These simple tips can help you save hundreds of dollars on your daily bills, but it only takes a few minutes.
Sponsored by AGL. Customers in VIC, NSW AND QLD can enjoy up to $150 in sign-up credits on selected plans when switching from Home Energy to AGL online. Plus, save $15 on an AGL nbn plan and $5 on Mobile SIM plans when combined with AGL Energy.
If you’re feeling the cost of living in Australia and unsure how to cut your expenses, you’re not alone. Only 1 in 5 Australians describe themselves as money savvy.
To help ease some of the pressure, we’ve rounded up 10 tips that will help you save on daily household bills in 2022 – from blending your bills to cutting healthcare costs. Let’s go.
Combine your invoices
When it comes to household bills, Australians value convenience. 60% of us are willing to combine our energy services with a telco subscription, according to a recent report by management consultancy Oliver Wyman.
For example, AGL currently offers customers in NSW, VIC and QLD up to $150 in sign-up credits on select plans when you switch your home energy to AGL Online – that’s $75 for electricity and $75 for gas.
They will also get a $15 monthly discount on AGL Internet and $5 monthly discount on AGL mobile plans when you combine them with your AGL energy plan. They also currently offer 3 months free for their mobile plans and 1 month free for nbn packages.
There is no blocking contract, so you can change your plan at any time.
Use energy efficient appliances
Energy efficient appliances will make a huge difference to your electricity bill. For example, an energy-efficient washing machine could knock $54 on your household bills each year.
You can see how energy efficient your appliances are by checking the star rating label – this is usually stuck on the front of the product.
If you’re looking for a new machine, many online stores, including The Good Guys, Bing Lee, and Appliances Online, allow you to filter by energy rating, which can help narrow your search.
Turn off your devices
What’s wrong with leaving devices on standby? It turns out a lot.
Switching off your devices could save you around $100 a year, according to a report from Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. In fact, turning off your game console after using it could save you up to $193 per year.
Of all the ways to save on household bills, turning off devices on the wall instead of leaving them on in the background might be the easiest.
Dropping or downgrading your health insurance
Take a look at your health insurance policy to see what you have used or, more importantly, what you haven’t used. The easiest way to save is to upgrade to a policy that only covers you for the services you need.
There are also extras policies, such as ahm’s Lifestyle Extras policy, which allow you to avoid waiting times for services such as general dental, physiotherapy and optical. Rather than paying for a year-round policy, you can simply purchase coverage when you need it.
Alternatively, if you’re happy to use the public system, consider dropping your policy altogether. Private hospital insurance generally covers the same treatments as Medicare. The main difference is that private waiting times are often shorter and you can choose the doctor.
There may also be tax advantages to having private health insurance, but only if you earn more than $90,000 per year.
Claim tax deductions for working from home
The new work-from-home standard has been one of the few bright spots to come out of the pandemic. More than half of Australians plan to continue working from home in 2022, according to a Finder survey of 647 workers.
While working from home has its perks – from midday dog walks to saving fuel on fewer trips – our home electricity and energy bills have taken a hit.
The good news is that you can still claim tax deductions for working from home.
There are several ways to do this: the fixed rate method and the actual cost method. With the former, you can claim the flat rate of 52 cents for every hour worked from home, plus some extra expenses for things like electricity and gas.
For the actual cost method, you will need to keep records of receipts or other written evidence showing how much you spend on expenses and depreciating assets you buy and use while working from home. You can then use the ATOs home office expense calculator to calculate your deduction.
Don’t pay interest on your credit card debt
24% of Australians say their biggest financial mistake is going into credit card debt. If you have card debt, have a plan in place to get rid of it.
The easiest way to avoid debt is to set up a reminder or direct debit to settle your balance before the due date. If you do this every month, you will usually have an interest-free period for purchases.
If you are unable to pay the full amount, consider transferring the debt to a 0% balance credit card. This way, you’ll avoid paying interest for an introductory period (usually between 6 and 36 months). Just make sure you pay a fixed amount each month.
Switch to a High Interest Savings Account
If your money is in a regular transaction account, it’s worth switching to a high-interest savings account. Your money will earn interest every month – rather than sitting there – and thanks to compound interest, you’ll also earn interest on your interest.
Even if your money is already in a savings account, you might be able to find a better deal – the highest bonus rates are currently 1.35% and 2% if you’re under 30.
Most come with account criteria that you will need to meet to earn bonus interest. For example, you usually need to deposit a specific amount into your account each month.
Refinance your home loan
Probably the biggest bill in your household (if you’re a homeowner), refinancing your home loan into a new loan with a lower interest rate is a great way to lower your monthly mortgage costs. Even a small difference in your rate can save you a lot.
Let’s say you have a $600,000 home loan with a loan term of 30 years. If your interest rate was 2.50%, your monthly repayment would be $2,370.
If you switched to a loan with a rate of 2.30%, your monthly repayment would drop to €2,308.
That would save you $62 per month. In one year, it’s $744.
Ready to save? Combine your invoices with AGL
Sponsored by AGL. Customers in VIC, NSW AND QLD can enjoy up to $150 in sign-up credits on selected plans when switching from Home Energy to AGL online. Plus, save $14 on an AGL nbn plan and $5 on Mobile SIM plans when combined with AGL Energy.