21 tips to beat the price hikes
By Jo & Carl Violeta
The cost of living is rising. Inflation is higher than your child’s fairy-floss-induced sugar rush. So we’ve pulled together 21 practical tips to cope with the cost-of-living pressures and make your money go further.
1. Check your bank statement regularly
Set aside 20 minutes each month to go through your bank statements line-by-line and see if there are any subscriptions you can cancel or unusual activity you need to follow up on.
2. Review your home loan
If you’re worried about interest rate rises, see if you can negotiate a discount with your bank. If they won’t help, a mortgage broker can research the market to see if there’s a better deal out there for you.
3. Check what’s in your cupboard and fridge before grocery shopping
Use what you’ve already got as a base for your meals during the week to reduce grocery spending.
4. Switch to an annual plan on must-have subscriptions
We saved almost $200 per year doing this with our Headspace and Canva subscriptions.
5. Make your coffee before you leave home
Then take it with you in a travel mug. It can save you money on buying coffee.
6. Negotiate with your service providers
Including internet, phone, and energy – for a better deal. Use a comparison website to compare deals. Then call your providers to let them know you’re shopping around and leaving is under consideration.
7. Create a realistic budget that you’ll be able to stick to
We use a simple excel spreadsheet. Knowing exactly what is coming in and where it’s being spent can help your family build savings and reduce money-related stress.
8. Organise automatic transfers into your savings account every payday
You could also do this for big-ticket expenses such as car registration. If the process is happening (mostly) automatically, you’re more inclined to stick with it.
9. Buy in bulk
We all have non-perishable items that we use regularly. When these items go on sale, buy in bulk to save money in the long run.
10. Buy and sell second-hand school items
That includes textbooks, uniforms, calculators, musical instruments, and sports gear, which you can buy and sell on the Sustainable school shop.
11. Subscribe to items you regularly buy
Subscriptions to these kinds of products (think toilet paper or dog food) may work out cheaper than buying from the supermarket but be sure to crunch your numbers first.
12. Consider installing solar panels to reduce your energy bill
The Victorian Government is currently offering solar rebates for homes and businesses. Some lenders like Bank Australia even offer home loan discounts to eligible customers with energy-efficient homes.
13. Claim all eligible tax deductions
Speak to your accountant to make sure you claim all possible tax deductions when lodging your tax return. Don’t forget home office deductions if you worked from home during the last financial year.
14. Claim your $250 Power Saving bonus from the Victorian Government
Visit the Victorian Government’s Victorian Energy Compare website for eligibility details and instructions.
15. Check your super statement
Make sure your employer is paying the correct superannuation rate since super payments have recently increased to 10.5%.
16. Buy and sell second hand furniture with IKEA
Consider selling your used IKEA furniture back to IKEA. You can also buy second-hand furniture from IKEA for a discounted price.
17. Compare petrol prices before topping up
Apps like Petrol Spy can help you compare petrol prices at different stations near you.
18. Check out your local toy library
As well as lending toys, many toy libraries also hire out larger equipment for parties such as jumping castles, which often end up being much cheaper than a commercial hire company.
19. Ditch plastic bottled water
Bottled water often costs up to $4 per bottle, so at 3 plastic bottles of water a week, you’re looking at a whopping $660 per year.
20. Use rechargeable batteries
You’ll quickly recover the initial outlay and never be caught without batteries again. You won’t have to pay to replace dead batteries and you’ll keep them out of landfill, along with all the packaging.
21. Make the most of the Mornington Peninsula Shire rebates
Our Shire is helping offset the costs of switching to nappie cloths and reusable menstrual products with one-off rebates (up to $100 for cloth nappies and $50 for menstrual products).
These ideas got you thinking? Get more tips to beat the price hikes in our Instagram series ‘Don’t Sweat the Cost of Living’.
Jo and Carl Violeta are self-confessed numbers nerds, parents of an energetic toddler and a super switched-on teenager, and co-founders of the award-winning business, Violeta Finance. They are a husband and wife team who are passionate about empowering their community with financial education, love the odd glass of wine, and get a kick out of helping families achieve their homeownership and financial dreams.