If you are living in the big city in like Melbourne building an emergency fund can make a lot of difference. Making slight changes in your life can fatten your savings and help you budget better. Minor changes can make a significant difference to your bank balance and save few dollars will help you to manage your finance effectively. Whether you are a student who wants to save some money or someone who just arrived from overseas, these few simple things will make a huge change in your budget.
Grocery shopping is something you cannot avoid no matter which part of the world you travel to and compare to most countries groceries is expensive in Australia. If you do your grocery shopping wisely you will end up saving much more money. Coles and Woolworths are two major supermarket which sells all kind of groceries while small supermarkets like 7/11 are quite expensive. I would suggest you research both the supermarkets because the product which is expensive in Coles might be cheaper in Woolworths or vice versa. However, my personal favorite would be marketed which are so much cheaper and fresh than the supermarkets. Shopping from markets may help you to save more than half of the money you would spend else ware with the better quantity of food.
Renting a place in Melbourne is not so hard but it is not so cheap. Finding a decent place in a city with your personal space is almost impossible and will cost you half of your income. If you are working in a city and your workplace is walkable distance or in the range of free tram zone that is considered as you will be saving your transportation money. However, if that is not the case I would suggest you rent a proper unit or house in the suburb which is so much cheaper than the city and moving near to your workplace is another way to save money. Living with a family in a suburb is much cheaper than living in a city.
Take away food in Melbourne is as expensive as the city except for few places and if you always buy food from outside I bet you saving is almost impossible. My suggestion would avoid eating out and prepare your food from home. If you are a coffee person like me even buying small size latte from café will cost you more than 100 dollars a month and sometimes more. Drinking coffee from home will cost you less than 30 dollars in a month. Also, if you are a social person who always likes to go out, invite people over for dinner rather than going out and ask everyone to bring a plate of food. Avoid using the vending machine for drinks or water instead get bottled water from home.The food court in most of the shopping center gives takeaway food for half prices during closing time.
Choose the Right Plans
The developed country like Australia has more to offer to its citizen with good schemes and plans. Choosing a right plan will help you to get quality products and services for the cheaper price. If you travel every day using public transport, buying a monthly pass will help you to save much more compared to topping up daily. Weekly Myki pass is not a bad option as well. Even for your phone, you can choose cheaper plans according to your need. Depending on which you use most mobile data or international calls or only national calls you can compare different plans and choose the suitable network. Similarly choosing right electricity, water and internet provider is something you should be serious about as I have seen sometimes people are paying more than 200 dollars more because of an expensive provider.Also, apps like Groupon and Scoopon offers you pretty good deals for foods, massage, haircuts, travels etc.
There are many more ways you can budget your income. Try to use your credit card wisely and avoid temptation. Lock up your credit card for a month if you have no control over your spending and try to pay for things with cash. Research has found that if you carry cash you spend less than using the card. Carry only small amount of cash according to your need. If you are into branded stuff I would suggest you buy it when it is on sale like boxing day, Easter sale etc. Choose a bank like NAB who don’t charge you any monthly fees rather than the bank you charge you fees. Cancel your gym membership and walk instead. Instead of buying books and DVDs, become a member of library nearby your place and borrow. You can also use high-speed internet and printing and scanning are much cheaper than Officeworks. Get into the habit of checking your bank statements so you will know where you are spending more