Expert's tips to save you thousands
Dominic Aarsen has been using some deceptively simple money hacks for years now, and they've saved him a staggering $50,000 - at least.
The 26-year-old entrepreneur and founder of financial platform Make The Most of Your Money advises others on money matters for a living, and he's proud to say he religiously follows his own advice.
Among them are a collection of "easy" steps he claims will save the average Aussie around $15,000 a year.
They include investing the new $1080 tax savings most of us will get after filing our tax returns this year and consolidating your superannuation into one single account that will save $1000 a year, with average fees being just under $500 per account.
Simply reviewing your mortgage - something Mr Aarsen says 23 per cent of us haven't done in the last decade - could save you up to $9000 per year on a $500,000 loan and more than $100,00 over the lifetime of the loan.
Restricting takeaway coffees to two or three per week will save around $600 a year, while cancelling unused gym memberships will save between $700 and $1000.
He said shopping around for banks with no fees could save you a cool $500, excluding any credit card fees, while setting up an automatic saving of just $60 a week will add up to $3120 "in the blink of an eye".
But it's Mr Aarsen's more "obscure" tips that could end up changing your money habits for good - and save you some serious coin "on the side".
One of the weirdest is his "two-minute trick" that Mr Aarsen swears by.
"It doesn't matter what you buy - whether it's food or if you're shopping for clothes - hold it in your hand, set the timer on your phone and wait for two minutes, and you'll find that more than half the time you don't actually buy it," he said.
"It's a psychological trick that retrains your brain. Most of the time they're not big purchases - usually under $10 - but lots of $10 adds up quickly."
Mr Aarsen even recommended trying his "two-minute trick" during grocery shopping after all the necessary staples were in your trolley, which could stop you from loading up on expensive and unhealthy snack food.
Next was his "Coke bottle hack", which involves putting every spare $2 coin you have into a 600ml soft drink bottle, which will add up to around $1000 when full.
He said collectively Australians throw away or lose more than $350 million a year - with coins falling down the couch or accidentally thrown in the bin - but automatically stashing your coins in a secure location would stop that happening to you.
He's also a big believer in "locking" your bank account temporarily during times you might be tempted to overspend, such as on weekends.
"Most people don't know you can call your bank and lock your account, which means you can log into your app but you can't transfer your money," he explained.
"All it takes is 30 seconds and it's not like the money disappears, you just can't get to it."
Finally, Mr Aarsen recommended literally cutting up your credit cards.
"Open your wallet and cut up every card except your key card. Every person I speak to sounds outraged (by the hack), but if people don't have access to credit, they won't use it," he said.
"If you're not good with money, I guarantee switching from card to cash will save you a thousand dollars in the first two months."
The finance guru said most of his tactics were easy to introduce but most people neglected them due to a combination of laziness and a poor mindset.
"If I asked you if you wanted to save $15,000 you would say yes, absolutely, but if I said, 'Here's one thing that will save you $500', you might be less inclined to do it," he said.
"But $500 here and there will actually make a massive difference, but unless it's right in front of your face, a lot of people won't do it.
"It's a combination of laziness and lack of awareness, but banks and financial institutions want you to be lazy because they benefit."