How to Save Money Easily
Our aim is to find ways to help you make and save money. Sometimes we partner with others to get a different view and expert advice. The following is a sponsored post provided by iSelect and written by Laura Crowden.
If you’re a regular Thrifty Issue reader, then chances are you are already pretty financially savvy. Knowing what you should be doing when it comes to your finances and actually following through with it can be two very different things.
If there was ever a time to finally cross those things off your financial to-do list, then now is probably it. A number of Australians are under increased financial pressure. At the extreme end, many Aussies have lost their jobs. Even more have had their hours or income cut back.
Even if you are lucky enough to have not had your household income reduced, then it’s likely you’re still more conscious of finances given the economic uncertainty we’re all living with due to the unpredictable coronavirus pandemic.
If your household budget has tightened – whether it be through absolute necessity or just a renewed commitment to do better with your finances – then you need to find ways to cut back. As with everything, this can be easier said than done. In some ways, recent months have made it easier – coronavirus restrictions have meant we simply haven’t been able to eat out or pop to the shops easily.
As a result, recent research for iSelect found that 77% of Aussies surveyed had reduced spending on non-essential shopping such as clothes while 60% had spent less on take-away food and coffees. As restrictions start to wind back, it’ll be tempting to revert to old habits when it comes to our spending.
Which means we need to find other ways to make changes to our spending habits and look for expenses to cut back on. The iSelect research found the top 5 expenses Aussies surveyed are most likely considering cancelling are charitable donations, entertainment streaming services (such as Netflix or Foxtel), gym memberships, meal and alcohol delivery services, and newspaper or magazine subscriptions.
This is all well and good, but these expenses are probably the easiest changes to make, rather than those which could make the biggest difference to your household bottom line. While cancelling some luxury expenses is probably a good idea, cancellation also means going without. I don’t know about you, but in my household, Netflix is currently considered an essential service.
So instead of cancellations, how about switches? There are some expenses that unfortunately we can’t go without (you can’t cancel your electricity unless you want to live in the dark) but that doesn’t mean you can’t look to save money by switching providers.
Here are four expenses you should take the time to review and see if you can get a better deal:
I don’t think anyone is going to be willing to give up the internet connection right now when we are living our lives online more than ever. Given your internet needs have likely changed in recent months, it’s a good time to compare how your plan stacks up in terms of price, speed and data. You may find you can get a similar plan for less with a different provider, or in fact, decide to pay more for more data or a faster connection.
Unlike the internet, you probably haven’t been using your health insurance much in recent months. The good news is the planned April 1 premium increase has been postponed until at least October. While prices are staying put for now, it’s still a perfect time to re-evaluate your level of cover and make sure you aren’t paying for services that you don’t need both right now, and in the long-run. Plus, if you are experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus, you may be able to request a pause on your premiums.
This is another one that you probably haven’t got much value out of in recent months – hard to have a bingle when you aren’t driving anywhere! Many of us have been driving a lot less lately but you may not realise that this could have an impact on your car insurance premiums, making now a great time to shop around and compare your options.
I thought I’d save this one till last cause its arguably the most important right now. As I write this, I am WFH while wearing a puffa jacket with a blanket over my legs. Why? Because I’m refusing to turn the heater on. I know that my winter energy bill is usually the biggest of the year but this next one’s likely to be a doozy.
With my partner and I both working remotely, our energy use is set to skyrocket as a result of spending 24×7 at home as opposed to just evenings and weekends. With usage on the up, you definitely don’t want to be paying any more than you need to for your energy this winter. So if there is one bill you get around to reviewing right now, this should be it.
Now let’s address the whole ‘actually getting around to doing it’ part of the equation… Some of us have more time on our hands at the moment, others less. Either way, no one wants to spend hours of their precious spare time comparing internet or energy plans.
So why not get a little clever and enlist some help? A comparison website such as iSelect can take care of some of the hard work for you when it comes to comparing providers. They’ll help save you time and hopefully some money. Paying less for something rather than having to go without, now that’s savvy.
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: https://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.
 Source: In April 2020, iSelect commissioned a nationally representative consumer research study with YouGov Galaxy to assess the attitudes of over 1,000 Australians towards household expenses following the coronavirus pandemic.