Save money AND the planet

3 September 2020

Changing a few household habits can benefit your finances and the environment.

If the cost of necessities and your cash savings are keeping you awake at night, you’re not alone. ME Bank's latest Household Financial Comfort Report shows these are among the biggest sources of stress for Australians.

Living sustainably can help. Check out ME's seven ‘R’s to save money – and the planet.


1. Reduce

Cutting living costs can also support the environment. As a guide, Australians collectively fork out over $5 billion dollars annually in water bills. An 8-minute shower uses around 120 litres of water, so try using a timer to cut showers back to five minutes or less. It can see your water bills reduce to a trickle while saving precious water resources. 

2. Recycle

Each year, garage sales prevent around 3 million kilograms of pre-loved stuffgarage sale heading to landfill – it can also be a chance to pocket extra cash. Even if you can’t hold a garage sale, sell your unwanted items online and watch the dollars roll in.

3. Re-grow

Australians spend around $20 each week on veggies, or about $1,000 annually. Yet it’s easy to grow your own. It means fewer trips to the shop, plus the health benefits of organic produce.

You may not even need to pay for seedlings. Save the seeds from tomatoes or cucumbers, plant them in a container – an old egg carton is fine, and watch your crop grow. Fresh celery can be grown from a celery base, and potatoes can be planted to grow…even more potatoes.


4. Reconsider

Reconsider impulse buys. Hit the ‘pause’ button by walking away for 10 minutes if you’re in-store, or hold off for half an hour if you’re shopping online. Taking a breather can help you decide if the purchase will just end up in a landfill while leaving a hole in your bank account.

5. Remember

Don’t forget your keep-cup if you’re heading out for a take-away coffee. Around one billion disposable coffee cups hit landfills each year in Australia, and plenty of cafes offer discounts if you remember to BYO cup. Keep-cups also make a handy container for takeaway salads and soups.

6. Rethink

If you can get by with pedestrian or pedal power when possible, you’ll be doing the planet (and your bank balance) a favour.

7. Review

Electricity costs are set to fall by 7% over the next year, and renewables are driving prices down. Check if you could save by switching power providers by heading to Energy Made Easy.

Try one or two ideas or embrace them all. Chances are you’ll cut living costs, free up cash to grow savings – and the planet will be all the better for your efforts.

This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 and Australian Credit Licence 229500.

The Trustee and ME are not agents or representatives of one another. The Trustee is not responsible for and does not accept liability for the products or services of ME. ME is an Australian credit licensee (Australian credit licence no. 229500). You should use your own judgement before taking up any product or service offered by ME. TWUSUPER invests in ME but does not receive any commissions as a result of members using ME products and services.General advice on this website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness. Refer to our Product Disclosure Statements (PDS). The PDS is relevant when deciding whether to acquire or hold a product.

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