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The cost of living is biting the best of us. Here are some ideas to help you navigate soaring prices - and save a buck along the way.

The cost of living is going up: Here are 19 quick ways to lessen that burden

The cost of living is biting the best of us. With inflation already here, the onus is now on you to spend your money more wisely. Here are some ideas to help you navigate soaring prices - and save a buck along the way.
3 minute read
The cost of living is biting the best of us. Here are some ideas to help you navigate soaring prices - and save a buck along the way.

From electricity to petrol and food, more of us are meticulously tracking our spending than we have in a long time. There's no way around it. The cost of living in Australia is rising steeply, and the months ahead are unlikely to offer us much reprieve.

If you're looking for ways to ease the pressure on your hip pocket, here are a few simple ways to make your dollar stretch that little bit further this month.

1. Go hunting for lost super and unclaimed money. Most people don’t know that there are billions of dollars just waiting for people to come along and claim what’s theirs! Check out the ATO and ASIC’s Unclaimed Money websites. 

2. Switch energy retailers! Check out local government comparison websites like Energy Made Easy or Victorian Energy Compare

3. Beat bowser price shock. A host of apps are available to help you find the cheapest day to fill up. Give Motormouth, Ezy St, or FuelMap Australia a go nationally. If you live in NSW, try FuelCheck. VIC is the only state which doesn’t mandate fuel price reporting, so try the RACV website.

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4. Have a go-to petrol station? See if they offer a member discount scheme. Look for the Coles & Woolies shopper dockets, RAC discount at Puma Emergy or 7-Eleven’s Fuel Price Lock.

5. Drive less. Or sell that second car if you’re not using it. If you can afford it, consider an electric vehicle.

6. Use cashback apps. These sites give you a % of your money back when you purchase from an online retailer when you access them from a link on the cashback site. Try CASHREWARDS or ShopBack.

7. Add money-saving extensions to your browser which search for discount codes and apply them to your shopping cart. Try Honey or Coupert.

8. Put everything in a spreadsheet so you know how much your food's costing you. If you have time, make the same shopping list on the Coles & Woolies website to compare which is cheaper - then go there.

9. Make sure you're getting all the concessions you're entitled to. Different state websites allow you to pop in your details and they'll tell you what rebates and pensioner discounts are available to you.

10. Switch your NBN and mobile plans to a different brand.

11. Compare your streaming services. If you’re still with Foxtel, see if you can get the same content for hundreds of dollars less via other streaming services.

12. Weigh up all those streaming subscriptions. Do you need them all? Pause one and turn it back on later if you need it. It's one less financial burden when the cost of living is high.

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13. Have an offset account and a credit card? Make the most of the interest-free days by putting your savings in the offset and expenses on the card. Just make sure you pay it off every month to avoid interest.

14. Drop those debts. Start with the biggest one with the highest interest rate, and start paying it off in instalments. 

15. Shop smarter. Look for half-price specials each week. Consider adding a second supermarket into your rotation - places like Aldi and Costco are great for bulk-buy non-perishables when they’re cheap!

16. Use those Flybuys and Woolies Rewards points for a discount on your next shop.

17. Refinance your mortgage (if it’s not super competitive). You might be able to get cashback for switching. 

18. Limit takeaway to once a week - eating out can be expensive.

19. Consider selling some stuff on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree - and keep an eye out for any free items while you’re there. 

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