Put away the havaianas, close up the bottle of tanning oil and burn the beloved budgie smugglers because the cooler months are kicking in (whether you like it or not). And after a long summer of splurging, perhaps it is time your finances did some cooling down as well.
Here are eight ways you can save money this March
1. Get cash back on purchases
Why not kick off your savings in March by taking advantage of the cash back offers on payWave and PayPass “tap and go” purchases under $100. ING Direct and ME Bank are giving customers like you up to 5% cash back on credit and debit card purchases every time you use the contactless pay option. For example with ME Bank’s 5% cash back offer you could earn $5 for every $100 you spend (if you apply before May 1 2015). That means if you spend $1,000 over the month, an effortless $50 will be put back into your hip pocket. Not bad for simply tapping and going!
2. BYO work lunch
There is no such thing as a free lunch! Forking out $15 five days a week on lunch quickly adds up to $300 a month – and a ludicrous $3,600 a year. Why not do your wallet (and perhaps your waistline) a favour by bringing in the leftovers from last nights’ chicken and rice duo.
3. Cut out alcohol
And while you’re busy feasting on your homemade tuna salad, say ‘NO!’ to that vodka and lemonade on Friday’s after-work drinks. Mozo’s PR Manager Caroline Thomas fearlessly took on the FebFast challenge last month which resulted in healthier outcomes for her body, as well as her wallet – she estimated saving around $250. Quickly punching in the numbers into the Mozo vice calculator shows an average spend of $25 on alcohol weekly will blow out to a whopping $1,300 a year.
4. Pay less for travel insurance
Easter in Australia is one of the most lucrative periods for domestic travel or a short stint to Fiji and Thailand, according to IBISWorld. So if you’re planning to do some travelling this Easter it pays to shop around for travel insurance deals. For example using Mozo’s travel insurance calculator, a family of 4 travelling to Fiji for 7 nights can get coverage from as little as $49 for unlimited medical and hospital, compared to the highest travel insurance policy at $192 for full comprehensive cover. That is a saving of an impressive $143.
5. Use a balance transfer to save on debt
The average Aussie card holder has racked up an average of $4,200 in debt according to ASIC’s Money Smart. And with the average credit card interest rate at a hefty 17.58%, perhaps moving your balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card over 12 months will give you the financial breathing room you need. Let’s use these numbers: say you want to transfer $4,200 of debt onto a balance transfer credit card and you make monthly repayments of $250. By switching cards you can save a healthy $604 in interest and fees and even pay the debt off 2 months earlier.
6. Refinance your home loan
Save thousands by refinancing your home loan on to a better rate. Say you have a $500,000 home loan with a 5.25% interest rate. By switching to loans.com.au’s low 4.23% refinance home loan rate you could save $87,944 over 25 years according to Mozo’s switch and save calculator. Remember refinancing is probably not the best option for everyone – beware those extra fees and charges.
7. Enjoy a thrifty day out
Keep the kids (and your wallet happy) with a thrifty day every month. For the Sydney-siders why not make Sunday the new Saturday night and take advantage of the fantastic Opal benefits where you can travel as much as you want on Sunday for no more than $2.50 per person (between 4:00am Sunday morning until 3:59am on Monday morning). With a quick search of the net, we found plenty of thrifty things to do around the Sydney CBD such as having a picnic in the botanical gardens or visiting the MCA.
8. Spend less
Make your March mantra ‘No’ with a capital N. Say no to things that you don’t need, can’t afford or won’t use after like two weeks.
*Please note, any rates or features mentioned in this blog were available at the time of writing and may have changed.