Many Australians are forced to live on a fixed income, either relying on the Age Pension or allocated pension fund payments. Each and every time you watch the television or pick up a newspaper, you’re confronted with the headline that household bills are on the increase.
Stretching your weekly or monthly budget to cover costs can be a challenge and it’s often easy to fall behind on one or two payments. So with this in mind, the team at YOURLifeChoices has catalogued ten of the best websites with information and tips on how to save you money.
Reducing utility costs
After mortgage payments and rent, utility bills probably take up the majority of a household’s budget. Many utility companies will offer you a significant discount, 16 per cent in some cases, if you’re willing to sign a two or three year contract, and some offer a discount for having both gas and electricity accounts with them. Shopping around can also save you money and comparison websites which do the work for you are a good place to start.
Saving on water bills
As most states and territories have just one water supplier, shopping around to save money is a challenge. However, you can ensure you are getting the concession to which you are entitled by contacting your water supplier and registering your concession card. Saving money by reducing your water usage is also possible and just a few simple measures taken around the house can see your bills fall.
Don’t pay more for health insurance
Recent changes to the means testing of the Government’s Private Health Insurance rebates and an increase in the Medicare Levy Surcharge have made many people reconsider the need for health insurance. Reviewing the level of cover you actually require and getting the most affordable premium can make paying health insurance premiums more palatable.
Getting what you pay for
Are you really getting the broadband download speeds for which you are paying? Check if the speed of your connection is as it should be. Or are you paying for a service you’re not really using? Compare your actual usage against your billed usage and find out if there’s a better package which suits your needs.
Keeping your bills under control
If you find yourself paying bills late each month and incurring late payment fees, then using a bill payment service can help you keep your budgeting on track. Centrelink offer Centrepay for paying utility bills, rent, payments for rental goods, ambulance costs, home care services and medical services. You advise Centrelink how much you wish to be paid to each business or organisation and they will withhold this amount from your benefit and pay the bills on your behalf at no extra cost to you. This service can great reduce your financial stress and ensure you don't fall into debt unknowingly.
Brokering an insurance deal
The next time your home, contents or car insurance policy comes up for renewal it may be worth shopping around to get a better deal. However, as this can be time consuming, using a broker might save you time and money. With access to the different policies of offer, which you may not be able to find, a broker can ascertain the cover you need and get you the most appropriate policy. Brokers usually charge a commission to the company providing the insurance, so ensure you ask about this before agreeing to anything.
Shopping around online
Shopping online can save you money if you know exactly what you want, but sometimes you prefer to actually see the item before you commit to buy. It’s incredibly frustrating to purchase something, only to find it on special in the store along the street, but going from store to store to get the best price can be wearying. Many stores now host catalogues on their websites to enable you to browse before you leave the house, or there are sites which host many different catalogues.
Cutting your grocery bills
There are many ways to cut your grocery bills but the simplest is smarter shopping. Don’t shop on an empty stomach, buy food which is in season, make a list and stick to it and find out if specials really deliver the value they promise. Compare shelf prices by using the display tickets to work out the price per unit. Even if you don’t want to order your groceries online, use the supermarket websites to calculate your grocery bill before you head out.
Travelling for less
Seniors Card holders can now travel interstate and acrossNew Zealandon public transport at concessionary rates. To find out if you are eligible for a Seniors Card, or what concession savings may be available to you, you should contact your state or territory Seniors Card office. Seniors Card Holders can also access discounts on GSR services and car rental to make holidays more affordable. Find contact details and more information.
Combat rising fuel costs
With the rising cost fuel, filling up your tank can be enough to cause heart failure, but did you know that they way you actually pump the fuel could be wasting money? Try filling up in the morning when fuel is colder and there’s less evaporation, pump the fuel as slowly as possible and never let your tank get near empty. Also, ensuring your tyres are at the correct pressure, driving at a continual speed and not running the air conditioning when you don’t need it can see you go further on a tank of petrol. Compare fuel prices in your area to make sure you get the best price.
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