Are you finding your money isn't going as far at the moment? Take control of your cash with these eight tips from finance guru Ross Greenwood to help you save thousands of dollars in one year.
"We all know the cost of living is up and saving can be hard, but we've done a few calculations and worked out that you could save up to $8000 a year and surprisingly it's easier than you think," Greenwood told Nine's Today show.
Stop paying ATM fees
Australians wasted around $56 million accessing their own money at the ATM at Christmas time last year, simply by using automatic teller machines serviced by a bank that is not their own, according to RateCity calculations.
Agreeing to a non-account holder surcharge of around $2 per transaction may seem minimal at the ATM. But consider the nation's annual bill for such convenience; transaction account customers racked up almost $660 million in 2011 using the wrong ATMs.
"If you don't use your own you're going to be charged $2 or $3 a time. If you do this once a week that's going to add up to $150 a year," said Greenwood.
Lotto isn't a savings plan
If you bought just one ticket in October's $50 million Oz Lotto draw, your chances of winning were just one in almost 45.4 million. Despite this, around 3.8 million were purchased for the draw.
A lot of people bought a lot of tickets in the hope of changing their lives forever. But is the cost of a ticket really worth it?
"A mega-pick costs $25 a week in Oz Lotto, which equates to $1750 a year. Sure if you can afford it no problems, but if you can't it's an easy saving," said Greenwood.
Coffee is a luxury item
Australia is a nation of coffee drinkers, according to analysis which shows an expanding café culture.
In 2010, Australians spent around $773.5 million on coffee beans and instant coffee for brewing at home – and that's not taking into the consideration the amount we spend on takeaway coffee or coffee consumed in a café.
"I love a coffee, but the truth is do I really need it or is it something that's a bit of a luxury? At $3.50 a day during your working life that's going to be at least $700 a year," said Greenwood.
Quit and save $2500
"If it's not all about your health, then certainly it's a cancer on your budget," he said.
"Take this for a consideration; a packet of cigarettes these days costs around $16, smoke three packets a week that's $48 and over the course of a year it's $2500".
Unused subscriptions waste $840
"Anything you subscribe to but don't use is a waste of money. People with unused gym memberships are the worst offenders; most gyms cost about $70 a month, if you never or rarely go you could be saving $840 a year," said Greenwood.
"The same applies to magazine subscriptions, book clubs and wine offers – these are one area you can cut back."
Cut your grocery bill
If cleaning out your fridge each week supplies you with a steady diet of frustration and guilt, then consider this: Australians waste an estimated 4 million tonnes of food annually. Up to 40 percent of the average kerbside garbage bin is food; that's equivalent to 178 kilos, and over $1000, per person every year in the bin, according to the Foodwise campaign.
But consuming food that would otherwise go to waste, or simply buying less, isn't the only way to cut grocery costs, according to Greenwood.
"It's all about shopping smart. Take branded flour, for example, at $2.99, yet the generic flour is just $0.95. It's the same stuff! If you shop smart and generic you can save up to $450 a year."
Eat out fortnightly and save
If you take a family of four out once a week, even for pizza, it could cost you $60 or $70 if you throw a bottle of wine in as well, he said.
"That could cost you up to $3500 a year! If you want to save $1700, do it once a fortnight."
Sleep on it
Buying items on impulse is a big money waster, according to Greenwood, who suggests avoiding watching infomercials on TV.
"The message is "buy it now" and the reason is the urgency of the message wants you to part with your cash quickly without thinking and that's where you'll waste money," he said.
By implementing these simple savings tips, consumers could save up to $8000. So what will you do with the extra savings?