Most of us have had to tighten the budget to make ends meet, I’m sharing this post to perhaps help others and perhaps even get a little help myself. Inspired by my university studies on “Consumption Matters: Consumer Cultures and Identity”.
I use this Australian Bureau of Statistics document to compare my expenditure against others.
I breakdown my budget spreadsheet using the same categories then by year, month, fortnight, week then day and it can be a real eye opener. Note that I check the ozbargain.com.au website regularly for great bargains.
I used the government electricity comparison website https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/ to search for a suitable plan for our needs, this way you know there is no one being paid to promote certain plans. I ended up with Click Energy but there are a few noteworthy conditions, bills are emailed, direct debited to get the best discount. If you’re interested in joining them, save even more by a member referral https://www.clickenergy.com.au/about-us/forms/mates-rates/
I make use of public transport here in Brisbane and have a GO card – http://translink.com.au/tickets-and-fares/go-card
If I need to make a desperate trip around the city I use Uber
Save with a referral link – https://www.uber.com/invite/stevenc243
If travelling to and from the airport, where possible I use public transport for locals:
Brisbane: Translink Bus to DFO then free shuttle bus to the airport terminals and vice versa. Beware the shuttle bus only operates during certain times. Saves on paying a fortune on the Airport Train.
Melbourne: Public bus to Broadmeadows Train station then train to city. Takes longer but saves you a fair bit rather than the Skybus. Again I use a card called Myki for these trips.
Sydney: No real choice but airport train here, but use an Opal card to save money. https://www.opal.com.au/
Adelaide: A couple of times I’ve stayed in Glenelg, there is a public bus to this area to and from the airport.
When planning flights, I use a number of tools:
http://www.webjet.com.au to compare domestic options then book directly through airline website. Try using this link and change the required city name in the link http://www.webjet.com.au/flights/sydney/
The cheapest option is presented by each month, think click through to find what day it is available.
Like the facebook pages of Jetstar and Tiger to be the first to get bargain sales. Note if you must get to a destination in a tight timeframe you are best of with Virgin or Qantas, worth knowing if you need to make a connection.
Try paying through your bank account or direct debit card to increase your savings. Oh and if you find a cheaper flight than Jetstar within an hour of one of their scheduled flights you can user their price beat guarantee policy for a booking http://www.jetstar.com/au/en/what-we-offer/our-guarantees/price-beat-guarantee
I buy groceries from Coles as I prefer their product range as well as getting a discount as a member of our house is a staff member. We plan our meals in advance for the week and only buy what we need generally. We pop it into the Coles mobile app by searching or scanning the barcodes then we tick them off the app as it guides us by each isle in the store. We also use Flybuys to get greater discounts on our shopping. Note that anything you purchase and swipe with your flybuys is saved to the app so you can select it for future shopping lists.
I buy some staples through ALDI and where it is possible some bulk items through Costco. Always buy dishwasher tablets in bulk through catchoftheday.com.au or eBay resellers. I also buy batteries through catchoftheday.com.au.
When going out for a meal we use Zomato to compare places through reviews https://www.zomato.com/
I purchase my textbooks second hand through Amazon.com where possible, takes a few weeks but huge savings.
Ink & Toner, always buy generic through ebay.com.au and save a fortune.
Booking.com is my preferred site to book hotels
I generally buy new furniture from Super Amart or Ikea, rugs through eBay. Haven’t had to buy an appliance for a while but I’m tempted by appliancesonline.com.au best price guarantee and other aspects of their operation http://www.appliancesonline.com.au/our-prices.aspx
I’m located in an area that has a piece of technology called a RIM which essentially means that I have to use a Telstra ADSL2+ landline service with a traditional phone service connected. If you are connecting up anywhere I recommend Internode as your first company to call, their staff are quick to tell you what is technically available, they also resell aspects of the Telstra network. The staff are at a call centre in lovely Adelaide and in my experience are lovely to deal with. I am however considering switching to Belong when my contract is up do to a shorter or no contract period at a cheaper rate. If I had the Optus network available I would choose a company called Eftel although I don’t like supporting Optus as I believe they are still owned by the Singapore Government. Be careful when selecting services particularly unlimited plans as their contention rate differs (too many users online affect your speed).
I use a Voice Over Internet Protocol VOIP phone line service using a Mynetfone Neosaver plan https://www.mynetfone.com.au/whirlpool/VoIP/Plans
I don’t have my number listed at no cost and have enjoyed not having Telemarketers interfere with my life.
I’m with Vaya using the Optus 4G network where available on a Power Plan 18. http://www.vaya.net.au/?option=Mobile&4Gsimonly&plan=Power%20Plans
I buy my phones second hand through amazon.com
To find a private health plan I use the government comparison website, rather than paid comparison sites. http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/dynamic/compare.aspx
I’m lucky that I have a local pharmacy that collects scripts at a nearby box in an estate and then delivers them next day charging to my monthly account. I buy PBS through them and buy anything else through Chemist Warehouse.
I’m a Netflix subscriber and also purchase itunes cards on sale for use with Apple TV, I keep an eye on Harvey Norman 2 for 1 sales.
When watching movies in theatres, I try to choose Cineplex cinemas as they are much cheaper and have limited free parking available.
I use Westpac and ING Direct, I will never return to ANZ after their disgusting treatment.
I have Mastercard and Visa debit cards along with Mastercard and Amex credit cards of which I earn Qantas Frequent Flyers and rebates on the Amex. Note that I use either the Qantas Frequent Flyers of Virgin Velocity rewards sites before proceeding to purchase at online stores such as eBay so I gain frequent flyer points.