This week the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that inflation had risen 1.8 per cent in the June quarter and 6.1 per cent annually. That’s on top of interest rates which have risen 1.25 per cent over the last three months and are expected to keep going up until the end of the year.
With that in mind, Australians are feeling the pressure on their wallets. We’ve compiled a list of the top 100 tips to help you deal with inflation and save some money in 2022.
World’s Best Savings Tips 1 – 10
1) Change just one habit. It’s easy to think about making pain-free savings – finding cheaper ways to keep doing and buying the same things. But sometimes you’ll need to make painful savings and consider cutting things out. We’ve dispelled the myth that cutting down on smashed avo on toast will buy you a house. But you will notice a small change, whether it’s visiting the library instead of Amazon, or cancelling your gym membership.
2) Set a goal and save with a buddy. Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest and most financially sensible men of all time, gives the following advice: “Don’t save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.” A good rule of thumb is the 50-30-20 rule where you spend 50 per cent on your needs, 30 per cent on your wants and then you save 20 per cent. It can seem lonely bringing lunch to work when everyone else is out for sushi, so set some short term saving goals with a friend.
3) Avoid fashion impulse buying. Not only do clothes contribute to landfill, they also cost money. Op shops, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are bulging with hardly-worn clothes. If you’re going to buy something new, avoid dry-clean only and follow the care instructions to ensure the clothes last longer.
4) Save on food and groceries. We’ve recently compared supermarkets and meal boxes to bring you the best value. Seasonal produce at less than half the price. Cooking in bulk and freezing the leftovers can also save you money and reduce any supermarket temptations.
5) Save on electricity and water. Read our energy saving tips and, really, consider switching if you can. This applies to most products and services that you use. Always look for a cheaper alternative.
6) Reduce the cost of your debt. Buffett cautions against having any credit card debt at all but assuming you’re not a billionaire, calculate how fast you can pay it off. And did you know you can get paid for having a mortgage?
7) Reduce your bank fees and make your savings work for you. Some banks offer a basic bank account with zero fees. We’ve looked at online savings accounts but also consider lending your money out on Ratesetter, a peer-to-peer lending platform which can offer you a return of up to 9%.
8) Take $5 notes out of your wallet and save them – the old piggy bank idea still works! Set a target and bank them into your emergency fund when you reach 200 and start again.
10) Buy term life insurance. This is a cheaper option compared to insurance that is bundled with an investment.
World’s Best Savings Tips 11 – 20: Budgeting at home and shopping
11) Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. This can save litres of water, keep wastage down and cut back on your water bill.
12) Take shorter showers – not only will it help you save water, it will also save on electricity bills.
13) Don’t turn up your thermostat too high in winter despite the chill as this will help cut back on your electricity bill.
14) Unplug your laptop and other appliances when you are not using them. Leaving your computer on all day is a waste of money.
15) Convert to high efficient appliances or low-flush toilets when your current ones need replacing.
16) Always make a shopping list before you hit the grocery store and stick to it. See more supermarket shopping tips here!
17) Buy produce or fruit when they are in season – not only do they taste better, they are often cheaper.
18) Buy the floor model when looking for a big-ticket item such as a washing machine, you often will get a handsome discount.
19) Buy last year’s model when shopping for electronics – they are cheaper and you can still negotiate a healthy sale price.
20) Buy chocolates, decorations and wrapping paper the day after a major holiday like Easter or Christmas, they are so much cheaper.
World’s Best Savings Tips 21 – 30: Travel, food and entertainment
21) When eating out, find a seat at the bar where you’ll find better deals and cheaper fare.
22) Look out for restaurants that allow kids to eat for free on certain designated nights.
23) Order drinks on happy-hour specials.
24) Always buy everyday items like batteries, bottled water and vitamins in bulk. They work out to be much cheaper.
25) Avoid buying pre-cut produce at supermarkets – you are more likely to pay four times as much for the convenience of pineapple chunks or carrot sticks
26) Stock up on wine and liquor the day after a major holiday as they are often on discount.
27) Invest in a slow cooker, not only does it make delicious meals while you are at work, it also provides lots of leftovers to go around.
28) If you are flying off on a holiday soon, avoid expensive bottled water at the airport after going through security. Take an empty water bottle and fill it up at a free drinking fountain.
29) Instead of buying books, go to the local library and borrow them.
30) Cancel your gym membership and exercise outside in the park. You can also watch personal trainers’ classes on YouTube for free.
World’s Best Savings Tips 31 – 40: Everyday spending
31) Top American money wizard Warren Buffet says: “Don’t save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.’’
