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5 Easy Ways to Cut Down your Monthly Living Costs

By George Hadgelias

If the last few years haven’t been easy on your finances and you’re looking for better ways to save, you could find the answer in your mortgage. 

Cutting down monthly spending is easier than it seems. When reviewing unnecessary outgoings, don’t ignore the things that seem too big to touch.

We tend to accept loans and other services, like our utilities or insurance, as concrete. But with a bit of active work, you can find savings now that you can set and forget for a couple of years at least.

Here are some vital options to consider.

1. Review your ongoing costs

Change starts with increased awareness to inform better decision-making. A lot of unnecessary financial waste occurs because we don’t keep track of what we’re spending and saving.

Saving money begins with logging exactly where your money is going and asking yourself if that really needs to happen.

For instance, do you have one too many music or video streaming services on your bankroll? Can you pause or stop paying for one of these accounts, even if only temporarily?

Similarly, if you actually tallied how much you spent each month on groceries or cafe breakfasts, would you consider switching to cheaper options?

The best way to keep track is by downloading a spending tracker or savings goal app, or if you bank with Commonwealth Bank, you can utilise these features on the CommBank app.

2. Make a few calls

Sometimes the only thing you need to do to save money is ask. This is especially true when it comes to your utilities.

We all get comfy with the same phone, internet and electricity providers. But companies typically upgrade or change plans and packages a period after the initial sign-up. That means there’s a good chance you’re paying too much for an outdated service.

You could find savings if you simply started shopping around.

Put aside some time to start researching and calling around for quotes. Contact your own provider as well and ask if there are new packages that are better suited to your needs.

3. Refinance your loan

While the greatest benefits of refinancing happen over the long term, there are some immediate savings to be found too.

If you’ve had your current home loan for a number of years, you may be eligible to apply for a home loan with another institution, with a better interest rate or new features and add-ons which can help you save on interest such as offset accounts, flexible repayments, redraw facilities and loan splitting, all of which can help you save money on your home loan. Check out the Commonwealth Bank’s refinance calculator to find out how you could benefit.

4. Consolidate debts

Another facet of refinancing is debt consolidation.

If you have multiple loans or even multiple credit cards spread across different accounts, banks or contracts, refinancing can bring them all together to reduce any individual fees associated with these products.

While it is easier to keep track of debts when they’re all in one place, you should still do your research. Speak with your credit card and loan providers before making any big decisions.

5. Could your banking be better?

As with home loans, insurance and utilities, your bank accounts and credit cards could be another potential area for review.

Does your savings account have the best possible interest rates? Could you benefit from a long term deposit account?

Most vitally, are you paying fees you don’t need to?

Again, take some time to review the market and find out if you’re getting the best deal for your needs.

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