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A parent’s guide to saving money

Getting our dollar to stretch further is a must – especially after so much uncertainty and rising prices. As a parent, how can we save our money, even if our finances aren’t the best they could be? Financial stress is real – and can put a strain on our relationships and mental health. 

We’ve put together an easy-to-read guide giving you tips, tricks, and practical advice on saving money and having some for a rainy day – or something special!

Setting a budget
It seems a bit obvious but sitting down and setting a budget can go a long way in helping you save money. Using your NetBank app or good old pen and paper, look at your income and expenses over a month and figure out where everything goes. Allocate income to each expense area such as transport, groceries, bills, rent/mortgage, kids’ stuff, and of course, leisure and entertainment. You’ll be surprised how much this helps. You can use the Services Australia simple money manager here.

Review your utilities plans
If you haven’t reviewed your utilities plans in at least twelve months, now is the time to compare and save. You can use Energy Made Easy to compare different plans in your area – it’s run by the government so it gives you impartial data. You should also contact your telco or internet provider to see if they have cheaper plans – you’ll be surprised how much more value you can get for the same amount you’re already paying if you haven’t looked at your account in a while.

Saving on energy
Washing clothes in cold water, adjusting your heating a couple of degrees, and using foot-switches to turn off appliances instead of having them on standby can save you hundreds of dollars per year. This can make your new utilities plans go even further. Read more energy reduction tips at Energy.gov.au.

Consolidating debts
If you are juggling lots of credit card debts which eat into your savings, consider taking out a debt consolidation loan. This is a personal loan that pays off all your existing credit cards or small loans and allows you to pay back the sum over time. If you have poor credit (a bad credit score) you can still get approved for bad credit loan – and your efforts for trying to tackle your debts are eventually rewarded in the form of a higher credit score.

Reach out to the community bank
Illawarra’s Fairy Meadow Community Bendigo Bank is helping families with financial support either in person or online to discuss your needs. They also offer students and children fee-free accounts to help them manage their own money. Find out more here.

Download our handy sheet of numbers and contacts
If you’re stressed and need help with the kids, relationships, or money matters, download our handy sheet of numbers and contacts. It helps with finding resources for new babies, parenting support, free children’s activities in Illawarra, and financial assistance. Download the PDF here.

The finance information presented here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for financial advice from a licenced financial adviser.