32) Always check if you are eligible for a tax refund and see what expenses you can claim so you can increase the size of it.
33) Open a savings plan account that will deter you from making withdrawals like a long-term deposit which has penalties for pulling out before the end of the term.
34) Open a basic bank account with zero fees – this will help reduce your bank fees and make your savings work for you.
35) Open accounts for different projects like holidays, money for paying bills or home deposits. This will help track your progress.
36) Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account after payday. This will make sure you won’t have time to miss the money, and will help you to gradually improve your financial situation.
37) Set a budget. Use a budget calculator to work out your regular expenses, understand where your money goes and find out how much you need to put aside each payday.
38) Consolidate your debt. Get rid of extra credit cards and opt for a simple card with lower interest rates and less fees.
39) Buy cotton wool from the aisle selling baby items – they are often cheaper.
40) Delay gratification – Avoid impulse buying by putting off any purchase that is not essential.
World’s Best Savings Tips 41 – 50: Banking, subscriptions and freebies
41) Nickname your accounts. Research proves this creates an emotional connection that motivates you to save more in the long run and will help you to not dip into your savings.
42) Set up automatic transfers to savings and investment accounts after payday. Don’t give yourself time to miss the money!
43) Get a cash-back credit card to earn money as you spend.
44) Get a ‘free lunch’ on your birthday. Find businesses (like cinemas or restaurants) that give you a freebie on your birthday and remember to take advantage!
45) Take cash out while you are at the supermarket to avoid out-of-network ATMs and the additional costs that come with them.
46) Stop paying maintenance and other hidden fees for your bank account. Shop around for a free account.
47) Transfer your savings to a high-yield account. There’s no point having lots of unused money sitting in your normal savings account.
48) Raid your drawers for unused gift cards. If you have any lying around, try to either use them up or regift them. Just check the expiration dates first!
49) Grab digital freebies whenever you can. If a movie is free on Google Play for a promotion or an app is free on the Apple Store for a couple of weeks, be sure to take it.
50) Cancel subscriptions to services you don’t use anymore. If you aren’t watching Netflix much, going to the gym or you don’t need that food box delivery anymore, stop renewing them.
World’s Best Savings Tips 51 – 80: Supermarket and food spending
51) Shop after 7 pm at supermarkets, many drop their prices in the evenings when they know they have to shift perishable products before the end of the day.
52) Shop alone, people who shop as a couple tend to put more in their trolley as each person will have their own idea on what’s important and should be purchased.
53) Don’t ask: “What’s the cheapest way to get all the goodies I want?” Instead ask yourself: “On my budget of $xxx, what can I afford?”
54) Don’t believe in brand hypnosis. Whether it is bacon, biscuits or baked beans, if something costs more, it’s got to be better, right? The answer is wrong.
55) Try dropping one brand level on everything you buy. If you can’t tell the difference, stick to the cheaper one.
56) Many people tend to buy branded washing powders, shower gels and other cleaning products. The savings are huge if you scale back and buy home brands instead. After all, many of the products are made at the same factories.
57) Just because a supermarket lists an item as “on offer”, it does not mean that it is cheap. Always use unit pricing to compare value for money, check the price per 100 grams and choose the cheaper option.
58) Avoid the extras – products offering 100grams extra for little cost often mean you don’t save money because you’ll eat more.
59) Avoid big supermarkets if you only need to top up a few things. You are better off in a small store as it takes more effort to get around a big supermarket and you may be tempted to stock up more.
60) Last-minute temptations such as lollies, chocolates and magazines are located near the checkout to entice bored and tired shoppers while they wait to be served. Try to resist!
61) Plan your meals for the week before you shop. Then just buy what’s on the menu.
62) Shop on a full stomach. You will buy fewer snacks and treats.
63) Try not to shop when you are tired or worn out after a busy day. It’s much easier to focus and make wise choices when you are fresh and full of energy.
64) Shop only once a week. You tend to spend more if you stop at the supermarket several times a week.
65) Even if you stick to a shopping list, you should always shop with a calculator and add things up as you put them in your cart – you will be surprised how quickly your grocery bill mounts up.
66) Every time you arrive at the check-out counter, look into your cart and pick three to five non-essential items you don’t really need. There will be things which you will not need till next week so you don’t really have to buy them now.
67) If you are on a tight budget, stick to cash when grocery shopping. This creates a barrier around how much you are going to spend and forces you to stick to buying what you can afford.
68) Ditch the plastic credit card. Many consumers say they have become so “swipe-happy” that they end up buying far too much when they visit the supermarket.
