put up to $30,000 into your super at this
concessional tax rate (or $35,000 if you’re 49 or over as at 30th June 2014). 

Bring your super accounts together

More Australians are realising the power of one super fund. We can help you bring your super together for immediate savings if you
are paying multiple sets of fees.

Consolidate your debts

Having a number of debts could potentially mean you pay higher interest rates and multiple sets of fees. So think about bringing 
them together into the debt with the lowest interest rate, which could be your home loan. The lower interest rate means you’ll pay
less interest from day one. And down the line you’ll pay off your debt sooner.

Set up an offset account for your home loan

An offset account is a day-to-day savings account typically linked to a variable rate home loan. Your savings reduce the balance of your home loan for the purpose of calculating interest charges. It’s a simple tool that can help you make immediate savings on interest. And over the life of your home loan you could save thousands of dollars.

Get your tax return done!

The official tax return deadline is the end of October. Although if you’re using an accountant you’ve got even longer. But why wait until the last minute? The earlier you receive any tax return, the earlier you can start getting your money working for you. After all, it’s your money.

Keep it going!

Of course, we’re all different. So it’s important to find your own way to save and make the sacrifices you’re prepared to make to achieve the outcome you want.

 

 


Important note: © AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.