Simple savings for Christmas cash

REPORTER: Nicole Pederson-McKinnon

Everyone likes to save money where they can, especially when an event like Christmas is just around the corner.

With the help of Nicole Pederson-McKinnon from the Australian Financial Review, Today Tonight has found some simple things you can do to save a fortune on everything from electricity bills to petrol.

1. Comparison websites: You can take all the hard work out of shopping around by logging onto web sites that will help you find the cheapest travel, the cheapest mortgages and the cheapest mobile phone plan (see below for web links).

2. Taking your own lunch: It is an oldie, but a goodie. If you are spending $8 a day buying your lunch and you cut that out, in over a year you are going to have another $2000 in your pocket.

3. Appliances: Turning off the kettle, the TV and the computer at the wall, instead of leaving them on stand-by. By turning them off at the wall - amazing but true - you will save about 10 per cent off your electricity bill.

4. Your mortgage: Phone your lender and ask if you have what is called a "professional package". That is a special deal that is only offered to some people, giving you a discount of about 0.5 of a percentage point. That could be $70, $80, or even $90 per month, depending on the size of your loan.

5. Petrol: This is the biggest tip. There are lots of ways you can make savings: buy fuel on Tuesday, when it is at its cheapest, carry the shopper dockets with discount vouchers at all times, regularly service your car so it is very fuel-efficient, and even make sure your tyres are pumped up.

You could save thousands, possibly even tens of thousands of dollars per year, just by making a few simple changes in your habits.