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  • Affordable Living
  • Personal Finance Basics
  • COVID

1. Reduce your rent

If you live in one of the capital cities, rents have decreased dramatically. Some suburbs are down by 30%. There are no overseas students and no international migration. Many people are also leaving capitals cities and moving to the regions. If your lease is up, it might be an excellent opportunity to find a new, cheaper place to rent, or if you are mid-lease, you could offer to extend your lease in exchange for a discount. Unfortunately, if you are in the regions or coastal towns, rent is not down.

2. Subscription Spring Cleaning

Netflix, Stan, Kayo were lifesavers during the lockdown, but now there is Binge, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+. When there was just Netflix, and it was $10, and it was cheap entertainment. You now could have 4 or 5 TV subscriptions plus music subscriptions, easily spending $50-$100/month. Take this opportunity to trim your subscriptions.

 

3. Reassess your transport needs.

Are you commuting less? Are you still working from home a couple of days a week? Could you work from home potentially ongoing?

The ATO puts the cost of commuting at 66 cents per KM. If you commute 10km to work, commuting costs $3,432/year. If you don't have to do it, you can save a fortune! Do you need the car you have? Could you get away with a cheaper car? Do you need a second car? If you're driving less, be sure to update your insurance as you may have to pay less.

 

4. Is it time to upgrade your skills?

COVID changed the way organisations delivered education and accelerated the trend towards online, making it easier to upgrade your skills, and get a job that either makes you more money or brings you more meaning. Lots of universities are offering free university courses online. Amazon, Microsoft and Google all provide free certification courses online, allowing you to upgrade your skills for free.

 

5. Lose your gym membership.

The lockdown spurned the growth of many online exercise programs: Daily Burn, Glo, Centr, Nike Training Club.   These services provide great workouts at a dramatically lower cost than a gym membership. Most use bodyweight or very little equipment. There are lots of free exercise programs on YouTube, and If you are interested in running, there are many free online programs that will take you from the couch to your first marathon.

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