How to … downsize your life

When many people think of downsizing, they think of moving to a smaller home. And while this may be a part of it, there are lots of ways you can downsize other elements of your life to save time, effort and money.

Minimising reoccurring financial tasks can save you time and money.

Cancel unused services
You may have picky taste in TV shows and movies, but do you really need all five Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, Foxtel and Apple TV accounts? Sit down and go through the last month of debits to your accounts and make a list off all of your reoccurring subscriptions and service payments. If you’re surprised by how much it adds up to, it may be time to cull the ones you don’t use or need.

Autopay your bills
Phoning up or logging on to pay bills each month can be stressful and time consuming. Forgetting to do so can also cost you hefty late fees. It may be worth sitting down and automating your finances. This will mean setting up automatic payments with your service provider and bank. This initial effort goes a long way, as you can relax, knowing everything is ticking over smoothly and you won’t be hit with any surprise late fees.

Remember to check your bank account to make sure there is enough in the associated accounts to cover the bills and consult your bank statements to make sure the right payments are going through.

Automate your savings
If you’re wanting to retire earlier or richer, putting away money regularly is essential, even small amounts add up. Luckily, you can automate this process. You can arrange with your bank for a reoccurring amount of money to be moved from your everyday account to your savings account or consult your employer or human resources manager to learn is a percentage of your income can be sent to a savings account.

Letting go of unused items and making lifestyle changes can also help you minimalise your space and reduce your stress.

Rethink your car
For a two-car Australian household, the average annual cost of licensing, registration, and CTP alone are $1588 in capital cities and $1472 in regional areas. On top of this you have to consider maintenance and petrol costs. If your household has more than one car, but only needs one, consider selling the second car. Alternatively, consider other modes of transportation, including cycling, walking and public transport to save on costs.

If you’re not in a place to sell a vehicle, consider reassessing your car insurance. The best way to do this is to shop around, comparing what different insurers have to offer, and making sure you aren’t paying for any unused extras on your policy.

Rethink your wardrobe
If you’ve got clothes sitting at the back of your wardrobe you haven’t touched in what feels like decades – great! Vintage clothes are in, and people are willing to pay for them. You can sell your clothes online on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Gumtree or on apps like depop. If you’ve got some spare time on your hands, work your way through your wardrobe, working out what you want to keep and what you’d be happy to let go of. If the answer is sell, then take the time to photograph the items and pop them online.

Are you considering downsizing your home and lifestyle? If you have, what advice would you share with other YourLifeChoices readers?

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Written by Liv Gardiner

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