Thank you for coming along on this journey. The last 4 weeks have all been about Owning your Numbers and allowing your mind to think about your past and current journey. Having these details in black and white and down on paper is such a tangible thing. It allows this information you have written down to swim around in your mind and also attract what you are thinking about. Like if you are thinking of your car insurance and how to best get this expense down you may start seeing insurance ads or you overhear people at work talking about insurance. Take note and ask around or call to see if you can reduce your expenses.
Curious to know what this week’s task is?
Your task this week is to highlight 2 items from each page (weekly, monthly, yearly) and write each one down on a separate page so that we can write some notes, websites, contact numbers and get some ‘quotes’ to see if you can reduce any of these. If you are going to target one of your ‘Debts’, then you can write your notes on the designated page you already created in Step 3. I will be checking my home loan/debt again to see if I can get another 0.01%+ off. Every dollar counts and it’s only a 10-20 minute phone call.
Just for curiosity sake – To give you an estimate of what the average Aussie spends, see below statistics from this reputable MoneySmart government site.
Review, Reduce and Remove Expenses
Now we get into the real nuts and bolts of your money management. You now have a picture of what you spend your money on so now we will dive into how you can CONTROL what you spend.
This section, from Step 5-7, is all about taking control of your numbers.
1. Call some of the companies you have expenses with, talk through options or ‘honeymoon periods’ Get some costs down if you can.
2. Review if you REALLY need the item, and perhaps for a short while, cancel. Things like entertainment packages, memberships, subscriptions. Perhaps DIY facials and nail/beauty expenses for a while until you are on track. More of this in Step 8.
3. Increase insurance EXCESS so it decreases your premium. This is really powerful, however, it is best to do this when you have some ‘funds’ up your sleeve. Like an emergency fund. We will talk a lot more about this in Step 8. You can call the companies now and at least ask the question about how much they would deduct if you increased your excess. As I mentioned we will be reminded of this in Step 8 when we discuss your safety net/emergency fund plans. If you DO have an emergency fund then if you are comfortable with increasing your excess, then go for it. Expenses like the below can be slashed significantly:
- Car insurance
- Home insurance
- Health insurance
- Income Protection (not excess but waiting periods can make a difference)
Try this week to reduce and remove as much as you can.
If you have been able to reduce an expense, go back to the specific expense page and adjust the expense. If you have removed the expense, then cross it out.
Making a ritual of focusing on your money is the most powerful thing you can do – Scott Pape, Barefoot Investor
Below are some ideas and links to help you out with this task. You can also refer to an older post I did in November 2020 when I went through and did this for us. Saved $2400 per year! Check it out here.
Go to your current provider’s website and see what they have for new plans. They can give you an update on how much you use to see which plan can suit you. Discuss options on how to reduce your current monthly expense.
Mine is with TPG and our current spend is $79 for unlimited broadband on the NBN at 50Mbps (I think that means how fast as I have noticed cheaper options but the Mbps are lower).
Perhaps even a total package with the Internet, entertainment, mobile phones bundled could work for you. I haven’t found a great saving bundling them up but you may find a good plan. Worth a try!
Check out Choice Magazine’s reviews and recommendations here.
Entertainment Accounts / Subscriptions
I have a few entertainment subscriptions and at present, we are keeping them active, however, we did reduce our Foxtel channels seeing we also have Netflix for movies, and my husband will increase those again when some of his sports come back (every little bit helps!).
Some of these expenses are under my ‘splurge account’ because they are my guilt-free expenses. More on this in Step 8. Perhaps share logins with family to save money, as you can sometimes have more than one device on the same subscription and share the cost.
- QOD book club
If you are in Australia, Aldi has some great family plans (the one we have is a BYO plan). Some international countries are also included, with unlimited calls & SMS. They also let unused data accumulate. Love this feature as its like I am saving data for a rainy day (love a good saving account)! They have from 2, 4 or 6 users.
Here is a resource you can use in Australia to help compare the market and give you the confidence to call your current supplier. Best to have an old invoice/bill handy so you can compare accurately.
Mortgage / Home Loans
There are so many ways to find interest rates and hundreds of options on the market. To keep this as simple as possible, check out your current bank/provider and see what they are advertising for potential customers. Check out the government-run page ‘Choosing a Home Loan‘ to see what the current average is for different home loans and perhaps one or two other providers. (I am with Macquarie and have called them every 3-6 months to inch my rate down as much as possible. I’m due for another review so will keep you posted on my sample pages!)
Government-run search on all health insurance (don’t use comparethemarket.com.au or iSelect, they don’t have all the insurance companies on their site). Best to research via this government-run website to capture all insurance companies that have health insurance.
Car insurance & Home and Content Insurance can be costly expenses.
Here are some things to think about:-
- What is your current excess? The higher your excess, the cheaper your premium
- Can you bundle all your insurances together to get a group discount?
- Can you pay monthly/yearly? Pay by credit card or BPay (different surcharges)?
Check what you are insuring is correct. Value, extra options, correct address, correct details about who is driving or if you have finance on the asset. These all play a part in how they determine your premium.
Good luck and I would love to hear from you with anything you have discovered at email@example.com
See you next week when we go through Step 6.