Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson

Dave The Discount Dad

How to save money buy regularly reviewing large, regular and/or expensive purchases.

Hi all

One great way to keep on top of your finances and save yourself some money is to regularly review large, regular and/or expensive purchases. Set yourself some time and a target. Pick an item once a month and review it. Or sit down every 6 or 12 months and go through anything and everything. If you have large purchases, there is a good chance there is some leeway to find some discounts or savings by shopping around, or finding you don’t need that option anymore, so choose something else that’s cheaper. You might find similar savings though for regular purchases. These, especially subscriptions can sneak under the radar because it might be only 10 dollars here, 20 dollars there. But if you add them up, it can add up to a lot. Expensive items are a no brainer. If you are not at least having a quick look around at prices when you purchase expensive items, then you only have yourself to blame. Go through your bank account, see what regular purchases and subscriptions keep coming up.

Examples of purchases to target.

So what kind of things can you look at:

  1. Subscriptions. Do you need 4 video streaming services? Can you survive on 1 or 2 services? Did you sign up for one of them for just one specific series, and that has ended and you don’t watch it anymore? Time to ditch it.
  2. Insurance, bank accounts, electricity etc etc. Some like to stick to “known brands” for things like insurance. If that gives you piece of mind, then that might be worth paying a few extra dollars. If you don’t care, or know that quite a few of the smaller, newer brands are owned by you the larger “known brands” then there are savings to be had.
  3. Private Health Insurance. If you have private heath insurance, you know even with government rebates it can be expensive. But give it a review. When did you take it out, 5, 10 years ago? Have you always had it? Check what your policy covers and do you need all of that still. Or maybe you need more. Maybe you are a family, you have had your kids so you don’t feel like paying for pregnancy cover. Or you can choose to have an excess of almost nothing, or hundreds of dollars. Check with your policy, but the excess is usually for hospital visits. So if you have a $500 excess, then if you have to go to hospital, you will know you need to pay $500 minimum. But it will reduce your monthly premiums by quite a bit. Also with extras (like physio, dental etc), have a look how much that costs you. You are only covered for so much of each a year. Are you better off just getting hospital cover and paying for extras, certainly time consuming, but could pay off big time.
  4. Take something small in cost, but you have to regularly buy it. We have cats, so we have cat litter. It wasn’t very much, but you have to constantly keep buying it. We have recently changed over to one of the “cat litter systems”. A bit of money up front, but it is definitely saving us money in the long run.
  5. Anything you could buy at other shops online or offline. Shop around and use your discount sites, codes etc like Honey for your big, expensive and regular products. Again with the cat litter system, we have to buy litter and pads that soak up the wee. You can buy them mainly from pet stores. The local brick and mortar pet stores have sales occasionally, but it’s generally more expensive. Check a few online pet stores, find the cheapest option, check your discount codes and order 3 months at a time. Most don’t charge for postage over say $100, so it can be a lot cheaper like this.
  6. Movies, going out to dinner etc. A lot of organisations have discount programs that most forget about and can apply for everyday things like movie tickets, going out to dinner etc. Motoring organisations like the NRMA, your private health fund, larger organisations have staff discounts for lots of things, and even your local club membership can get you discounts on things. Some might give you discounts on bread at Bakers delight, discounts at local pizza places or dining locations. There can be a lot out there, so check what your a member of, and start saving.

So that’s about it for today. The general message is just to review what your spending occasionally and you will be surprised that you will be able to save some decent and possibly ongoing money with not a lot of work


David The Discount Dad

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