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Dodging a rent hike, cheap veggies and $200 off NBN: How we’re saving in August


With the cost of living going up, here's what we're doing to spend less, save more and get our money working harder for us in August.

It's no secret that the cost of living is rising. With the RBA increasing the cash rate for the fourth time this year and inflation increase to 6.1%, it's time to get creative and look for ways to cut back and save.

For a bit of inspiration, here are some things the Finder crew are doing to save money this month.

1. $200 off NBN plans - "I'm looking at rewards/offers from companies I'm signed up with to see where I can save. For example, CommBank's offering its members 30% off the monthly plan fees for an internet/NBN plan from More. I decided to switch providers and will be saving just over $200 for the year." – Mariam Gabaji, senior writer for utilities

2. Cheaper veggies - "My 1-year-old is developing a voracious appetite for vegetables of all shapes and sizes. We recently started buying veggies frozen from the supermarket. While it's cheap, it obviously isn't environmentally friendly. It'll have to be a temporary fix for our leaking budget." – James Martin, editor for insurance

3. Haggle on rent - "I got an email from my real estate agent the other week saying they wanted to raise my rent by quite a significant amount. I did a bit of research looking at similar properties in the area and sent them back a price I'd be willing to pay, plus reminded them we've been reliable tenants. Fortunately, they accepted. I'm sure a lot of landlords and real estate agents will be doing this over the next few months. Don't just accept the hike." – Gary Ross Hunter, senior writer for insurance

4. Be smart about switches - "I'm turning off switches as I go. Washing done? Unload the clothes then switch it off at the powerpoint. Kettle boiled? Off it goes. Appliances on standby power might not use much power but it all adds up. At the end of the day, it could be up to $100 a year back in my pocket and not with the energy company." – Dylan Crismale, utilities writer

5. Cut down on food waste - "I'm trying to be better with food waste. I'm making a habit of putting leftover ingredients in the freezer straight away if I don't have a meal planned for it. Extra tomato paste, stock and coconut milk have all made their way into my freezer for another day, saving me those extra bucks on my weekly shop." – Stephanie Yip, travel editor

6. Make the most of everyday specials - "I haven't paid full-price for laundry detergent in… ever? It's routinely on sale for 50% off, so I always buy 1–2 bottles or packages when it's half price. With a family of 5, we go through many, many loads of washing every week so I reckon this saves us hundreds of dollars a year." – Sarah Megginson, head of editorial

7. Try new products - "I switched to solid shampoo and conditioner bars about 1.5 years ago and they last so long. This saves me about 25% compared to the shampoo and conditioner that I used to buy." – Amy Bradney-George, Finder Green and credit cards senior writer

8. Swap and save regularly - "Swap your NBN plan every 6 months! It sounds like a hassle but I promise it's easy and as a tech journalist I absolutely do it. Over the past few years, we've seen a rise in NBN plans that are both contract-free and offer discounts on the first 6 months. This means you can leave for another provider once the discounted monthly price is removed and get a fresh deal. Swapping between providers is really easy and they take care of most of the work for you. Plus, the downtime between going from one provider to another is mere minutes. Play the system!" – Tegan Jones, editor of special projects

9. Swoop on supermarket sales - "This week I published a story about a woman who gets $2,000 value from Flybuys every year. She also worked at supermarkets for 20 years and told me there are patterns in when specials will run. She never pays the full price on laundry or dishwashing liquid because she's figured out when they're on special. I do the same thing with chocolate – I haven't paid full price on a block in over 3 years." – Amy Bradney-George, Finder Green and credit cards senior writer

Want to get your money working harder for you? You could invest in an ETF, or open a high interest savings account. If you're looking for more ways to save, here are 50 money-saving tips to get you started.

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