David & Libby 19 quick ways to save $100

We all want to cut costs. You can save a bun­dle with a few sim­ple tips.

The Cairns Post - - MONEYSAVERHQ -

THE av­er­age Aus­tralian is the sec­ond rich­est per­son in the world be­hind the av­er­age Swiss. But it sure doesn’t seem like it.

While su­per­an­nu­a­tion and prop­erty val­ues have had good gains, slow wage growth has meant our in­come growth to pay bills has been sub­dued.

Every dol­lar counts. So here are 19 ways that can each save at least $100. And maybe lots more.

1. DON’T BUY BOT­TLED WA­TER

The great First World waste of money. Why pay $4 a bot­tle, more than you do for a litre of petrol, when you can turn on a tap and get it for free. Crazy.

2. RING THE BANK FOR A DIS­COUNT

They can only say no … but they’ll prob­a­bly say OK. Es­pe­cially if you have in­sur­ance, credit cards and in­vest­ments with the bank. You’re a valu­able cus­tomer and there­fore should get at least a 0.5 per cent dis­count on the ad­ver­tised vari­able home loan rate. It will save thou­sands of dol­lars.

3. WAIT A DAY AF­TER DE­CID­ING TO BUY SOME­THING

In other words, never buy on im­pulse. You’ll be amazed, by tak­ing the ex­tra 24 hours, how of­ten you de­cide not to go through with the trans­ac­tion.

4. USE COUPONS AND SHOP­PER DOCK­ETS

There are bar­gain dis­counts right in front of you which we hardly ever use – such as on the back of su­per­mar­ket re­ceipts. There are great deals if you look.

5. CALL FREE

For­get about find­ing the best long-dis­tance or in­ter­na­tional phone plan, down­load apps like Skype and What­sApp and call friends and rel­a­tives for free.

6. FORGO TAKE­AWAY COF­FEE

Grab a free cof­fee from home or the work kitchen in­stead of your $3.50 latte from the lo­cal cafe. Save $20 a week, $80 a month, $1000 a year. It adds up.

7. SHOP SMART

Any­thing at eye level on su­per­mar­ket shelves is more ex­pen­sive than prod­ucts at your toes or above your head. Eye-level shelves are prime spots and pro­duc­ers pay su­per­mar­ket more for it.

8. RE­VIEW YOUR IN­SUR­ANCE

Never au­to­mat­i­cally pay a re­newal, al­ways com­pare and ask for a bet­ter deal. Save by hav­ing your house, car and life in­sur­ance with the same com­pany. In­crease the ex­cess if you are strug­gling to pay your pre­mi­ums but never cut the level of cover­age.

9. GET RID OF CREDIT

Switch to a debit credit card and avoid in­ter­est charges and late fees. Debit credit cards let you use credit card fa­cil­i­ties but only let you to spend your own money so you can’t go into debt.

10. TAKE LUNCH TO WORK

It’s hard to buy a sand­wich and a drink for less than $10. Plan ahead when you do the weekly gro­cery shop and take a packed lunch to work. Save $50 a week, $200 a month, $10,000 a year.

11. BUY SE­COND­HAND

You can save a for­tune buy­ing se­cond­hand clothes, fur­ni­ture and toys. On­line sites like eBay or Gumtree help you search, view, bid and buy vir­tu­ally any­thing … at a bar­gain.

12. CUT EN­ERGY COSTS

Cut elec­tric­ity bill by in­stalling en­ergy-ef­fi­cient or flu­o­res­cent bulbs, un­plug­ging the sec­ond fridge and us­ing dry­ing racks in­stead of the clothes dryer. Wear a jumper and turn the heat­ing down.

13. GET COOK­ING

Be aware of the price of con­ve­nience and take­away foods. You are prob­a­bly bet­ter off cook­ing than buy­ing frozen meals for the fam­ily or things like pre-pack­aged sal­ads and chopped veg­gies.

14. BUY OUT OF SEA­SON

Re­frig­er­a­tors are like swim­suits – when the tem­per­a­ture goes down, so do prices. Also watch for “grand open­ings” as well as be­gin­ning and end-of-sea­son sales, which can of­fer dis­counts of 50 per cent or more. It takes plan­ning but buy fridges and air­con­di­tion­ers in win­ter and heaters in sum­mer. Po­ten­tial sav­ings: $50 to $200 each item.

15. CON­SOL­I­DATE DEBT

If you’ve amassed $5000 or more in credit-card or other un­se­cured debt, con­sider bundling it into a home loan, if you’re cer­tain you can af­ford to pay down that loan. On a bal­ance of $10,000, you could save more than $2000 in in­ter­est over five years.

16. VOL­UME EQUALS SAV­INGS

Cut 40 per cent or more from food bills when buy­ing in bulk at whole­salers and mar­kets. For fruit and veg­eta­bles, form a shop­ping co-op with friends and do a deal with a lo­cal green­gro­cer to buy in bulk.

17. GO WITH THE FLOW

Low-flow shower heads are great en­ergy and wa­ter savers. Most ho­tels use them to cut wa­ter costs and they are widely avail­able for home bath­rooms.

18. READ LA­BELS

Buy wash­able clothes. Dryclean­ing costs can dou­ble the pur­chase price of cloth­ing.

19. BE SAVVY WITH TRAVEL

Travel dis­coun­ters buy blocks of “room nights” from ho­tels and air­lines and pass on 20-50 per cent sav­ings. Take ad­van­tage of off-peak deals, es­pe­cially out­side school hol­i­days. And use web­sites where ho­tels off­load va­cant rooms at short no­tice for big sav­ings.

Art­work: TERRY PONTIKOS

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