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Beat the top five barriers to saving

September 9th, 2019

Just over half of Australians aren’t saving any of their monthly income1, and five key outgoings are the main culprits.

A recent survey revealed that everyday bills – rent, home loans, shopping, dining out and socialising; and school/daycare – are Australians’ top five savings barriers2. Industry super fund-owned bank ME reveals what you can do to trim the costs in these five areas.

1. Everyday bills

Each year you face a raft of bills – anything from electricity and mobile phone/internet charges through to car cover and home insurance. But how often do you check if you’re getting the best possible deal?

Instead of automatically paying your bills, research whether you could cut costs by switching to a new provider. It only takes a few minutes, but it could turbocharge your ability to grow your savings.

2. Rent

Saving on rent doesn’t have to mean sharing with a dozen housemates or being 10th in line for the shower each morning.

Rent is largely shaped by location. If you’re prepared to live a few extra train stops from the city, chances are you’ll save.

When you find a place you like, consider signing up for a longer lease in exchange for a cut in rent. Landlords love to minimise vacancies, and by agreeing to a 24-month lease rather than a 12-month lease, the landlord may knock a few dollars off the weekly rent.

3. Home loans

After back-to-back RBA cash rate cuts in June and July, some lenders are offering their lowest home loan rates ever.

That means plenty of scope to get a better deal on your home loan. There can be costs in switching so look at the time taken to recoup these expenses – the sooner you do, the more worth it switching is.

4. Shopping, dining out and socialising

Convenience apps and buy-now-pay-later options could be having a big impact on your ability to save.

Afterpay, for example, notes on its website that “Afterpay customers spend more per transaction”. A simple way to save is by paying with a debit card. This way you’re limited by the balance of your bank account.

Go easy on the food delivery apps too. Enjoy an affordable social night in by organising a dinner, where each guest brings a dish to share, or by cooking a vegetarian (hence low-cost) dish for them. It’s a fun way to save.

4. School or daycare

Putting your name down on a childcare centre’s waiting list while you’re still on maternity leave may mean securing a more affordable spot. Or think about teaming up with a like-minded family to hire an au pair. It can work out cheaper depending on the number of children involved.

When it comes to school costs, if a private school is on your wish list, be sure to enquire about bursaries and scholarships that help to reduce fees. Check out local ads for pre-loved uniforms to kit out your child for a fraction of the normal cost.

This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit mebank.com.au. Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.

First Super does not recommend, endorse or accept responsibility for any products or services provided by any third party. Terms and conditions may apply, which should be obtained from ME Bank. First Super does not accept liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage caused by the products and services provided by ME Bank. First Super may invest in this third party but does not receive any commissions as a result of members using their products and services.

[1] ME’s 16th Household Financial Comfort Report
[2] https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/survey-reveals-biggest-savings-stumbling-blocks/news-story/cbbe590035e71995831b0a6f83759ea6