Tackling Household Bills and Some Simple Tips to Reduce Them
By Sarah Megginson, senior editor of money for Finder
For every dollar you earn, you’re obligated to hand over a portion to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). But for every dollar you save, you get to keep the whole amount – which is why shopping around for better deals so you can cut back on your bills is so powerful.
The idea of tackling your household bills can seem like a massive chore, but it’s really one of the best hourly rates you’ll ever earn.
Think about it: you only need to set aside a couple of hours to do some comparisons online, perhaps make a few phone calls, and you stand to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
So, where’s the best place to start?
Your monthly bills
Make a cuppa and grab a couple of biscuits, then settle in with your laptop for a couple of hours of browsing and budgeting.
Start with a hitlist of your regular bills and then spend 10-15 minutes on each bill, comparing what you’re spending now to what better deals could be available. You can use online comparison sites to review many different options in one spot, or even try calling your current suppliers and providers to see if they’re willing to give you a better deal.
Some of the typical household bills where you stand to save a small fortune include:
Mobile phone plans
One way to streamline this process is to have a copy of your actual bills handy when you’re comparing for the best deal. This way, you can check what your current plans and usages are like, and find other deals that offer similar value with lower price points.
This is especially important when comparing bills like energy, mobile and Internet, because how much you use impacts how much you pay.
The secret sauce of this whole exercise…
Once you’ve repeated this process across all of your different household bills, it’s likely you’ll have made some decent savings.
Saving money is, of course, fantastic. But this whole exercise is a bit wasted if you take your newfound cash reserves and fritter them away on takeaways, coffees and impulse buys.
The most powerful thing you can do when you make a saving is to bank the difference.
For instance, if you run through all of your household bills and end up saving $100 a month, set up a direct debit to capture that $100 each month. Send it to a high-interest savings account, or if you have credit card, buy now pay later or personal loan debt, redeploy it there.
It might not seem like much, but $100 a month is $1,200 a year. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have that money in my pocket than someone else’s.
What if you’re suddenly faced with an unexpected household bill or expense that needs to be paid ASAP? One option you may wish to consider is a personal loan for household bills. A Fair Go Finance household bills loan can be used to cover any personal expense such as a utility bill, phone bill, car repairs and more. Take a look at what your repayments could be by using their easy-to-use loan calculator – it can help you decide if it’s the solution you are looking for.
Sarah Megginson is senior editor of money for Finder. She was previously managing editor of Australian Broker magazine, Your Investment Property magazine and online home loan comparison site, Your Mortgage. Sarah has worked as a finance and property journalist for more than 15 years.