69) Clean out your fridge once a month. Use up what you bought before buying more.
70) Organise your food storage cupboards and drawers. If you don’t know what you have or can’t find what you bought, you’ll end up buying more of the same unnecessarily.
71) Beanz meanz savings. You can save $10 or more choosing protein-packed beans, chickpeas and lentils instead of animal protein like chicken or beef, according to Good Housekeeping’s food and nutrition savers.
72) Say nuts to that. Use nuts and seeds instead of small goods like deli meats and save about $10. Cutting back on deli meat for peanut butter and similar products makes for a more nutritious lunch choice that is an affordable way to get additional fibre.
73) My slim Greek wedding. Have low-fat Greek yoghurt instead of tempting smoothies. According to Good Housekeeping, unsweetened Greek-style yoghurt can save you $13 versus some “sweetened” smoothie drinks that you find at the supermarket.
74) Say cheese – cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is always a favourite when stocking up on nutrition and cutting back on spending. It’s a more nutritious and affordable replacement for other cheeses.
75) It’s no yolk… Add eggs to just about anything, from vegetables to soups and chilli.
76) Catch of the day in a can. Canned fish is reasonably priced, lasts a long time and is good for you.
77) Be a fresh food person. Eat fresh – but buy what’s in season, and consider stocking up when you find a good deal.
78) Cheap is cool! Don’t be afraid to hit the sale corner, or follow that sales assistant with the marker pen. She’s probably slashing the prices of anything that goes out of date in 48 hours.
79) Be an adventurous carnivore. You don’t have to give up meat just because you’re saving. Try chicken thighs and get a slow cooker to produce sumptuous meals from slightly tougher cuts.
80) Some like it hot! Indian and Mexican dishes use lots of beans and rice – good, inexpensive staples produced with fabulous rich sauces that don’t cost much to buy or make.
World’s Best Savings Tips 81-90: Household bills
81) Consider whether you should take a bath or shower. If you shower in 10 minutes or less, showering uses less water than a bath. But if you tend to take a longer time washing, you may want to consider a bath – especially if your tub is on the smaller side.
82) While waiting for the shower water to warm up, save the cold water in a bucket and use it in the garden or to water your pot plants.
83) Use your dishwasher. They generally use a lot less water than washing your dishes by hand in the sink.
84) Avoid rinsing dishes under a running tap. It wastes a lot of water.
85) Use a front loader. They use a lot less water than top loaders.
86) Wash clothes in cold water and lower the temperature on your hot water system to 60 C.
87) Turn down your gas heater by a few degrees. It will save you money on your bill.
88) Use a trigger nozzle if you are washing your car with a hose. Turn the water off when sponging the car.
89) Don’t renew your car insurance without shopping around for a better deal. You can save hundreds of dollars on green slip renewals with services like the Motor Accident Authority’s green slip comparison page for NSW.
90) Cut back on coffee and alcohol drinking – it will not only save money, but can also improve your health.
World’s Best Savings Tips 81 – 90: Driving
91) Make your car more fuel-efficient. You can do this by keeping your tyres inflated. If the tyre pressure is low, it increases the drag on the car which means you will use more fuel.
92) Declutter your car. The lighter your car, the less effort it needs to accelerate. You can save on fuel by clearing your junk from the boot.
93) Take your roof rack off. A roof rack adds wind resistance to the car which makes your engine work harder.
94) You should also turn off the air-conditioning when you don’t need it. Air conditioning uses an incredible amount of fuel.
95) Drive more efficiently. Accelerate gradually without over-revving. If you press hard on the pedal, you will use more fuel.
96) Change up a gear sooner than later. Always drive in the highest gear possible without labouring your engine.
97) The brake is a money burner. Give yourself time to slow your car down gradually. Good road positioning is crucial for this.
98) Find the cheapest petrol or diesel prices. There are several apps available to find cheap petrol near you. Try the Motormouth app, fuelcheck.nsw.gov.au is another online tool designed to provide real-time information about petrol prices at every station across NSW. You can also use petrolspy.com.au
99) It is not necessary to have a full tank as it adds weight to the car and your car will use more fuel.
100) Carpooling with friends and neighbours is a good way of sharing costs. You can take turns using different cars to work.
Whew! Congratulations to everyone who made it through the entire list – you must really be determined to save some money! If you’ve put any of the ideas above into practice, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
That’s it for now! We hope that you’ve found the ‘World’s Best Tips to deal with inflation’ useful. Stay tuned for lots more! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get them as soon as they are published.