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How To Save $16K A Year Without Really Noticing

Simplifying your spending could actually be the key to saving big bucks this year.

Ever wondered how those money-savvy people actually save thousands of dollars while you seem to always have to search behind the couch cushions for spare change before pay day?

There isn't really a secret -- they're just better with money than you are.

Sorry.

But the good news is that you can learn some habits that can see your savings skyrocket -- and according to money expert Helen Baker, you can get an extra $16,000 by following her tips.

The most genius tip? Round up your purchases and save the extra money.

"I had a friend who did this -- she rounded up her purchases to the nearest $5 and every time it rounds up that money sweeps where you like, so for her she put it to her home loan," Helen told Studio 10. "Within one month she'd put another $450 on her home loan. Imagine that over a year, it's a good $5,000 or more."

READ MORE: How You Can Start Saving Today (Yes Even You!)

Then, Helen said, there are the time-consuming but ultimately rewarding things you should sort out at home.

Like this one -- review your mobile contract. You can save substantially by going with a cheaper provider, without missing out on data or calls. Or this: Cancel apps you don't use. Many of them have ongoing fees that come out of your credit card once a month. Change your credit card to a better interest rate with low fees, make sure you're paying down your cards and debts with the highest interest rates first (which can save $2,800), and of course pay bills early to avoid any late fees.

She also warned against being trapped by the idea of earning points on your cards. "I think psychologically you spend more because you think, 'Oh, I'm getting points'," she told Studio 10. "If you look at the interest you're paying on that -- are you really saving money, or are you spending?"

READ MORE: Vintage Shopping Tips From People Who've Nailed It

Is that a trick question, Helen?

Other tips include buying Christmas and birthday presents during the sales (saving $500!), buying clothes in the end of season sales and save $750, taking your own cup when buying your morning coffee, buying cartons of soft drink to have at home rather than buying takeaway bottles, buying cosmetics online where you should be able to find them at a cheaper price, and monitoring your spending on eating out -- less meals out mean more cash in (around $1,560 a year).

And here's one we didn't see coming but totally get. Helen said, "don't grocery shop when you're hungry and save $1,000 a year!"

No more Pringles in the trolley for us, we promise. Erm, well, not every time.

Feature image: Getty