Rising Costs of Living Got You Down? Fight Back with These Saving Tips

Forget giving up your morning latte – we chat with MoneyHappy founder and financial advisor Rebecca Maher for some practical tips to save more and still enjoy the things you love. From family favourites to fashion, discover how you can make simple changes that will have a big impact on your bank account. 

With rising costs of living impacting all of us, it can often feel like saving money has become an uphill battle. With over 13 years of experience in the financial industry, Rebecca Maher is on a mission to improve Australia’s financial wellbeing, and here are her must-try tips to get smart about how you save and spend.   

For those of us who love our fashion and beauty fix, do we have to give it all up? 

Sign up for email newsletters from your favourite fashion, skin, or beauty brands to receive exclusive discounts and promotional offers. This way, they deliver you the best price throughout the year and you can stock up when there are deals.  

I recommend following social media accounts of fashion, skin, or beauty influencers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and receive exclusive promotional codes for discounts. Due to the social media algorithms, you’re likely to be targeted for new products as new brands market to you based on the accounts and existing brands you follow.  

If it’s an expensive purchase, you can even use Google Shopping to find the best deals as it will consolidate everywhere that sells that product and list the sale price.  

How can we get the best out of our weekly grocery shop? 

Avoid wastage! Use leftovers to make new meals, freeze food that you won’t use immediately, and use up items before they expire. You can even make a little extra at dinner time so you’ve got work lunch covered the next day – you get more out of your weekly shop and this doubles as a way to cut spending on weekly lunches too.  

Online shopping is the way to go if you’re time poor and need to stick to a strict budget. You can tally up your digital shopping cart and you can take things out of the shopping cart much more easily than when you’re in-store and at the checkout.  

How can we still enjoy meals and outings with friends and family on a budget? 

Recently my family and I headed out early to run some errands and we were on our way back and stopped to grab some breakfast. We sat down at a cafe, and after looking over the menu for a few minutes (doing the maths in my head for our family of four) I realised we were up for a nearly $100 bill. We didn’t order, headed over to the bakery where we all had breaky and a coffee for $37, so it’s more bakeries and less cafes for us.  

Write down all the memberships you have (like RACQ or NRMA) and the rewards programs you’re a part of (Flybuys or Woolworths Rewards) – your employer may also offer shopping discounts through employee benefits programs. Spend 10 minutes on each of their websites and write down all the relevant discounts you’re entitled to. Plan ahead and shop where you’ll save. 

Planning ahead for outings is important too! Research the cost of admission, parking fees, and any additional costs associated with the outing. Then, look at the whole experience and work out whether there’s a way to cut the cost in whole or part.  

Packing snacks and drinks can also save you money and prevent the need to purchase expensive food or drinks while out. I also recommend looking for free or low-cost activities such as hiking, visiting a local park, or attending a community event. 

What’s a smart way to review our spending as a whole and cut costs? 

Check your frequencies or intervals. How often are you getting the dog groomed? If it’s every month – try stretching it to every 6 or 8 weeks and you’ve just halved the annual cost. See if you can do the same with other regular expenses (haircuts, personal training, cleaning services). By just extending the interval between sessions you could end up saving thousands per year!  


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