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David Koch's 13 tips to enter your 'savings era'

Finances is David Koch's specialty. But if Taylor Swift is yours, can you find the hidden lyrics in these savings tips?

‘Swiftomania’ has hit Aussie hip pockets hard. And not only the young.

As a grandfather with teenage granddaughters and a Swiftie myself, I’ve felt the impact firsthand. You could say it’s left some of us in the red adding 0.3 per cent to national retail sales in March.

I did my part, buying a Heartbreak Prince t-shirt to wear to the Eras Tour.

My 16-year-old granddaughter, Matilda, works part-time at the checkout at her local Coles to basically buy Taylor merchandise. And another album release means more vinyl and more merch to splash on.

Whether you’re the lucky one who has most of their finances in order or someone who needs a bit more guidance, here are 13 swift ways to get yourself out of the woods and kickstart your ‘savings era’.

David Koch in front of a graphic of buildings, money and Taylor swift.
Self-confessed Swiftie David Koch has 13 tips to help open up your budget, if you choose to spend it on Taylor Swift merch, so be it! (Supplied/Getty)

1. Say bye bye baby to debt

One question I get a lot is “should I build my savings or pay off my debt”.

In most cases it’s better to pay off debts like credit card balances and personal loans as quickly as possible.

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That’s because interest rates on some of these accounts can be over 20 per cent, so you’ll pay much more over time.

2. Consider savings untouchable

Once you’re no longer haunted by debts, it’s time to work on saving.

The team at Compare the Market crunched the numbers for me and found that putting $100 a week into an account with an interest rate of 5 per cent would leave you with $5,426 at the end of the year.

I call it the magic of compounding. Consider the money untouchable and avoid dipping in.

3. Recover money that’s invisible

Right now, there’s roughly $2 billion in unclaimed money in Australia. Using services such as Moneysmart, you might be able to identify money lost from various bank accounts, investments, shares or even a life insurance policy. Have a look and see if you can say you belong with me.

4. Shake off higher premiums

When it comes to insurance products, you do have some control over the price you pay. First, shop around to compare premiums on offer for you.

Increasing your excess is one tip, it means you’ll pay more if you need to claim, but you’ll likely pay less for your regular premium – sometimes it can drop hundreds of dollars!

5. Got an auto-renewal? Should’ve said no!

When the cost of insurance or energy goes up, don’t just tolerate it – compare it.

It has never been easier to look for a better deal on household finances. So next time your provider issues a price hike and asks you to stay stay stay, tell them you’re losing me.

6. Don’t let the cruel summer turn into forever winter

Energy bills have been shockingly high this year but government rebates are taking out some of the heat. It’s worth doing a quick check to make sure you’re getting the help you are entitled to.

In Queensland, for example, eligible vulnerable households could be receiving as much as $700 in a Cost of Living Rebate this financial year. That’s enough to make a huge difference, particularly after the cruel summer we’ve just had.

7. Remember bills aren’t timeless

Various services offer generous discounts for early payments, while others will penalise you for being a foolish one and not paying by the deadline. So don’t leave your payments to midnights.

8. Pay less for gasoline

It isn’t cheap to fuel a getaway car with fuel prices hitting record highs in recent months.

Comparing stations before you depart on your journey can make a big difference.

Rachel, a friend of mine saved $291.88 in a year by using the Simples App to track down cheaper prices.

9. Buy nothing new

These days, most of us receive more emails than we can count for some new sale from a certain shop.

Always consider whether it’s something you really need. Is it on your to-do list? If not, then it could be leaving a blank space in your bank account.

10. What’s old is back in style

The Australian Fashion Council reckons we buy 56 new pieces of clothing a year. To save, try heading to your local op shop, swap with friends or try selling your old clothes online to raise funds.

Vintage shopping hits different!

11. Clean out your auto-fill

It’s all too easy to hit the ‘purchase’ button without thinking twice when shopping online.

The fix? Break up the love story you’ve created between your card details and auto-filled checkout systems.

Having to enter your details manually and forcing yourself to slow down may be the opportunity you need to realise it may not be a smart financial choice.

12. Don’t let vampires create bad blood

Kettles, TVs, game consoles and phone chargers all use power - even when you’re not using them – as long as they’re on at the wall.

The expert energy team found switching off ‘vampire appliances’ could cut your electricity usage by as much as 10 per cent. Long story short, Australians could be wasting roughly $142 across the year, just by leaving things switched on.

13. It’s time to go, streaming services

Many of us have been telling the streaming giants we are never ever getting back together, with an increase in Australians cutting back on streaming services over the past 12 months.

If you’re intent on hanging on to your favourite flicks, check to see if there are any discounts for paying in bulk – some companies will offer lower prices if you lock in for a year.

There are plenty of ways you can swiftly boost your budget and become a saving superstar. Now see if you can resist that merch drop!