Wondering where all your hard-earned money went and not save? Suffering in the summer heat, but don’t want to run your aircon? Opening those envelopes and shuddering? Between power, gas, and water, your utility bills are one of the major cost-of-living expenses in Australia; and that’s before we even start on your monthly expenses. Fortunately, there are some easy not-so-secret tweaks that savvy billpayers across the country use to live their best life, cheaper. Want to know more? Read on!
Water conservation is an ongoing issue. As the planet gets hotter and droughts increase, prices aren’t likely to be getting cheaper anytime soon. Outside of the environmental issue, there’s also the fact that Aussie households are spending an average of between $936 (WA) to $1,460 (TAS) per year on this basic necessity of life.
You’re probably wondering why your water bill is so expensive. Well, about 40% of water is usually used outdoors; so planting a water-wise garden with plants that thrive in Aussie conditions can significantly reduce your spending. It’s also worth noting that up to 90% of the water used in gardens is on the lawn; reducing lawn area is a quick and easy way to save on your water bills. Try a drought-tolerant ground cover; your local nursery can point you in the right direction.
Another great way to keep your water bill under control is a water tank. These aren’t just for Uncle Bob’s remote sheep farm anymore to save; slimline water tanks mount directly onto the side of your property, and they look pretty good! Depending on the materials you’re using, they can last for many decades to come; poly water tanks start at about $650, while stainless steel starts at around $1,100. Depending on climate and tank size/positioning, you can hypothetically replace 100% of your mains water use. Water tanks can be a great investment in your financial future, and Australia’s future water security too.
Reduce your mortgage interest rates and save money.
Aussie mortgage interest rates are at an extraordinary low at the moment! The interest rate offered by your bank or financial institution may no longer be competitive. But, they still don’t want to lose you to the competition; after all, the interest you pay is money in the bank – to your bank. Shop around for cheaper mortgage interest rates; then, ask your bank if they can match offers (or at least reasonably reduce your interest rate). If not, at least you’ll have offers from others who can give you a better deal.
Get a better deal on electricity.
A lot of Aussies still don’t know about this 5-minute way to save hundreds per year; they’re still paying the ‘lazy tax’ (as the Barefoot Investor puts it). With government and competitive pressure on the electricity market, electricity providers have been putting out some great deals lately. And they’re expected to get even cheaper! Industry reports by the AEMC indicate that prices are set to fall over the next three years. On average, Aussie homes should be paying 9% less by 2023 than they are now.
But, this doesn’t just happen by itself! Many Aussies are still signed up to standard contracts (the price ceiling for your state, i.e. maximum possible cost). Others are on the Default Market Offer, especially if they’ve been on their plan for more than 2 years; this is also expensive, and unnecessary!
So, haven’t compared electricity plans in the last 2 years? You’ll be happy to know that you can probably get a better deal. It’s surprisingly easy, too. Aussie energy comparison site Econnex offers an easy-to-use tool; it searches through its database of plans on offer from a panel of dozens of Aussie electricity providers. Next, it generates a list of plans available in your area, with dollar values estimated on factors like your household size. It also includes the main conditions of the contract offer; so you can find a plan that works for how & when YOU use electricity.
Want to know more? Head to these state-specific Econnex portals for overarching info about electricity providers in your state/territory:
Is your state/territory not on the list? Quick rundown: in most of NT, you can choose between Jacana and Rimfire Energy; WA is not a deregulated market, so you can’t compare residential electricity providers; and in TAS, 99% of the population are with Aurora Energy and 1% are with 1st Energy. Simple!
Want to know more? Mosey over to the Econnex energy comparison tool to get great deals on gas and electricity!
Hopefully, these ideas have given you plenty of material for serious savings in 2021! With a few easy tweaks, you can enjoy savings for many years to come.