5 tips to make your money go further

The cost of living crisis is having a serious impact on us all. We experience it everywhere – from grocery shopping to filling the car up with fuel: the reality is our money isn’t going anywhere as near as far as it was 12 months ago.

As well as prices of goods and services going up (the inflation rate in April 2023, the most recent available data, was 6.8%, meaning everything was, on average, 6.8% more expensive than it was 12 months ago), interest rates have continued to increase – with 12 rises in 13 months meaning we’re paying almost 50 per cent more for our mortgage (on a 100 per cent variable rate) than we were a year ago.

Meanwhile, wages aren’t moving to compensate. On average, wages have only increased by 3.7 per cent – meaning we’re all significantly worse off than we were 12 months ago.

It’s always a good idea to have a good look over your budget and figure out ways of saving money, but in such times it becomes essential.

Here’s five tips to help you make your money go further…

  1. Scrutinise your budget

We’re huge fans of genuinely understanding where every cent goes in ‘normal’ times – today, it’s more important than ever. Go through your bank statements line by line, and understand what’s going where – and why.

“It’s easy to overlook a regular direct debit or two, particularly if they’re for small amounts, but they all add up over the course of the year,” says Ryan Sealey, Financial Adviser at Fennell West.

“Make sure you know what each line item is, and make sure you’re actively using the service or goods you’re paying for.”

After all, do you really need streaming subscriptions to Netflix, Binge, Stan, Prime and Paramount? In reality, there’s so much good stuff on free-to-air streaming, you could probably do without them all…

  1. Look for better deals

It’s easy to get in the habit of just paying for things without looking at the cost too closely – but price comparisons can save you a fortune.

Not only does this apply to your gas and electricity, but also to your phone plan. Do you really need all of that data you’re paying for? We don’t want to promote any particular products or services, but you can get some really cheap phone plans that also give you a percentage off a monthly grocery shop – meaning you can actually make money from your phone plan.

Have a close look too at discounts you already have access to. Your bank or health insurance may provide some discounts you can use regularly – you usually just have to activate them – while speaking of health insurance, make sure you’re paying only for what you need and you’re using any ‘extras’ that are included in your monthly bill.

  1. Take the DIY option

We’re all likely to be guilty of splashing out on convenience, but some of those things we can easily do ourselves. For example, if you take your car through the jet wash every fortnight, get the bucket and sponge out yourself. Takeaway coffee? Maybe cut down to one per day!

  1. Use a fuel app

The price of fuel can differ enormously from station to station, and usually, the location of where we fill up is based on convenience or habit. There are a number of fuel comparison apps around that will show you the cheapest place to fill up in real-time – and, as we know, a four or five-cent per litre saving certainly adds up.

  1. Talk to us!

A fundamental part of how we work with our clients is helping you understand your incomings and outgoings, and budget accordingly. Our GPS program helps you get to where you want to go financially and puts plans in place now to ensure that, in years to come you’re hitting the goals you want to hit.

In addition, we can review your mortgage, insurances and superannuation, to ensure you have the best solutions possible in place.

Call us for a no-obligation consultation – and, if you’re already a client, make sure you’re reviewing your budget with us regularly to ensure you’re still on the right course!