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With everyday living expenses climbing, staying on top of your finances can feel a bit overwhelming.

Feeling the cost of living rises in your hip-pocket? Find some more breathing space with these simple tips to help you take control of your finances and save. Developing some healthy money habits and finding more ways to save could help ease the squeeze on your household finances.

Clear debt as a priority

Make a plan to pay off any credit card debt as quickly as possible.  If you are carrying a credit card balance, make sure you’re using a low interest rate credit card so you aren’t paying more on interest than you need to. Credit card interest rates can vary significantly based on the type of card and whether points are offered.  Make sure you are choosing a credit card that will help you get on top of any credit card debt as soon as possible.

Review non-essential spending: Free up more of your budget to pay off your credit card debt. Non-essential spending covers the things we want but don’t actually need. Think non-essential household items, clothing, eating out and entertainment expenses.

  • Delay larger spends on things like appliances or furniture until you’ve got the money to pay for them up front and keep your credit card for emergency purchases that can’t wait.
  • Decrease your credit limit: put the handbrake on credit card spending. As you pay down your credit balance, reduce the limit on your credit card.
  • Use the budget planner on the Health Professionals Bank website to ensure you’re not spending more than you’re earning.

Get a home loan health check

With interest rates climbing, it’s the perfect time to get a home loan health check to make sure you’re getting the best value home loan for your circumstances. Depending on your financial situation and current loan details, refinancing your home loan could mean lower monthly repayments and significant interest savings over the life of your loan.

  • Better off overall test: when comparing home loan options, work out whether you’ll be ‘better off overall’. As well as interest rates, be sure to weigh up other loan features that could help you save over the long term. Think mortgage offset accounts or lower fees and charges.
  • Reach out to a Lending Specialist: a Health Professionals Bank lending expert can help you weigh up your options and find out if refinancing could help you save.

Use apps to compare and save

With sharp rises in energy and grocery costs as well as at the bowser, it can definitely pay to use smart apps and online resources to help you compare prices and save.

  • Use free petrol price apps: apps like Fuel Map Australia and Petrol Spy provide real time price updates across Australia to help you find the cheapest fuel prices near you.
  • Use supermarket comparison apps: check out apps like Wiselist that can help you save at the checkout by comparing prices between supermarkets before you hit the aisles.
  • Use price comparison websites: websites like Choice and Finder can help you find the best value (and quality) options for your needs from mobile phones to white goods and insurance.

Do an audit of your bills

One healthy financial habit that you can put in place right away is to do an audit to see if you could save on your energy, insurance or telco bills. The rates you’re paying now may have gone up since you first signed up with your existing service provider, which means you could be missing out on a better deal with someone else.

What about services you still pay for that you no longer use? Or private health premiums you no longer need or aren’t making the most of? Now’s the time to review your existing plans, insurances and memberships.

  • Compare bill plans and prices: don’t forget to include credit– it’s common to get a great introductory rate or ‘fee-free’ offer from a credit provider only to transition on to a much higher rate once your ‘honeymoon’ period expires. Make sure the rates and fees you’re paying for your utilities and credit card are still competitive.
  • Review transactions for recurring expenses: Go through your account transactions for the last few months and you might be surprised by what you find. Are there things you’re paying for that you could do without or don’t use? Think fitness memberships that you don’t make the most of? Multiple entertainment or app subscriptions? Now’s the time to review and save.
  • For Health Professionals Bank members did you know you can track your spending now? Download our Mobile Banking App. Know where your money is going with the ‘How I Spend’ feature. Track your spending for the month across different categories.

Make some cash and declutter

Selling second hand household items is an easy way to make some quick cash to put towards bills or to build a financial resilience buffer in case of unexpected expenses or rate rises. If there are unused items lying around your home you can list them for sale on places like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace to top up your funds.

  • Do a sweep of your home and garage: don’t forget to go through the cupboards – it’s often where we stash unused items like kitchen appliances, old kids’ toys and more.
  • Use the 12 month test: ask yourself have I used this in the last year and am I likely to use it in the next 12 months? If the answer is “no”, it’s time to go!

With everyday living expenses climbing, staying on top of your finances can feel a bit overwhelming. It’s important to remember there are simple things we can all do to take control of our finances and boost our financial wellbeing for more peace of mind.

Search our website for “Saving” to find more on this topic

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Material contained in Scope is for information only. It comes from a number of sources. Some of the content is provided by external writers. You should make your own enquiries regarding any activity, product or service referred to. This page offers links to other third party websites. When you click on these links you will leave the Bank’s website and will be directed to another site. These sites are not under the control of the Bank. Any advice provided within the various articles in Scope is of a general nature only and should not be construed as providing advice on any of the topics discussed. Your needs and financial circumstances have not been taken into account. Membership eligibility applies to join the Bank. Membership is open to citizens or permanent residents of Australia who are current or retired employees in the Australian health sector or are family members of members (i.e. shareholders) of the Bank. Health Professionals Bank is a division of Teachers Mutual Bank Limited ABN 30 087 650 459 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238981.