Four ways to spring clean your finances
It's time to pack away those warm woollies. Goodbye winter, hello spring! The mercury is rising, and many of us may be prompted to give our homes a spring clean around this time of year.
You may have plans to clear out the garage, overhaul the kitchen pantry or perhaps your home office, but have you thought about spring cleaning your household bills and expenses?
Now could be a great time to give those a once-over as well to make sure you're not paying more than you need to, especially given the extra cost-of-living pressures many Aussies are facing.
In fact, a recent survey commissioned by iSelect revealed that more than a third of Aussies surveyed say they'll definitely make the time to spring clean their finances this year.
With this in mind here are a few tips on how to spring clean your household bills and expenses.
1. Check your health insurance policy
When was the last time you compared your health insurance cover? If it's been a couple of years (or maybe you can't even remember) then it's a good idea to review and compare now.
Health needs change over time, so it's important your policy still suits your needs. For example, if you're not covered for pregnancy but are thinking about having a baby, you need to be covered for 12 months before you can claim for pregnancy, which means you may need to upgrade your cover before you even start trying!
Maybe your family is well and truly complete? Consider removing pregnancy from your policy, and this could bring down your premiums considerably.
Think about increasing premiums too. Some health insurers increased their premiums on April 1st this year, while many others delayed their increases due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
Your premium could have already gone up or may be about to. If you're unsure when it's increasing this year, or by how much, now is a good time to find out and compare your health cover to make sure you're still getting a good deal.
2. Consider how much you're paying for energy
Perhaps you've seen it on the news or received a letter from your energy provider, but chances are you've heard about recent power price hikes. Now is a great time to compare your energy plan to make sure you're getting good value deal for your money.
If you haven't taken some time to do this already, grab a copy of your latest power bill and review it as part of your 'spring clean'. There may be fewer options available right now in terms of both plans and providers with some energy retailers - particularly smaller ones - no longer accepting new customers due in part to volatile wholesale prices.
Shopping around though may only take a few minutes and could still save you money. Even if you decide not to switch, the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're already on a suitable plan could be well worth it.
3. Look at your car insurance policy
With COVID-19 lockdowns behind us (well let's hope so, anyway), you may be driving more or maybe you've recently accepted a new work-from-home job and you're driving less.
It's a good idea to put car insurance on your list of bills and expenses to review this spring. It's important to make sure you're adequately covered and that your policy still suits your current lifestyle.
It may pay to shop around and compare policies and insurers. Things like having a good driving record or fitting your car with safety features could save you money.
4. Think about home and contents
Speaking of vehicles, if you're planning to hit the road soon for a well-earned holiday, then it's a good idea to check if you have adequate home and contents Insurance. This could save you thousands of dollars if an unfortunate event occurs (such as theft, or damage due to storms or fire) while you're off enjoying this warmer weather at your favourite destination.
And if you already have a policy, that's great but have you reviewed it recently? If you've done some home renos or bought a new TV, the value of your home and contents may have changed.
So there you have it, four steps to 'spring clean' your bills and expenses this spring. Sit down and take a few minutes to go through these steps and perhaps you'll come away with some extra cash in your back pocket - something many of us could sure do with right now!
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