Five ways to save $10,000 this year

No matter whether you’re saving for a first home, a renovation or an investment property, it’s time to get a handle on rising living costs. Here are five ideas that can put cash back in your pocket this year. Try one, or try them all – the savings could stack up to more than $10,000.

1. Refinance your mortgage 

Possible annual saving: $4,908 

If you have a home loan, it’s definitely worth talking to your Mortgage Choice broker.  

A survey by Mortgage Choice1 found that on average, borrowers who refinanced with a broker saved $409 on their monthly repayments. 

That can add up to a whopping $4,908 each year in money saved!  

2. Shake up your supermarket shopping 

Possible annual saving: $2,400 

There is a range of ways to save on your supermarket shopping, even with the increasing cost of living. Some include looking for the non-perfect fruit and vegetables, consider using apps like Frugl Grocery to track down the cheapest grocery prices and specials, and trying new brands that may be cheaper to the ones you usually buy. 

Research by ALDI Australia2 shows three out of four (78%) Australians have changed how they shop in the last 12 months, with one in three consumers more regularly shopping around for deals. 

For example, ALDI’s most recent Price Report2 shows the average family can save up to $2,400 per year by shopping at ALDI.  

3. Scrap food waste 

Possible annual saving: $2,000 

Australian households spend $2,000–$2,5003 each year on food that is wasted. But food binned is a blow to your budget.  

The five most wasted foods4 are vegetables, bread, fruit, bagged salad, and leftovers. Here are a few tidbits from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to save on food costs5 

  • Check the fridge before you shop and only buy what you need 
  • Plan your meals to save time, money and food waste 
  • Check date labels - ‘Use by’ is the date food has to go. ‘Best before’ means the food may be eaten after this date as long as it has been stored correctly 
  • Use leftovers and be creative with your next meal.

4. Drive a bargain at the bowser 

Possible annual saving: $800 

The cost of fuel has jumped 7.5% over the last year6, but there is a simple way to stop higher petrol prices tanking the family budget. The solution can lie with a fuel app that shows the cheapest servos in your area. 

As a guide to how fuel prices can vary, the NSW government’s FuelCheck app7 showed that in mid-March 2023, the average price of Unleaded 91 was 181.3 cents per litre across the Sydney metro area. The range of prices can be considerable though. You could pay as little as 167.50 cents or as much as 187.9 cents per litre. Treasurer Matt Kean8 says the app can save drivers up to $800 a year. 

If you’re not in NSW, there are a number of fuel apps to choose from, including the RACV app, PetrolSpy, Motormouth, Pumped and GasBuddy.  

5. Take a good look at your power provider 

Possible annual saving: $443 

It’s no secret that electricity costs are rising. What’s less well-known is that you could be zapped with a far higher energy bill than expected. 

EnergyAustralia9, which provides electricity and gas to 2.4 million households in Australia, has indicated that prices will increase by up to 14.1% for those on variable market contracts – effective 1 March 2023. Other power providers may follow with price hikes of their own. 

Now could be the time to get serious about scoring savings on power.  

Head to the Energy Made Easy website, run by the Australian Energy Regulator – AER10, which is designed to make it easier for consumers to take control of their power bills. You just need to upload a copy of your most recent bill and the site will show what other retailers are offering and find the best plan for you. 

AER Chair, Clare Savage11, says, “Residential customers can currently save around $443 or 24% off their bill by switching.” 

If you’re in Victoria, don’t forget to apply for the latest round of the Power Saving Bonus program, starting on 24 March 2023. You could be eligible for a $250 payment12 to help with power bills. Jump onto for details. 

Let the savings stack up! 

The potential savings from our five suggested strategies add up to $10,551 a year. That’s a solid stack of cash. Not every tip will suit your situation, but every dollar saved right now can help you beat rising prices, and take you a step closer to achieving your financial goals. 

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