It may sound obvious - but the fundamental key to controlling your financial future is to spend less than you earn. Simple, eh? Well, not so fast!
Many people are totally unaware of exactly how much it costs them to live. We see this on a weekly basis, when customers are asked to detail their living expenses when applying for a loan. The majority of cost estimates are far too low.
We hope that you've been following the advice in our previous blog, and have kept an accurate record of exactly how much you really do spend per week. You should now have a very accurate idea of your living expenses.
The next step is to work out how you can reduce these living expenses to produce real savings.
Every household has four main areas of expenditure - the rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and then 'discretionary' spending, which covers almost every other area of spending where you have a choice how much you spend.
If you are renting, and have a fixed-term lease, there's not a lot you can do to reduce the cost of your rent. If you own your own home, then in future blogs we will discuss different options you have when re-financing your mortgage.
There are frequently ways you can achieve savings on your utility bills. When was the last time you looked at your gas, water and elecricity bills, and asked your service providers if there are any better deals around? Sometimes it only takes one phone call to find out about special offers or new plans which give you better value, or are more appropriate for you and your family.
It is possible to make substantial savings just by comparing costs and talking to your service providers - and asking them if they are prepared to price-match an offer from a competitor.
There's also a useful government website called Energy Made Easy which assists customers to compare energy providers - see https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/. This site also includes useful calculators so you can compare your energy usage, as well as finding out about special offers and promotions from a variety of providers of gas, electricity and solar electric providers.
The same applies to your phone and internet plans. When was the last time you compared phone plans or looked to switch carriers to get a better deal? A website such as Whistleout can help you compare plans and offers - see https://www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones.
It may seem insignificant to save just $10 or $15 on a monthly phone plan, but always remember these savings are cumulative, and over the space of a year you could find small savings in several different areas really do add up.
Make a note of any savings you manage to achieve, and re-adjust your living expenses calculator when you have finished. You may be surprised what a difference a few small savings can make in a year!
In our next blog we'll be talking about how to achieve savings in food and household costs - so if you have any great savings ideas please enter our savings tips competition - and contact us with your bright ideas!
Please give us a 'like ' on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/MortgageChoiceInNoarlunga and stay tuned for more savings advice next week.