But even on an average income, Brisbane financial adviser and author of On Your Own Two Feet, Helen Baker, says there are small changes you can make that have a big impact.
Here are the 17 easy changes you can make that can save you $16,000 a year:
1. Review your insurances, utility bills, subscriptions and memberships. Cancel any non-essential services and ring the providers. Let them know you’re looking for a better deal and ask what they can do for you. You’ll be surprised how quickly they respond once they know you’re considering jumping ship. You could save $1,000 a year across these services.
2. Review your debts to ensure they’re structured efficiently to minimise the interest. Speak to your bank or a mortgage broker and ask what’s possible. If you have a home loan of $500,000 at an interest rate of 4.5 per cent, you’ll pay $412,034 in interest over 30 years. Reduce it by 0.25% and you’ll save $26,452 over the life of the loan. That’s almost $1,000 a year.
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3. Pay your bills during the discount period. Many bills, such as council rates and car registration, offer a discount for early payment. You could save more than $250 per year on rates if you pay within the discount period and around $70 on registration.
4. Review your mobile phone plan. Do you really need the $160 per month plan that seemed suitable when you signed up for it? Perhaps the $80 plan would suit just as well. It takes time to sort out, but it could save you $960 a year.