Simple money hacks to make life more affordable

6 July 2024

  • Consider selling unused items on platforms like eBay and Gumtree to fund new purchases while reducing clutter
  • Explore renting outfits for special occasions from wardrobe renting services to save money on seldom-worn expensive attire
  • Lower expenses by switching to water-efficient showerheads, shopping wisely at the supermarket, and finding the best deals on car insurance and fuel through apps like CommBank’s Fuel Finder

Video: Watch The Brighter Side to discover hacks that will make weekly expenses – like your groceries and water bill – more affordable

It can feel near impossible to move the needle on weekly or monthly expenses that seem as if they can’t be trimmed much further, like filling up the car or your big supermarket shop. Good news: there are still a few things that you can try.

Try selling the things you don’t use any more

Next time you’re buying something new, why not consider joining the circular economy and sell something you don’t use, first. Many sellers on platforms like eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are offloading unused items. And 1 in 4 is making more than $500 for their efforts. While you’re selling, you might even find what you’re buying, at a lower price. Just check the condition, warranty, and seller’s reputation and if it doesn’t stack up, don’t go ahead with the purchase. And often you can fund a new bargain with the proceeds from your unwanted item.

Consider renting your wardrobe

Ever notice how our most expensive outfits are the ones we wear the least? Sure, it was a night to remember but it was an expense you’d rather forget. Next time you need to dress-up for an event, you may be able to take the stress out of getting ready by renting instead of buying. Through companies such as GlamCorner and The Volte, you can rent (or lend) dresses, suits, accessories, you name it. You borrow, you party and you return. This way, the spotlight remains on you, rather than your wallet.

Quickly drive down your car’s running costs

Running a car isn’t cheap but you may be able to minimise costs. For instance, don’t automatically renew your car insurance – instead, shop around and see what wheeling and dealing can do for you. If you don’t drive a lot, you may find a discount. Safe driving saves on both speeding tickets and insurance premiums. Some states will even discount your licence renewal for a clean record. If you’re in NSW or the ACT, beat the bowser with the CommBank app’s Fuel finder, which will show you the cheapest petrol prices nearby.

Lower your water bill with a new showerhead

You’re not alone if you find yourself losing track of time (and water usage) in the shower. The good news is that there’s an easy way to avoid that happening. Switch to a water-efficient showerhead and you could save a bucket load. Old-school showerheads can gush 25 litres of water per minute, whereas new designs slash that to as little as 7.5 litres. Even better, every drop saved is money in the bank. But don’t worry – it’s the same pressure, just less water.

Make a few changes when you hit the supermarket

Regardless of what’s on your list, the way you shop for groceries could save you cash. First, skip pre-chopped produce. Whole fruits, veggies and meats are cheaper – so it’s worth sharpening your knives to keep that shop total down. Second, note the unit price. It reveals the real cost per size or quantity and makes comparing like-products on value much easier.

Try this: Set-and-forget financial goals

Want to hit your financial targets? Get specific about the where, when, and how. Behavioural research says clear planning boosts success. Simplify the journey by automating your savings and debt payments. Use your CommBank app to set up regular transfers to your savings or investment accounts. Let these auto-payments chip away at debt or pool funds for a holiday in the background. You choose your goals, set, and forget. The system does the rest. This financial autopilot frees you up to focus elsewhere – like planning where you’ll go on that dream trip. 

For more money saving tips and for support available to help you navigate the rising cost of living, visit:

Things you should know

This article provides general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as personal financial product advice. The views expressed by contributors are their own and don’t necessarily reflect the views of CBA. As the information has been provided without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this information, consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Terms and Conditions, and whether the product is appropriate to your circumstances. You should also consider whether seeking independent professional legal, tax and financial advice is necessary. Every effort has been taken to ensure the information was correct as at the time of printing but it may be subject to change. No part of the editorial contents may be reproduced or copied in any form without the prior permission and acknowledgement of CBA.