September – and springtime – couldn’t come any sooner. Sure, we’ve had some lovely sunny days this winter, but those cold nights indoors and dark commutes to work are starting to take their toll. However, with less motivation to go out at night, one good thing to come out of winter is that it can be a great time to save. Let’s look at a few hacks to get you in the black.
1. Track expenses with ASIC’s TrackMySPEND
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) TrackMySPEND app allows users to log expenses such as weekly household budget, work and travel expenses, coffee and lunch. You can then nominate a spending limit per week, fortnight, month or year and try to stick to it. It’s a great way to check on your expense history and see where some savings could potentially be made.
2. Save on transport with off-peak travel
With the rise of flexible work and people moving further away from the CBD, more and more commuters are becoming savvy with their travel expenses. In New South Wales, Opal train fares are discounted by 30% for travel outside peak times on the Opal network. Chris* gets to Thirroul train station prior to 6am in order to get off-peak travel for his trip into the Sydney CBD. He saves about $3 a trip, which equates to $780 over the course of a year. The same goes for Queensland where off peak fares are discounted by 20% and Victoria, where travel before 7.15am is free.
3. Refinance your home loan with uno
Photo by [Erol Ahmed]
uno Home Loans is an online mortgage broker that combines smart tech with expert advice. Its technology compares your existing home loan with thousands of other loans on the market and returns the products that best suit your needs – without impacting your credit score. So far in 2018, uno has helped customers save an average of more than $53,000 each over the life of their loan^.
4. Track your energy usage with the Powershop app
The Powershop app – and other energy apps like it – let you see how much electricity and gas you're using and what it costs, prior to paying for it. You can work out where you can cut back and forecast future usage and costs at the same time. The app now lets you view your solar feed-in data too, showing you the total daily feed-in as well as a half hourly feed-in. You can also pay for power before your bill arrives – and get discounts for doing so.
5. Save on takeaways with My Muscle Chef
Getting takeaway when it’s cold outside is a tempting way to fuel the body – but an expensive one too. My Muscle Chef lets you select meal plans based on your goals or preferences, for example muscle gain, weight loss or eating vegetarian. Meals start at $7.50 each, they're delivered to your door, and you can order in bulk and stock up the freezer.
6. Get wine delivered from Vinomofo
Ordering wine online is the perfect option for winter when it’s too cold to trek to the bottle-o and too costly to go out drinking with your mates every night. Online wine retailer Vinomofo has some lovely winter reds on offer – think shiraz, malbec and pinot (“I’m not drinking merlot!”) that pair beautifully with rich winter stews and slow-cooked meals. They offer mixed cases at more than 50% off the retail price and shipping is free when you order three or more cases in the one order.
*Not their real names
^Average savings figure of uno customers who switched their home loan for a lower interest rate between January 2018 and May 2018, assuming minimum monthly repayments remain constant for the life of the loan.