As Australian inflation surges, an expert shares how to save money

Nick Drewe, money-saving expert at WeThrift

Inflation surges have been experienced in Australia, climbing by 3.5%, meaning that an individual may have to pay an extra $500 every month for their mortgage.

With the cost of petrol and building materials increasingly soaring, Westpac, Australia’s second-largest bank, is also forecasting six RBA rate rises within the next two years.

Nick Drewe from WeThrift, shares tips on saving money on energy bills, tax and other daily costs including supermarket shopping and travel and ahead of the upcoming hike.

Keep checking your bills regularly

Whilst some energy suppliers have either made changes to tariffs or make mistakes when charging customers, it’s always a good idea to check your regular household bills.

With winter approaching, those who continue to work from home or have flexible conditions may opt to stay at home, thus bills for water, energy and mobile data may increase.

Research before choosing a supplier

As bill payers choose an energy supplier they are familiar with, this isn’t always the most cost effective option. Delve into a wide range of energy suppliers and compare their prices.

Also note, if you are looking to switch energy suppliers, be sure to analyse each company’s exit fees, and opt for one that won’t charge the earth if you want to leave.

Understand your energy bill

Whilst there are many terms and conditions, attempt to understand the information related to your energy tariff and household consumption to keep the costs of your bills down.

The personal projection on the bill is the amount of money that your household is expected to spend over the next 12 months, and the tariff comparison rate figure facilitates an individual to understand how much they are spending per kilowatt-hour of gas and electricity.

Knowing this information will make it easier when comparing energy deals if you are planning to switch to a cheaper one, or help you monitor your current energy consumption.

Book travel tickets early

“If you’re someone who likes to plan ahead for the coming months, then this could help you make significant savings when it comes to booking your rail travel.”

“Securing your train tickets months ahead of time can benefit you when it comes to saving pennies. Always try to book train times that don’t clash with rush hour periods too.”

Look for discounts codes before ordering takeaways

“If you’re treating yourself to a well-deserved takeaway, before clicking ‘checkout’ on sites like Deliveroo or Menulog, it’s always worth a search on voucher sites for any discount codes or free delivery incentives that could knock your basket price down.”

“Always check your emails for any promotional vouchers that may have been sent following your last order. Often delivery couriers will offer customers small incentives ahead of their next purchase to retain their loyalty and avoid them being tempted to order elsewhere.”

“Deliveroo clients can ‘Refer a friend , which will secure both of you $10 off your next order.”

Find the best exchange rates

“With foreign travel allowed, many are looking for a getaway to enjoy some sand and sun.”

“Despite booking a last-minute trip, when it comes to gathering your currency, it is best not to exchange your money last minute at the airport. This is because the rates are generally much less favourable than online or high-street alternatives, therefore preparation is key.”

“When booking a last-minute getaway break, try to order your euros for collection in advance of your travel dates in order to take advantage of the best possible exchange rates.”

“A money travel card helps to get the best rates and whilst it doesn’t replace having currency in hand, you can use these at no cost for spending or withdrawing from a cash machine.”

Time your grocery trips wisely

“Try to time your grocery trips for when your local stores are likely to have just added yellow ‘reduced’ stickers to stock that needs to be sold that day.”

“Making the most of discounted deals will help you to fill your freezer with discounted meat, fish and freezer meals for cheaper food options in the coming days and weeks.”

“Workers will start discounting products that are about to pass their sell-by-date later on in the afternoon or early evening, so a food shop after work is the perfect time to grab a  bargain.”

“Many supermarkets also have clearance sections where products that cannot be sold at their RRP or may have damaged packaging can be found. Just make sure to check you are happy with the item and that the goods aren’t compromised before heading to the checkout.”

Cancel any unnecessary direct debits

Now is the perfect time to log on to your online banking and scour your direct debits and standing orders to see if you can cancel anything that’s become an unnecessary spend.

Whether it be a gym membership you aren’t quite getting your money’s worth for, or a streaming service you signed up for during lockdown that you no longer make the most of, cutting these small outgoings will make a difference to your bank balance in the long run.

Additionally, make sure that all of your monthly direct debits look correct, and if there is any questionable outgoing transactions from your account to immediately attend to them.