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4 simple lifestyle changes that will save you over $5,000 a year

Australia was recently rated the world's fourth most expensive country to live in by the International Comparison Program. The “Lucky Country” now only trails Bermuda, Norway and Switzerland as the costliest place for your finances, well ahead of the United Kingdom and even Japan.


And with Canberra warning that the party is over for government handouts, there is no time like the present to start cleaning up your finances. 

Here are some attainable daily fixes to help get your personal budget back on track by saving more than $5,000 a year.

Saving $1,000 at work

Cut two takeaway coffees a week for an estimated $400 a year gain, while bringing lunch to work instead of buying could save another $500. Eliminate chocolates and other snacks for even more savings.

Estimated savings: $1,000 a year


Saving $1,000 while shopping

You could try the “handbag from hell” known as the ‘iBag', which reportedly tracks each time you take out your purse and sends an SMS to your “responsible other” each time you have had a spending relapse.

Alternatively, save money by doing a comparison online before haggling with a retailer – this particularly works for more expensive items such as electronics or furniture. For more shopping savings, purchase from eBay – you'll be amazed at the sheer volume of products – and no, it's not all junk!

Estimated savings: $1,000 a year


Saving $1,000 on your phone bill

Take advantage of Apps such as Line, Skype, Viber and WhatsApp to make free calls and text messages, as well as always connecting to any available free Wi-Fi.

Shop around when choosing a provider, as according to the regulator, the cost of choosing the wrong plan is around $1.5 billion a year for all Australians. Telcos are willing to offer better deals to customers willing to commit to 24-month plans, while getting rid of the home phone could save another $40 a month.

Estimated savings: $1,000 a year


Saving $2,000 on entertainment

If you don't mind receiving lots of emails, sign up to group discount sites as well as your favourite bars, restaurants and comedy stores for their latest deals. There may be no such thing as a free lunch anymore, but there is still plenty of free entertainment on offer at local museums, art galleries and libraries, including free books, music and videos.

Australians spend an average of $3,900 a year on eating out so there are some easy savings obtainable by cooking at home, while halving the average alcohol intake will save $1,700 a year. Giving up smoking will put another $1,700 into your pocket instead of in the hands of Big Tobacco.

Estimated savings: $2,000 a year

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