Forty ways to save money now

With many families struggling to cope with the rising cost of living, small changes in everyday spending go a long way. Cut back in these areas and really notice a difference.

Car costs
  1. Avoid filling up on petrol when prices are at their highest
  2. Use discount dockets for petrol
  3. Avoid expensive car wash cafés
  4. Upgrade your car less frequently — motoring becomes a lot cheaper once you've paid off the car loan
  5. Consider downsizing to a smaller car as they are more fuel efficient and the tyres are generally cheaper
  1. Buy groceries on sale and choose generic brands where possible
  2. Use a list so you only buy what you need
  3. Plan weekly menus before shopping to avoid waste
  4. Shop only once a week rather than several times, as this will reduce impulse buying
  5. Avoid putting unnecessary items such as soft drink and chips in the trolley
  1. Install a water efficient shower head and use a shower timer
  2. Change light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs which use around 75 per cent less power
  3. Dry clothes on the line rather than using the dryer which costs around $1 per load
  4. Wash clothes in cold water
  5. Lower your hot water system to 65 degrees
Health and fitness
  1. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for generic medications
  2. Purchase prescription glasses online
  3. If you have private health insurance, check you've got the right cover to suit your needs
  4. Give up smoking
  5. Switch to cheaper forms of DIY exercise such as running or walking
Fashion and beauty
  1. Only shop when you need to — don't make it a hobby
  2. Buy clothes when they are on sale and use catalogues to shop around for the best prices
  3. Update your wardrobe with inexpensive accessories such as a new handbag, costume jewellery or a new pair of shoes
  4. Cut back on visits to the hairdresser and colour your own hair
  5. Turn your unwanted clothing into cash by selling it on ebay
  1. Buy nappies in bulk from discount supermarkets
  2. Consider borrowing from a toy library
  3. Share kids' hand-me-down clothes with friends and family
  4. Stop pocket money once kids are old enough to have a part-time job
  5. Ensure children over the age of 18 are contributing to the household expenses
  1. Look for free or low-cost outings such as outdoor movies in the park, library activities and day-trips to the park or beach
  2. Go to the movies on cheap Tuesday
  3. Better still, have a movie night at home once a week complete with homemade popcorn
  4. Instead of going out to restaurants, have a progressive dinner with your friends, where you move to a different house for each course
  5. Look for 2-for-1 meal deals when dining out
  1. Shop for furniture and white goods at discount outlets
  2. Buy kitchenware for less online
  3. Purchase sheets, towels and appliances only when they are on sale
  4. Buy laundry detergent in bulk
  5. Have a garage sale to turn unwanted household items into cash
Dianne Charman is an Authorised Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd, ABN 89 051 208 327, AFS Licence No. 232706. Any advice given is general only and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, before acting on any advice, you should consult a financial planner to consider how appropriate the advice is to your objectives, financial situation and needs.
To find your nearest AMP financial planner visit www.amp.com.au/findaplanner.

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