6 money-saving ideas during the cost-of-living crisis, according to a money expert.

Thanks to our brand partner, QUDOS BANK

Well heck, life has gotten expensive this year. 

Every time I arrive at the checkout to pay for my weekly grocery shop, I almost keel over at the total figure. Then I baulk when our mortgage repayments fly out of our account and there’s literally nothing left. Add to this the money that we stack away each week into a separate account for the quarterly bills, and realising we need to increase how much we regularly transfer. 

And then there’s the… well, just everything costing a little more.  

I don’t think I’m bad with money; I reign in the grocery budget as much as I can (lots of veggie casseroles and chickpea-heavy curries happening in our house) and have been doing a lot more second-hand shopping lately for winter clothes for the kids. But I don’t think I’m particularly savvy with money either, I can just never get a big picture of how to manage it more effectively and particularly how to use apps, services and hacks available to build savings, and support money management.  

So, I spoke to Anna Milinkovic, Chief Financial Officer of Qudos Bank, for some useful tips and tricks to help with the cost-of-living crisis. Anna shared with me some of her expert knowledge about how we can all save dollars and manage our money during these financially challenging times, plus what might actually help (formerly very confusing to me) through your bank to help with building up your savings.

First up, here's Anna's 6 expert suggestions to consider for your day-to-day money management: 

1. Buy now, pay now. 

In an era of endless Buy Now Pay Later model options for everyday expenses like groceries and clothing, this can be a game-changer to avoid completely or minimise your current use of. In prioritising the expenses that matter to you now, purchasing items within your current savings budget rather than paying in instalments over time can help to avoid burdening yourself with growing interest, and potential late payment fees.


2. Buy your groceries online. 

I wouldn't have my end-of-shop freakout at the checkout if I shifted to this! 

By shopping for your groceries online, it can act as a more efficient process of monitoring your spending as you go, comparing specials and discounts, and less chance of supermarket fatigue where unplanned items can creep into your trolley to increase your bill. 

Also, Anna's smart extra tidbit many of us know but mightn't actually exercise, "Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry!"

3. Review your subscriptions. 

Whether it's your (collection of) streaming services, fitness/self-care apps or online Pilates class subscription, knowing exactly what's being regularly deducted from your bank account and reviewing throughout the year is a handy way to manage expenses in this cost-of-living crisis.

"Make sure you’re not subscribed to services that you only use occasionally, and where you can, ration subscriptions to the ones you really utilise regularly," Anna says. 

(Too true in my house: I hear a recco to a podcast or show behind a paywall, subscribe and pay, consume three episodes and forget to go back to it!)

4. Know exactly where your money is living. 

"Create a budget, monitor your spending, and take back control," Anna advised – and that includes optimising the type of account your money is living in.

"A handy example to know about is the Qudos Bank Bonus Saver account, with high accumulating interest to give your savings or emergency fund a boost. It has zero account fees, no minimum balance, and a current interest rate (including a bonus rate if you make no withdrawals in any calendar month) of up to 4.55 per cent per annum – with the interest calculated daily instead of monthly."


Anna also explained, "If you’re looking for a solid investment with guaranteed returns, a high-interest Term Deposit is hard to beat." (Yes, I’m in my 40s and I didn’t quite know the ins-and-outs).

Qudos Bank's Term Deposit option means you can lock your savings away anywhere from 3 months to 36 months, and you’ll receive interest on a monthly basis for 3, 6, 9 and 12 month terms. On terms 12 months and over, you can earn up to 4.65 per cent per annum interest on your savings, with plenty of interest payment options offered to suit your needs. Qudos calculates interest daily instead of monthly too. A nice to know!

(And while it's not exactly a money-saving idea, being wary of the safety and security of your hard-earned savings by way of frauds and scams is always important – here's some helpful tips on how to protect yourself.)

5. Compare energy and gas deals online. 

Given energy bills increased for many Australians in the second half of 2022, Anna's clever recommendation is to use the website Energy Made Easy, "a free, Australian Government service, operated by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), you can use to find and compare home and small business electricity and gas plans."

They don't get paid commission by energy companies, and it's such a useful tool to aggregate information before negotiating with providers on the best deal with all the up-to-date facts in front of you.


6. Call in some help.

If you're mentally hitting a wall when it comes to managing your finances, or feeling like you need some advice and support if you're experiencing financial hardship, the best recommendation for your wellbeing is to reach out. 

You can head to your bank and make use of their free support services. Qudos Bank has a Financial Assistance team that can tailor options to your individual financial circumstance (like modifying your loan repayment, waiving certain fees, or deferring loan repayments). 

You can also contact the National Debt Hotline, where a professional team can help you map out all your finances and debt, and make a plan to get you back on your feet. This fills me with relief knowing there is plenty of help out there, ready to help you with free financial tools and resources.

Useful suggestions aren’t they! A mix of practical day-to-day ideas, combined with some clear overarching money-management tips.

After our conversation with Anna and absorbing her knowledge as a Chief Financial Officer, I feel much more financially literate, and ready to face this cost-of-living challenge head-on… starting with my multitude of streaming service subscriptions. 

Qudos Bank is one of Australia's largest 100 per cent customer-owned banks, and recently won Australia’s Customer-Owned Bank of the Year Award 2023 by Canstar and Mozo. Explore their award-winning products and services, including the Bonus Saver Account and Term Deposits.

As the information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.


Before opening an account with Qudos Bank, you should read their Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and Payment ServicesSupplementary Terms and Conditions for Term Deposits and Financial Services Guide available on their website. View their latest interest rates here

Qudos Bank Bonus Saver interest rate is current as at 22 June 2023 and is subject to change. Earn a 0.05% p.a. base interest rate on all balances, plus if you make no withdrawals in any calendar month, you’ll receive an additional 4.50% p.a. interest on your savings.

Qudos Bank Term Deposit interest rate is current as at 15 June 2023 and is subject to change. Interest can be payable monthly (standard terms only), or at maturity (terms <12 months, including special terms) or annually and at maturity (terms>12 months). Standard terms are available for 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 and 36 months. Special terms available for 5, 7 and 11 months. You may withdraw or transfer the balance of your term deposit early by giving us 31 days’ notice. However, if you do, Qudos Bank will reduce the interest on the term deposit from the date it was opened until the date of withdrawal or transfer by 2% per annum, or the term deposit rate if it is less than 2%. Qudos Bank have the discretion to delay the withdrawal or transfer until the end of the notice period (but not beyond the maturity date). If you have already been paid interest, the reduction will be deducted from the balance of the term deposit.

© Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305

Feature Image: Getty.

Qudos Bank is one of Australia's largest 100% customer-owned banks. For more than 60 years they have been supporting their customers to reach their financial goals. They go beyond traditional banking to ensure a high customer service standard, returning its profits through its products and services.

Qudos Bank offers a wide range of award-winning products and services including fixed and variable home loans, competitive savings accounts, credit cards and more. Whether it's buying a home, saving for education, or planning for retirement, Qudos Bank empowers customers to reach their financial milestones with confidence.