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Online tools to help organise your spending habits

The internet is not just for social media and funny memes – you can use it to help organise your spending habits and free up some funds. 

There are plenty of online habits and services that can help you take back control of your budget by cutting back on your spending.

You can compare the prices of goods and services, find coupons, use online entertainment services, and even grab last-minute deals, if you’re lucky.

Compare prices

How much could you be saving on your health insurance, phone or broadband plan, electricity bills, home loan or other monthly spends?

There are plenty of websites that help you compare between providers, taking a previously time-consuming chore and automating it for you.

If you do your homework and use comparison sites, you could end up finding a better deal that lowers your monthly bill.

Sites like comparethemarket, infochoice, iSelect, WhistleOutRate City, Finder, and Energy Made Easy will help you to compare prices across a wide range of companies and services, from phone plans to energy bills, mortgages, insurance, and more.

You can even cut back a bit on your weekly petrol bill with apps like Motormouth, that find the lowest fuel prices in your area.

Grab some coupons

Coupons are a way of life for people in countries like the US, but many Australians don’t realise that there are lots of special offers available in our own fair country, if you’re prepared to look around.

Sites such as OzDiscount and TopBargains display deals, vouchers, and coupons from a range of well-known brands and online stores.

You can find cheap movie tickets, take-away food deals, and discount entry to local theme parks.

You can also get information on big sales that are happening in-store.

Daily deal sites are still alive and kicking, too.

Check out allthedeals for the top picks from sites like Scoopon, Groupon, and Living Social.

This site lets you search by category to find travel, fashion, and restaurant deals near you.  

Talk, watch and pay

Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts connect you via video to your friends, family, and colleagues around the world without the per-call cost.

You can even create conferences and have multiple people in a chat at one time.

While you do still of course have to pay for the internet connection, you’ll be saving on those international call rates.

Similarly, streaming TV shows and movies online can save you on subscription TV and DVD rental fees – you’ll only end up paying around $10-$15 per month for services like Netflix, Stan, or Presto.

Make the most of your computer to pay your bills and set up automatic withdrawals, potentially saving you the cost of late fees, and making trips to the bank or post office to pay bills a thing of the past.

Find unbooked rooms and tickets

It can pay to be the last one to buy, if you’re happy to take that risk.

If you are heading on a holiday, or just taking a couple of nights away, visit a site like Wotif or LastMinute.

These sites are where establishments advertise to fill unbooked rooms, sometimes at a significant discount.

For show or theatre tickets, you can check out SmartTix or LastTix and maybe nab a bargain on some last-minute seats that haven’t sold yet.

Buy second hand

When you’re looking for something online, head to Ebay or Gumtree and filter the settings to ‘used’ instead of new.

You’ll often be able to find furniture that has hardly been sat on, clothes that haven’t been worn, and toys barely out of their box at a fraction of their original price.

Lots of local areas now also have a Buy, Swap, and Sell Facebook group that is free to join.

These let you list, trade, and buy items from people in your area.

The internet can be a bargain hunter’s dream – so have fun and make the most of the savings you find online.  

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