The new year is a great time to assess your finances and to come up with ideas to save money.
Whatever 2019 has in store for you, here are 19 easy ways that you can save on energy, lifestyle, travel and banking expenses.
#1. Get unplugged
Did you know that you can cut energy costs by around 5% by turning off your appliances at the wall rather than keeping them plugged in? The average Australian annual energy bill is $1576 according to the Australian Energy Market Commission 2017 Electricity Price Trends Report, so you could save yourself almost $80 a year by switching off your appliances rather than leaving them on standby. And think of how much extra money you could save if at the same time you switched to energy efficient globes and appliances.
#2. Switch the air conditioner for fans
Air conditioners not only use more energy than fans, they also come at a higher cost. You can significantly reduce your energy bill by switching to fans to keep your house cool and environmentally friendly this summer.
#3. Swap your car for a bike
Why not try biking to work instead of driving in 2019? Transport plays a large part in household expenditure and the cost of maintaining a bike is much less than that of a car. Biking not only accounts for great exercise, it also contributes to emission reductions so you’ll be doing your thing for the environment as well. Don’t own a bike? Bikeshare companies such as oBike, Ofo and ReddyGo are great options that are an alternative way to get around.
#4. Look into green loans
Did you know some personal loan providers have lower rate loans that are specific for the purchase of green products such as low emission cars or environmentally friendly home improvements like solar panels? Check out the Mozo Experts Choice Winners for green loans or to compare all green loans available in our database try our personal loans search tool.
Ditch bad spending habits
#5. Invest in a reusable coffee cup
By purchasing your own coffee and preparing it at home or at work, a reusable coffee cup is a cheap way to help you save on coffee expenses. As an added bonus, some cafes offer discounts if you bring your own cup so if you do splurge on a coffee you’ll still be savings some coin.
#6. Shop to a list
Create a shopping list and set a budget before you do the groceries is a great tactic to ensure you don’t overspend. Planning your meals for the week will also help you to narrow down what you need to buy and will help you avoid eating out regularly, which you bank balance will thank you for.
#7. Reconsider your gym membership
Do you have a gym membership that isn’t getting any use? There are many ways you can utilise your backyard or local park to stay fit. Try downloading a free workout app and exercise in your own time to save cash or check out our cheap ideas to get kickstart your next training session.
#8. Save money with budgeting apps
It’s time to jump on the app bandwagon, so why not take advantage of the many budgeting apps available? There are a range of apps that can help Australians save money while shopping for groceries or clothes, and can also highlight what you should be cutting back on to reach your money goals.
#9. Keep an eye on the sales
End of season sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day are great opportunities to grab a bargain on retail items such as fashion, homewares and technology. Our tip is to make a list of what you need and stick to it so you aren’t tempted by discounts on unnecessary items.
#10. Ask about student discounts
If you’re a student, there are plenty of budget and savings opportunities you. When shopping around, ask if the retailer offer discounts for students, or for a free sign up, UNIDAYS gives university students lower prices at a range of clothing stores, restaurants and technology purchases.
Achieve your travel money goals
#11. Track flight price alerts
Travelling overseas this year? There are a range of flight tracking services that alert buyers of the cheapest flights available. Apps such as Hopper and Skyscanner keep you notified with fluctuating flight fares to make you holiday planning an easy process.
#12. Avoid baggage fees
Checked bags can come at an extra cost and it can be easy to fit everything into a carry-on bag if you’re going for a short trip.
#13. Avoid foreign exchange fees
With foreign exchange fees on credit and debit cards as high as 3.65%, if you’re going to be travelling in 2019, it’s time to consider getting a bank account or travel money credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees like the 28 Degrees Mastercard, the ING Orange Everyday Account and HSBC Everyday Global Account.
#14. Research your travel insurance
Before you take off, make sure you research the right travel insurance for you depending on your destination or holiday. By using Mozo’s travel insurance comparison tool you can find great deals on a range of policies. For example, for a 10 day trip to Hong Kong, you can get a policy with unlimited medical for as little as $25 or pay as much as $95.
Banking made simple
#15. Stop paying high credit card interest
If you’ve overspent on your credit card in 2018, make 2019 the year to wipe out your debt. Transferring your debt to a card with a 0% balance transfer offer is a great way to save on interest charges. You’ll also have to be strict and not spend on the card until the balance is paid off. To learn more about how balance transfers work, check out our balance transfer explainer guide.
#16. Keep a clean credit history
Comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) is a system of credit reporting that allows lenders to get a picture of how a borrower handles a line of credit. Your credit report can affect the interest rates that you’ll be offered your home, car or personal loan. Keep your credit history clean by staying on top of your bills and card repayments so that when the time comes to buy a big ticket item like a new car or home, you are offered favourable rates to help save you money this year.
#17. Become familiar with loyalty programs
Depending on the retailer, for a free sign up you may be able to get discounted items or be the first to know about any sales in the future to help you save money throughout the year.
#18. Pay yourself first
One of the easiest ways to save money is to treat savings like any other planned cost, such as loan repayments or rent. Depending on your weekly expenses it can be as little as $10 a week, but the trick is that as soon as you get paid get it automatically put away into your high interest savings account out of reach.
#19. Review your phone plan
It’s easy to get stuck on a convenient phone plan, but if you shop around you can find cheaper rates elsewhere. Get savvy and find a plan that allows you to pay for what you need. Why pay for more data when you use your home or work Wi-Fi majority of the time? Review your usage and decide what plan would work best for you.
After more ways to help save some cash this year? Check out our savings accounts guides that will give you everything you need to know on personal saving.