Six ways to slash your bills


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With interest rates continuing to rise, here are a few suggestions for saving on some big-ticket spends.

The idea is to avoid paying a 'lazy tax', which is money you pay when you forget to negotiate a better deal.

Home loan

how to stop paying lazy tax

Engage the services of a mortgage broker to see if they can find a lower interest rate loan. If they can, ask your current lender to match it, and if they won't, move your business.

Even if you only negotiate a small discount, on a big loan, over a long time, the savings will be significant.

Energy providers

Make it a rule to price-shop your power at least once a year.

Power providers are always dangling incentives and lower prices to get new sign-ups, and then hope you prefer the convenience of sticking with them rather than shopping round.


As for energy providers, price shop your home and car insurance annually to see if you can get a better deal.

Before changing, ask your current provider to price match, and if they can't or won't, then move.

Phone and internet

The rule is to pay for what you use, not what you don't. Paying for data and speeds that you rarely use but want 'just in case' is flushing cash down the toilet.

If you require more data or more speed for a special occasion, you can usually buy the extra needed by the block.

TV subscriptions

Keep one paid streaming service at a time. Binge watch the shows you like, then cancel and move on to the next TV subscription.

If you switch every two months, you'll get through six providers in a year, watch all the good shows, but only effectively pay for one membership.


Finally, name and number your vices and make the call on whether the cost is worth the benefit.

It might not be an all-or-nothing decision, but rather a less-is-more mindset.

Here's a few vices and splurges to consider with the average weekly spend in after-tax dollars next to it (Wallis, 2021), which I have recalculated back to before-tax dollars, assuming a tax rate of 30%.

For instance, if your marginal tax rate is 30%, then $10,816 in after-tax dollars requires $15,452 in pre-tax dollars. If your spending isn't under control, then it's out of control, and that's a problem because runaway spending repels money. To fix the problem, you need to learn and implement spending control.

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Steve McKnight is a business author and investor. He holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and is a chartered accountant. He began his career working at Deloitte before establishing his own accounting practice. In 2001, he co-founded He is the author of several books including From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years and Money Magnet.