8 Practical Strategies to Combat The Rising Cost of Living

13 October, 2023

In an era of escalating living expenses, it's essential to adopt smart financial strategies to keep your budget in check. At Central West Credit Union, we understand the importance of managing your finances effectively. With the rising cost of living, it's crucial to make every dollar count. Here are ten practical tips to help you beat the rising cost of living while making the most of your financial resources.

Evaluate Expenses and Subscriptions

When the pressure mounts, it's time to assess your major expenses. Consider reviewing your club memberships, society affiliations, gym subscriptions, and recurring bills. Explore options like switching from monthly to annual payments or temporarily scaling back to streamline your budget and save money. 

Don't let unused subscriptions drain your resources. Central West Credit Union suggests examining your subscribed services and thinking about eliminating redundant ones. List all your streaming services, like Netflix, Stan, Disney+, and Spotify. Consider which ones you can do without. 

You can also economise by sharing multi-screen subscriptions with friends. Many services allow multiple users on one account. Collaborate with friends and family to share the cost of premium plans.

Take a Break from Takeout

While takeout is convenient, it can put a dent in your disposable income. To resist temptation, remove takeout apps from your phone. Deleting takeout apps from your phone makes it less convenient to order food impulsively.

You can stock up your freezer with "fakeaway" alternatives to enjoy the real deal on special occasions. Or experiment with cooking your favourite restaurant dishes at home. It can be fun, cost-effective, and a great way to spend quality time with family while also helping you combat the cost of living pressures. 

Plan and Meal Prep

A well-structured meal plan can significantly impact your budget. Set aside some time each Sunday to plan your meals for the upcoming week, including snacks and desserts. Create a list of ingredients you'll need and stick to it when you shop. 

Preparing extra servings for leftovers is a cost-effective alternative to ordering takeout for lunch or on those low-energy evenings. This not only saves money but also time and effort.

Shop for Groceries Online

If you live in a town with Woolworths or Coles, they most likely offer a click-and-collect service. Ordering your groceries online is a great way to avoid overspending on impulse purchases. Many supermarkets update their weekly specials on Wednesdays, making it an ideal day to shop and capitalise on new offers.

Research from ING shows that Australians could save up to $1,360 annually by ordering groceries online, enabling you to monitor your spending in real-time.

Compare Energy Costs

As summer arrives, the inclination to seal the exits and rely heavily on air conditioning becomes tempting. Yet, the effectiveness of this strategy hinges on your cooling system's energy efficiency and the insulation quality of your home. A good rule of thumb is to cool the person, not the home. 

Once you've addressed these aspects, it's time to broaden your perspective on energy conservation. Cutting your energy costs can yield significant savings with minimal lifestyle changes. Consider using plug-in timers or turning off unnecessary gadgets ghosting power overnight or while you’re out, like your WiFi router, microwave, TV, etc.

You can also use your local government's comparison website to evaluate different energy providers based on your usage rate. In some regions, you may even qualify for rebates and incentives when you switch to more energy-efficient options or providers.

Organise Your Budget Categories

Now might be a good time to review how you manage your finances. Segregating your money into different categories - savings and discretionary spending - can help you prioritise your financial goals and distinguish between essential and non-essential expenses. 

Compare Petrol Prices

Fuel can be a budget sucker at the best of times, especially when prices are on the rise like they are now. Utilise apps like PetrolSpy or Fuel Check if you are in NSW, to compare petrol prices in your area, ensuring you always fill up at the lowest available rate.

You may also like to plan your refuelling trips to coincide with lower prices and avoid filling up when prices are at their peak.

Switch Your Bank Account

At Central West Credit Union, we offer many excellent options to help you achieve your financial goals. For example, Our eAccess Saver account is designed for those who prefer online and telephone banking. With competitive interest rates calculated on your daily balance and paid monthly, it's the ideal choice for members seeking to maximise the interest on their savings while maintaining the flexibility to access their funds whenever and wherever they need. 

Alternatively, if you requires transaction account with a competitive interest rate, our Cash Management Account is the answer. This account features a tiered interest structure that rewards you for saving more. With the convenience of a Visa access card, rediphone, redinet, and direct entry facilities, you have easy access to your funds. The more you save, the more your money grows, and the interest is based on your balance, not your deposit history.

Tackle the Cost of Living with CWCU

In today's economic climate, it's crucial to employ practical financial strategies to tackle the rising cost of living. At Central West Credit Union, we're committed to helping our members navigate their financial journey. By following these simple tips, you can better manage your budget and safeguard your financial future. 

To learn more about how Central West Credit Union can support your financial goals, please visit our website and discover a wide range of financial services and resources tailored to your needs. We're here to help you thrive in challenging economic times.


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