How to beat those (possibly non-existent) inflation blues



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Prices keep going up, up, up! Except, actually, they don’t, or at least not always.

A lot of things did, indeed, get more expensive during the 12 months to March 2019, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

But some things actually got cheaper – yes, really.

Average prices for all goods and services across Australia rose by just 1.3 per cent during the year – more a case of prices going ‘up’ than ‘up, up and up’.

Prices went down Prices went up
Communication = down 4.6% Education = up 2.9%
Furnishings, household equipment & services = down 0.6% Health = up 3.1%
Clothing & footwear = down 0.1% Alcohol & tobacco = up 6.4%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Consumer Price Index, March quarter

10 easy ways to save money

Whether prices are going up, down or sideways, it never hurts to save money.

So here are 10 ways you can reduce your expenses without seriously impacting your lifestyle.

Get cheaper power – use the federal government’s Energy Made Easy site to find cheaper electricity and gas options.

Switch phone plans – use a comparison website to research phone plans. There are so many providers out there, and the market is so competitive, that you may be able to find a plan that has a similar offering at a cheaper price.

Reduce your internet bill – do an online comparison search for internet plans. Again, competition is fierce, so it’s likely you’ll be able to find a better-value option.

Embrace coupons – bookmark free online sites like Groupon, RetailMeNot, Cuponation and OzBargain so you can get discounts on things you would’ve bought anyway.

Stop paying for credit cards – ditch your credit card if it charges an annual fee, and switch to one of the approximately 30 no-annual-fee credit cards in Australia. Also, pay off your entire credit card bill each month (i.e. before the end of the interest-free period). If you do that, you’ll never have to pay a cent in fees and interest again.

Inflation rate by capital city

  • Darwin = 0.4%
  • Perth = 1.1%
  • Melbourne = 1.2%
  • Adelaide = 1.3%
  • Sydney = 1.3%
  • Brisbane = 1.5%
  • Canberra = 1.8%
  • Hobart = 2.1%

Delay scratching your shopping itch – buy clothing, electronics and other discretionary purchases during regular sales periods, such as Boxing Day, end of financial year and Black Friday.

Cook more – hit the kitchen each weekend. Make a week’s worth of lunches you can take to work and dinners you can reheat when you get home. Eating out less is both cheaper and healthier.

Drive less – see if you can leave the car in the garage and travel by foot or public transport instead.

Read for free – replace your Amazon addiction with a library habit.

Reduce your heating bill – wear more clothes around the house during winter, so you can stay warm without cranking up the heater to 11.

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