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Spend Carefully

Cost of living: 8 quick ways to save money on your monthly bills 

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2023-08-29 00:00

Estimated reading time
7 min

In this article

  • 8 ways to reduce your bills
  • Ways to save with cost of living
  • Bill-busting tips and tricks

We recently heard a new word floating around the office, and it made us chuckle: “Cozzie Livs” – a cute nickname for a not-so-cute situation currently facing all bill-paying Australians.

Yes, we’re talking about the rising cost of living, and it’s not a chuckling affair at all. Everyone’s asking how to pay bills when you’re feeling the pinch, and how to reduce living costs this year.

Well, we’ve got some bill-busting tips and tricks to help you navigate your finances during times that feel tougher than usual. From asking for a better deal on your services to buying a heated clothes rack (yes, it’s a thing), there are lots of ways to bust a bit of that bill stress this year. Ready? Let's go.

The spenny situation

If you’re having a little ‘holy macaroni’ response to your grocery receipts these days, you’re not alone. Cost of living is the “top concern among Australians” – ahead of healthcare, climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research from Nature. And people are changing their spending (and savings) habits as a result.

Figures from the report show 79% of consumers are taking advantage of specials and promotions when shopping. They’re also eating out less (73%) and finding lower-price substitutes where possible (71%). More than half of consumers are now following a budget (61%) too (our kind of people). Wherever you sit, everyone could use a fresh perspective on how they could be saving a little more.

8 ways to reduce your bills and living costs

1. Buy a (wait for it) heated clothes rack

    This might sound rogue, but it’s real. While you may have to wait a bit longer for your clothes to dry, heated clothes racks are often more energy efficient than a dryer and they protect your clothes – meaning you can save money on your electricity bill and make your clothes last longer (look at me go, mum!). Plus, they’re kind of cool, in that futuristic ‘I’m a modern person’ kind of way?

2. Change your sim or phone plan

    You might’ve had your current phone plan for a while. Maybe not like flip-phone kind of while, but hey - each to their own. Point is, when did you last think about your mobile usage and what kind of plan might suit you best? See if you can find a better deal with an alternative provider – or by opting for a different type of deal, like pre-paid or data-focused. If you’ve got internet at home, maybe you could choose a small data package, or get in on a family deal. And now that we’re on the topic of family…

3. Get friendly with your connections

    Know someone who works for your energy provider? Or does your workplace have an affiliation with a specific private health fund? See if you can get a better deal based on your network! No one likes being hounded for deals, but hey – don’t ask, don’t get, right? You might be surprised how many places offer friend, family and employee benefits when you go looking. Speaking of asking…

4. Ask your providers for a better deal

    From your phone bill to your water, gas or electricity – there’s (often) a better deal hiding in the shadows of the competitor landscape. A great way to negotiate your price is to ask other people (with the same supplier) what they pay or compare with other retailers. It’s always easier to negotiate when you’ve got something to stack up against – something you can use as a bargaining chip to save some money. Remember, a little research goes a long way. And if you’ve been with a provider for years, see if they do a loyalty discount too! You’re essentially family now.

5. Ex some of those extras

    We all love a little buffer to make us feel prepared. But do you really need all those insurance extras? Is your internet quota higher than you’ll ever use? Review your policies and consider what’s really benefiting you. For example, if you’re finished having children but still have obstetric cover, ditch this part of the policy. These little details can do a lot of the groundwork when it comes to finding some savings. Don’t be shy to talk to your provider about what you want and see if they can tailor your plan to the things you actually need.

6. Make use of government rebates

    Did you know the government *sometimes* gives out money to help with the cost of everyday expenses, like your utilities? Keep an eye out for electricity rebates or new schemes that may pop up in your state by checking your local government website for any current discounts you may qualify for. Eyes = officially peeled.

7. Cleanse your subscriptions

    There’s no better time than now to cleanse your subscription spread. Whether it’s some obscure news app you’ve never used or that ninth streaming platform you’ve forgotten about, take a look at what you could say bye too (and hello to lower costs).

8. Bundle up your bills

    Alternatively, if you’re not quite ready to give up on all your subscriptions or expenses (and fair enough), sometimes phone, media or utility providers offer deals when you bundle services. See if you can put any of your eggs in the same basket for a better price!

At the end of the day, bills are a necessity – but just like anything that’s with you for life, it’s worth getting to know them a little better and making sure you can pay them in a way that’s sustainable for you. So, get your “Cozzie Livs” on and start talking to your providers about lowering that bill – remember, you’re the customer!

If you’re looking for some other handy savings tips, check out this article on 5 easy lunchbox recipes for $12 and under. Or this piece on how habit stacking can help you achieve your financial goals.

Cost of living: 8 quick ways to save money on your monthly bills 
Financial Wellbeing Coach

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.