How to give yourself a pay rise
Kristen Hartnett, is a financial counsellor for the Salvation Army, and she said that saving money often took bit of time and research but was worth the effort.
"I think the big thing is to be organised, to be interested in where your money is going," Ms Hartnett said.
"As they say, 'money not spent is money saved'."
Here are some tips on where people can make savings in their budget, adopting even one of these can make a difference.
1. Track your spending
If you want to save money you first have to identify where you are spending money. Write down a budget or use the MoneySmart app TrackMySPEND, to figure out where your money is going. Do you spend on sport, entertainment or groceries? This way you can identify the areas where you can make changes. You can get more information through the Salvo's financial literacy program You're The Boss.
2. Sign up for free customer rewards programs
Signing up for rewards programs, as long as there are no fees attached, can save you money as you will eventually save up enough points for a free voucher or discount. It's worth doing even if you don't visit the store regularly - you've got nothing to lose.
3. Get your paperwork in order
If you organise all your bills this will help you take advantage of things like discounts on your electricity bills for early payment, avoid paying late fees and take advantage of early bird offers such as discounts on your car registration when you pay in advance.
4. Get rid of high interest debt
Pay off your credit cards and other high interest debt, and don't incur more debt.
Look into interest-free credit cards and move as much of your money on to these cards as possible. Any money you can't shift, pay off this high-interest debt first. Keep shifting your money on to new cards once the interest free period ends. Moving your money before the interest-free period ends can ensure you keep these fees to a minimum.
You can also ring your credit card provider and ask them for a lower interest rate. Informing them that you are willing to shift your debt can motivate them to offer you a better deal.
The effort is worth it. Switching to a credit card with a zero interest rate can save you $560 a year on the average credit card balance of $3200.
5. Income tax refund
You may be eligible for a tax refund so get your paperwork in order and lodge that return.
Talk to your accountant or research what work-related expenses you can claim and even if you have never bothered to collect and organise receipts, resolve to start doing it this year.
It might seem silly to get a receipt printed for a couple of dollars but you might be surprised at how much a few dollars here and there can add up to over a year.
6. Re-assess your work related expenses
Work out how much you spend on travelling to work and assess whether it would be cheaper to drive, take the bus, train, walk or ride a bike. Save on transport by buying weekly, monthly or yearly tickets. Consider car pooling.
Rather than buying lunch, bring your own food from home. Do you really need that morning coffee from the cafe? If so, make sure you get your loyalty card stamped each time so you can eventually collect a free brew. You can also switch from getting a large coffee to a small one, or try a long black, it's usually 50c cheaper than a coffee with milk.
Saving just $10 a week can add up to $520 by the end of the year, enough for your Christmas shopping or to buy new tyres for your car.
7. Cash in on your assets
It's never been easier to make money online. Rent out your home on Airbnb or offer to take on odd jobs at Airtasker, sell your unwanted clothes or furniture on eBay or Gumtree, or join the increasing number of people making millions from posting YouTube videos.
If cyber saving scares you, hold a garage sale at home. You can tap into widely marketed events such as the Garage Sale Trail or clothing swap, which you can also do online.
Instead of buying new items, maybe you can get your shoes resoled. Give your clothes a new lease on life by mending any rips, replace the button that has stopped you from wearing that shirt, get that skirt you never wear shortened.
If you really want to buy something new, try waiting for 30 days and then ask yourself if you still want it. Often the urge will have passed.
Also, check out the local library, most modern facilities don't just offer books but also movies, magazines and music to borrow.
8. Make your contracts work for you
How much of your mobile data and phone credit are actually using every month? Perhaps you could drop to a cheaper plan?
Or check whether it is cheaper for you to bundle your home, mobile and internet contracts and/or your car and home insurance. Think about whether you really need a home phone line.
Don't just pay your car and home insurance every year when the bill arrives. It's worth checking to see if you are still getting the best deal. Companies often put up premiums each year for their existing clients but provide bargain rates to reel new ones in.
9. Food for thought
Don't eat any chocolate for 30 days, bulk buy grocery items and plan a homemade meal for every day of the week. Think about what you are going to eat before you do your weekly grocery shop and try to plan your meals around using up all the ingredients so you don't end up throwing away half of those expensive herbs.
Try to remember the price of items you buy regularly so you notice if they are cheaper at a different store you can stock up.
Grow your own vegetables at home and buy food that is in season as it will be cheaper. Shop around and avoid pre-packaged food, it tends to be more expensive.
When you are cooking make extra and freeze the portions so that you have ready-made meals available for when you feel lazy. This is a lot cheaper than takeaway, eating out or a pre-packaged meal.
10. Cancel unused memberships and subscriptions
Are you really getting the most out of your gym membership, magazine or music subscription? It's a good idea to check what you're being charged for as it's easy to sign up for something and then lose track of the regular payments coming out of your account.
If you have private health insurance, make sure it is covering what you really need, you may be paying for extras you don't use.
11. Offers too good to be true, usually are
Rent-to-buy is an expensive way to purchase products. For example paying $20 a week for a new washing machine over three years, means you will end up paying more than $3000. The equivalent interest rate could be more than 100 per cent, and you will have to make repayments even if it is stolen or damaged.
As an alternative, you should also be active about exploring options with shop assistants on how to pay off your purchases. For example, ask whether there is a lay-by service.
12. Look for a cheaper place to live
Rent is one of those expenses that you are stuck with every week, that you can't reduce and that generally goes up every year regardless of whether you get paid more. It's best to find a place that you can comfortably afford and maybe moving a little bit closer to work so transport is cheaper, or a bit further out of the city will give you more disposable income. You can also try and find a job closer to your home.
13. Save for a rainy day
Once you have got on top of your credit cards and other debts, make sure you set aside 10 per cent of your income.
This means that if you want to take a spontaneous bargain holiday, need to get your car fixed or see a sale on that new laptop you want, you can avoid putting it on your credit card and racking up interest on the debt.