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A dollar saved is a dollar earned – how to save on your bills & expenses

Compare your insurance and big billsLet’s not beat around the bush – times are tough for many Aussie families right now.

We all know that many Aussie families are under increased financial pressure due to the coronavirus.

We are all too aware how many Australians have lost their jobs or had their incomes significantly reduced in the past few months. It seems most of us – even if you are lucky enough to be still working – are looking for ways to tighten the household budget and save money.

So let’s not dwell on the negative economic news – we get enough of that every night on the news. Let’s instead focus on finding some positive ways to reduce your expenses and help ease the financial pressure.

Recent research by YouGov Galaxy for iSelect [1] has found that almost 60% of Australians surveyed are actively looking to save money and reduce their expenses. Almost half have cancelled some sort of household expenses in the past two months, with common cancellations including gym memberships, entertainment streaming services (such as Netflix or Foxtel), meal and alcohol delivery services, charitable donations and newspaper or magazine subscriptions.

While cancelling these kinds of smaller, luxury monthly expenses can certainly add up over the course of a year, cancellations aren’t the only way to save money. It can definitely be worth looking at your larger household costs such as insurance and utilities. Unfortunately with many of these more important expenses cancellation generally isn’t an option unless you want to drive an uninsured car or live without electricity.

So with these kinds of costs it’s a matter of reviewing, rather than ridding. Many of us have probably long suspected we are paying too much for these kinds of bills and expenses but simply don’t get around to doing anything about it. So while you’re spending more time at home due to coronavirus restrictions, now is the perfect time to review your larger bills and expenses to see if you could save!

Here are 4 bills you could take the time to compare to see if you could get a better deal.

4 bills you could be getting a better deal on

Energy bills

If you only get around to reviewing one bill, consider your energy bill. Energy bills are often much higher in winter due to cranking the heater and dryer in the colder months, but this winter your energy is likely to be even higher than normal.

Why you ask? Because spending more time at home means using more energy which generally means a larger than expected energy bill. Keeping the kids warm and entertained inside most of the day while your partner works from home will have an impact on your energy consumption.

So take the time now to see if you can get a better value energy deal and reduce the likelihood of a nasty winter bill shock in a month or two.

Health insurance

You probably haven’t been getting a lot of value out of your health insurance lately, due to the fact that most elective surgery and many extras services (such as dental and massage) have been out of action in some capacity for the past few months due to coronavirus restrictions.

And while the good news is that many extras services (including dental) and most elective surgeries are now back on track, it’s understandable that you may still be questioning the value of your private cover.

Which is why now is a perfect time to review your policy to make sure it still meets your needs. If you are experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus, you may be able to apply to your fund to pause your premiums temporarily.

Or if you are simply looking for ways to cut back, review your cover to make sure you aren’t still paying for things you don’t need (an obvious one is pregnancy when you’ve decided your baby making days are over).

Internet plan

Unlike other expenses, this may in fact be one bill you may want to increase, rather than cut back. If you or your partner have been working from home, you may have found that your internet is literally not up to speed. As we’ve all been spending more time online – whether it be for work, remote schooling or simply to connect with friends and family over Zoom with a glass of wine in hand – our internet use has likely changed in recent months.

That’s why it’s a good time to see if your current internet plan is still meeting your needs and providing good value in terms of both speed and data allowance. And if you’ve been putting off making the switch across to the NBN (despite it already being available at your address), it might be time to finally tick that off your to-do list.

Car insurance

Chances are you’ve been driving less over the past couple of months. Are you currently working from home and not driving your car to work? Are the kids home from school so there are no more school runs? Is the car mostly locked up in your garage or safely in your driveway?

All of these factors could impact your annual car insurance premiums so it’s worth taking the time to compare your current provider against other insurers to see if you could save.

 

In the current environment, a dollar saved is a dollar earned. And more time at home may not translate to more spare time (looking at you, home schooling). If that’s the case, why not use a comparison service like iSelect to do much of that hard work for you? They can help you compare a bunch of bills and expenses from their range of providers and see if you can get better value.

Any savings made can be put towards something more important – even if that’s renewing your Netflix subscription.

– by Laura Crowden, iSelect spokeswoman

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This blog post is sponsored by iSelect

 

Disclaimer: iSelect does not compare all products in the market. The availability of products iSelect compare may change from time to time. Not all products available from iSelect’s providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all products compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some products and special offers may only be available from iSelect’s call centre or website. View our full range of providers via our website: www.iselect.com.au/partners.

 

Any advice provided by iSelect is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice iSelect gives you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on iSelect’s advice or purchasing any policy.

 

[1] In April 2020, iSelect commissioned a nationally representative consumer research study with YouGov Galaxy to assess the attitudes of more than 1000 Australians towards household expenses following the coronavirus pandemic. 

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