How to refresh your finances in 2023


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Exercise more, lose weight, drink less, quit smoking - we could go on and on, but these are some of those common New Year's resolutions many Aussies may be struggling to uphold three weeks into the new year.

In 2022, we were hit by a cost-of-living crunch. Putting fuel in your car, keeping the lights at home, food on the table, even a roof over your head may have become much more of a struggle.

With further price increases expected this year, it's understandable some of the typical New Year's resolutions of years gone by may have dropped down the priority list and replaced with 'reduce my cost-of-living' for many Aussies.

three ways you can improve your finances in 2023

Perhaps you tightened the purse strings for the festive season, as household inflation soared by 7.3% in the 12 months to the September 2022 quarter. This was the highest annual increase in three decades.

But have you considered reviewing your health, home and/or contents insurance policies to see if you could save money there? What about your energy plan? Read on as we break down why reviewing these common household bills and expenses now could be a great idea.

Cranking the air-con this summer?

In 2022, energy became less affordable for Aussies and power bills are expected to soar even higher in 2023 for many. If you've been blasting the air-con recently, you could experience some significant shock when that summer bill lands.

When it comes to air-conditioning, one of the top tips to help reduce your energy bill is to make sure you set your cooling between 25°C and 27°C.

For every degree you increase cooling you increase energy use between 5% and 10%. While there are other simple changes you can make around the home to help reduce your energy consumption, it's also a great idea to review and compare your energy plan to make sure you're on a suitable deal.

While there may be fewer options to choose from, there are still price differences to be found between plans and providers and in the current economic climate, every dollar saved counts and that could make switching well worth it.

Prepared for the unexpected?

Storms, floods, fires, cyclones. We cop it all in the land down under! That's why it's important to make sure our homes and/or its contents are adequately covered for damage that could be caused by these weather events.

While many of us have been strapped for cash this year, if you did manage to afford some home renos or perhaps buy a new entertainment system for example, make sure your policy is up-to-date and reflects the true value of your property. If not, you could be caught out at claim time and potentially face higher out-of-pocket expenses if disaster was to strike.

Don't assume that having home and/or contents insurance means adequate cover. Some people may think they're automatically covered for floods, storms, and fire damage, but it really depends on what level of cover you choose and the provider you sign up with. It's important to review the Product Disclosure Statement to understand what is covered and excluded.

Consider a New Year health check

Have a health insurance policy, but worried about the cost of your premiums? Most of the country's biggest funds increased their prices in November 2022, while Medibank/ahm increased its premiums on January 16.

If yours recently went up (or is about to), don't simply accept the higher price! Consider comparing your current policy against a range of others to see if you can save money or find better value.

There you have it - a list of common household bills and expenses you could review now that 2023 gets underway, potentially helping reduce your costs during the year.

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Sophie Ryan is the spokesperson for comparison service iSelect. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of the Sunshine Coast, and provides advice on how Aussies can save on their household bills.