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Saving in everyday life

Do you want to know where you can best save money? Then you need to know your financial situation well. Draw up a detailed budget with income and expenses. Then decide where you can cut back. These tips will help you to save money for your future.

Sometimes, it’s worth rethinking and getting rid of a few habits. Jogging in the woods could replace an expensive gym membership. Friends cooking for one another is less expensive than eating out. And holidaying in your own country for a change can be just as relaxing as travelling overseas. Think about what you can do without in your everyday life and where you can sensibly treat yourself. Everything you save now will make your life during retirement easier.

How to reduce your fixed costs

 

Living costs, health insurance, taxes, car: Your expenses are largely made up of fixed costs. Reducing these is challenging and cannot be done overnight. But if you manage to spend less on driving or on your flat, you could make long-term savings.

 

Save on living costs

There are various ways you can save money as a tenant – provided you’re prepared to economise. You pay less rent for a smaller flat in a less expensive area. Sometimes, this really makes sense – for example, once your children have moved out and your flat is too big. If you have your own home, you have to carefully analyse your financial situation for retirement in any case.

 

 

Tip: Compare the tax rate of your old and new place of residence when you move. Sometimes, there can be a huge difference between two cantons, and you would pay much less tax just a few kilometres away.

 

 

Tax deductions

The easiest way to save on taxes is to make maximum use of all deductions. If you’re employed and your financial situation is straightforward, it’s easy to maintain an overview. But if something special happens – such as divorcing, or buying or inheriting a house – you should get advice from an expert. You will save several times the cost of their fee because a professional knows exactly what deductions you can make.

 

 

Tip: You can also reduce your tax through your retirement provision. For example, by paying into pillar 3a or buying into your pension fund. 

 

 

Switch health insurer

Basic health insurance is a fixed cost where you can save by comparing premiums. You pay very different prices for the same cover from each insurer. Every health insurer is obligated to accept you for basic insurance. However, it is only possible to switch in the autumn when the new premiums are announced. Compare your situation using the state-provided premium calculator at www.priminfo.ch.

 

Please note: Unlike basic insurance, health insurers can refuse to offer you supplementary cover. Ensure you have been accepted by the new insurer before cancelling existing cover. You do not have to have your basic and supplementary insurance with the same provider. 

 

There are various reasons why someone would like to stay with their health insurer despite higher premiums. These include good service and payment practices. Even here, you can save money with a few adjustments.

 

  • Cancel your accident insurance: If you have accident insurance through your employer, you can cancel cover through your health insurer. This double cover makes your premium unnecessarily expensive.
  • Change insurance model: With a GP or HMO model, your basic insurance could be up to 20% cheaper. Under this model, you have to be examined by a GP or in the group practice before going to a specialist.
  • Increase your excess: A higher excess means lower premiums. However, this only pays off if your healthcare costs are low. In the worst case, you need to be able to pay the CHF 2,500 excess.

 

Good to know If your income is below a certain threshold, you’re entitled to a premium discount. The requirements vary by canton. Ask your health insurer if you can benefit from a lower premium.

 

Cut transport costs

Cars are expensive to buy – but there are monthly costs on top of that, including fuel, insurance, road tax, depreciation and parking. These can quickly add up to CHF 1,000 for a larger car – before servicing and repairs.

 

 

Tip: You can probably save on your car insurance. Compare several offers. What cover do you actually need? Which insurer is quick and accommodating? Ask people you know for their experience. You can compare premiums here: www.comparis.ch.

 

 

Have you considered switching to car sharing? If you don’t use your car often, a provider such as Mobility would be a lot cheaper. The offer is now so widely available that you can always find and easily book a car close by.

 

 

Small economies, big impact

 

A one hundred franc note is spent almost as soon as you withdraw it. Sometimes, money disappears so fast in everyday life that we don’t even notice what we spent it on. Track your spending: What little things are you spending money on where you could save? Here are a few everyday savings tips:

  • Eating out: Set a limit on how often you want to eat out every month and stick to it. Cooking and sharing a meal at home with friends can be great fun, as well as being good for your budget. Do you often eat lunch in the canteen? You could save the price of a meal now and then by taking in leftovers. And bringing a big mug of coffee from home costs less than buying coffee to go.
  • Food shopping: Write a shopping list and stick to it. Impulse buys all add up. Compare the prices at the big supermarkets and take advantage of promotions. Incidentally, the cheapest own-brands are usually on the bottom shelf. And you can find half-price meat and other fresh goods shortly before the store closes.
  • Sales and second-hand: Do you need bedding, household goods, children’s clothes or sports equipment? You can save a lot on these in the sales. Second-hand shops and second-hand markets for children’s clothes can have great bargains too. You can often find cheap second-hand goods online on auction sites and classified ad platforms such as ricardo.ch, tutti.ch and anibis.ch.
  • Telephone and Internet: Mobile phone and Internet subscription providers are in fierce competition – prices are constantly falling. Compare the tariffs and combined offers carefully. Which one best suits your needs? You can block expensive phone numbers to prevent any nasty surprises.

 

Tip: What do experts say about your budget? Maybe a professional could find other potential savings that you would never have come up with. You can find providers in your area and sample budgets at budgetberatung.ch.

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