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September 11 - Interest rates and living costs

Source: Lisa Montgomery, Chief Executive Officer, Resi Mortgage Corporation

If we look at where interest rates are at the moment from a historical perspective, Australian borrowers are not paying as much in repayments than they were even four years ago.

But borrowers are still tightening their financial belts to balance their budget, and for many it’s rising household costs that are becoming their main concern.

So with a current moratorium on rate rises, what are some of the more savvy ways borrowers are finding to curb the rises in household costs in order to boost their cash flow?

UTILITY COSTS

Simply switching appliances off at the main when you’re not using them can significantly reduce energy use over time. So too can limiting use of the clothes dryer, turning off lights and only using the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load.

FOOD

Being organised with your meal planning so you can buy food in bulk can save you significantly at the checkout. Going regularly to the markets and buying what you can at bulk discount outlets has the cumulative effect of reducing your spend over the course of a year.

PETROL

Prices are set to rise again, according to the latest news reports so be mindful of what days you see prices at their lowest, keep hold of any discount vouchers and if you can, leave the car at home and car pool.

HEALTH

Private health insurance premiums can fluctuate significantly from year to year, so if you can shop around by researching online, you may be able to save a decent amount each month.

TRANSPORT

When you add up the cost of car maintenance, registration, insurance, petrol and parking, you may want to consider what you can save by leaving your car at home to go to work. Better still, if you can take public transport and walk as well – you can improve your health at the same time.

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