17 Aug 2020
Are you looking for ways to save money on household bills? Perhaps you aren't good at managing your bills, or maybe you already have too many to begin with. Whatever the case may be, if you're looking to get ahead of your household's monthly costs, here are 10 useful things you can do to try and help relieve your financial woes.
If you're wondering how to save money on household bills, refinancing your home (or your car, if that's what you prefer) is one of the best things you can do. After all, mortgage repayments eat up a lot of our income in Australia. According to the Australian Financial Review, we spend up to 42% of our income repaying our home loans, although this can vary greatly from state to state. Refinancing is a great way to work around these costs, since it allows you to take out a new mortgage to replace an existing loan. Often you will have to undertake refinancing with a different bank, but by doing so you can access better interest rates, new redraw facilities and more flexible repayments. By refinancing your home or vehicle, you can also consolidate existing debts into your mortgage so it's easier to manage your finances.
In a similar way to above, you can consolidate or refinance your numerous personal loans or credit card debt into a single loan. This means you aren't trying to pay off multiple loans at once; instead, you're focusing on paying off a single monetary figure. If you choose to consolidate your debts in order to save money on household bills, be sure to compare the interest rate for the new loan against those of your current loans (otherwise you may end up paying more!), and make sure you can afford the new repayments.
Do you always have the best intention of paying your bills on time, but then get distracted and miss the payment date – and then get hit with a late fee? Skip this stressful habit by signing up for direct debit. By signing up for direct debit, you'll automatically pay your bills, which stops you from spending any money on late fees.
If you're looking for next-to-no-effort ideas on how to save money on household bills, consider bundling your phone and internet services. Belong, TPG, Dodo and Aussie Broadband are among the most competitive, with Dodo even allowing you to bundle your internet, electricity and gas together to save you a bit of money each and every month. By going through the same service provider for both your phone and your internet, you're likely to score some great savings.
The price of electricity is another worrying cost for Australian households, with the average five-person household spending over $2,000 a year on bills. And electricity hasn't gotten cheaper over the years, either. Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to cut down on your power usage, including the use of energy smart appliances. Larger appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, usually come with an energy rating that can be as high as six stars – and while the higher the stars, the more you'll pay for the appliance, the less you'll pay in the long run when it comes to energy costs.
We live in a very throwaway culture, where often we're encouraged to buy a new shirt if we rip a hole in it, rather than repair it. To save a little bit of money on household costs, you should try the DIY option wherever possible – whether it's carrying out minor household repairs or planting a herb garden to save on the costs of buying from the supermarket. Plus, you'll pick up some handy skills and maybe discover a new hobby along the way!
Looking for a sure-fire way to save when it comes to the question of how to save money on household bills? Don't be afraid to ask for a discount. After all, there's a difference between being cheap, and being thrifty. You can negotiate prices on many things including vehicles, wedding venues, eBay sellers and more, but do keep in mind that price can be a sensitive issue when it comes to tradesmen, freelancers, and similar job roles where people are selling their skills rather than an object.
You don't have to go out for a Gold Class movie sitting or throw your money at the pub in order to entertain yourself on weekends – in fact, even general admission movies are getting pretty pricey these days! Try opting for less expensive entertainment during your free time. You can go for a picnic or hike, hire an electric scooter (such as Lime scooters) and zip around picturesque parts of the city, or just have friends around for a Netflix movie night. Roller skating and ice skating are two other cheap forms of entertainment, averaging around $20 for over an hour in the rink.
Every appliance that's plugged in 24/7 – whether it's switched on or not – is essentially in standby mode and constantly using a little bit of power. Over time, this "little bit" adds up to quite a lot of wasted power, and therefore wasted dollars. It's estimated that standby appliances make up approximately 10% of every electricity bill, so by unplugging the television, your computer, your kettle, and similar appliances when they aren't in use, you can be saving yourself some good pocket money every month.
Creating a budget for your household is easily one of the best things you can do when it comes to how to save money on household bills. We have an entire blog post dedicated to the best budgeting apps around (both free and paid), where we look at the benefits of these clever apps and how they fit into your life to track spending and encourage saving. Looking for other thrifty ways to save? Learn how to save money on your grocery bill, or get some money-saving tips for budgeting on an income – with lots more to discover on our blog.