Four household bills to reassess in lockdown
There's no doubting that for many of us in lockdown around the country, our usual activities have recently come to a screeching halt. Work, school, events and social gatherings have all been paused but there's one thing that unfortunately continues to go on: household bills.
But now that a lot of us are spending more time at home, are we paying more than we need to for some bills and insurances? If you're unsure, it could be time for a financial audit, lockdown style. Because, what else is there to do?
1. Car insurance
Let's start with car insurance. If you're currently in lockdown, you'd know that your car is spending much more time staring at the four walls of your garage than out on the road.
While it's great that you've been saving money on fuel, you may not have thought about the savings you could also make on your car insurance if it's being used less. Did you know some car insurance providers currently offer drive less, pay less options such as Woolworths, Youi, APIA and AAMI, as an example.
A price comparison between providers and plans can differ quite a bit depending on your annual mileage estimate so it really can pay to review your car insurance policy to make sure it suits your current lifestyle.
2. Home and contents insurance
When you're not busy homeschooling or cleaning every square inch of the house to pass the time in lockdown, you may be one of the many Aussies who've decided to upgrade their home with a small reno or perhaps a new entertainment system or even an investment in a fancy piece art.
If you've recently spent some money decking out your house, you could be due for a home and contents insurance review. You'd be surprised how many Aussies are underinsured when it comes to their home and belongings simply because they hadn't bothered to update their policy over the years. Don't wait until the unthinkable happens to find out...
3. Energy bills
If you're working or studying from home or just spending more time on the couch, the way you use your energy may have changed. With the heater or aircon on overdrive, the washing machine getting a workout during peak times, extra devices sucking up power and let's admit it, more of those long, hot showers to drown our lockdown blues - it's no surprise our energy usage may have skyrocketed.
Haven't reviewed your energy plan in a few years? Now could be the perfect time to rereview to ensure you're not paying more than you need to. On top of usage changes, remember that discount periods or market offers may change after a year or two so this should also be your prompt to shop around and compare energy plans.
4. Broadband deal
Many us are spending an embarrassing amount of time binging Netflix to pass the days or working long hours from the home office (or the kitchen bench!). However you're using the internet in lockdown, your broadband data plan might not be up to speed with your recent lifestyle changes.
When looking to review your broadband deal, remember that unlimited data plans can sound appealing but may not be necessary and you could end up paying for more data than you actually need.
Another key tip when comparing your broadband deal against others is that while a month-to-month plan may seem appealing because it offers low commitment, if you're trying to keep costs down it may be better to consider a 12- or 24-months contract instead which in some cases may have lower set-up fees.
As our locked down states look forward to freedom, now is the time to get your finances in order and your household bills is the perfect place to start. You could even be strutting out of lockdown and into your local cafes, bars and shops with some extra dollars in your back pocket.
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