Money saving ideas for dual-income families
When two people in a relationship are already working long hours the last thing they want to do is save money through more time consuming work at home. The good news is there are plenty of ways to save money even when time is short. Check out our top money saving tips for double-income households below.
Use your mortgage offset account
If you have a mortgage with an offset facility, arrange to have your salaries paid directly into it. This will significantly reduce your monthly interest bill and help you to pay off your loan sooner.
Keep track of your budget and set a savings goal
It’s hard to save money when you don’t have a specific figure in mind or know exactly how much is coming in and going out. Spend half a day going over your bank statements from the past year and break down your income and expenses on a spreadsheet. You might be surprised at just how much you’re spending at the local take-away each month.
Once you set a goal for how much you’d like to save, you’ll feel more in control and a lot better about cutting back on some of those things that can be hard to let go of at first. Brainstorm how you can replace them with more cost effective alternatives (a cheaper ready-made meal bought from the supermarket for example) so it’s easier to make the change.
Refinance onto a better rate
It’s important to assess your loan annually or at least every few years to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the market and the loan best suited to your circumstances.
Since costly home loan exit fees were banned in Australia in 2011, it’s become a lot more economical for homeowners to change lenders. Be sure to do your research and crunch your numbers though as there are still costs involved to jump ship. Make sure it’s worth the move.
Transfer credit card debts
Some lenders will allow you to transfer the balance of your existing credit card with a high rate of interest into a no-interest account for a fixed period. Budget wisely to have it paid off in time so high interest fees don’t kick in again.
After that, always make sure you pay off your credit cards within the ongoing interest free period each month. If you can’t, the hard truth is you’re spending above your means and need to check your budget to find out where you can save.
Don’t buy smashed avocado on toast in cafes
Only kidding – just checking if you were still paying attention!
Change electricity suppliers
There is a lot of competition on the market these days for electricity with savings to be made in the hundreds. Make sure you check your rates annually and shop around online for the best deal.
Cancel your gym membership
For many of you this might be a sigh of relief, but for others it will mean saying goodbye to one of your favourite past times.
It’s easy to exercise for free. Take a walk, a run, invest in a weight set or buy a few exercise DVDs.
If you need the motivation, work on putting your all-time favourite workout music playlist together and pump up the volume to get yourself moving. Even better, make a regular time to workout with a friend to keep each other on track. If all else fails, watch “that” Rocky scene and you’ll be searching for a flight of stairs to run up before you know it.