By Sophie Ryan, iSelect Spokesperson
Presents? Check. Food? Check. Decorations? Sorted. It’s the same every year. December rolls around and the chaos that is Christmas begins.
However, this year’s festive season could be a little less joyful for many households, as the relentless cost-of-living crunch continues to bite hard.
If your household has cut back on some festive favourites in 2023 to save money, research suggests you’re certainly not the only one! A new study commissioned by comparison service, iSelect, found more than half of households surveyed (57 per cent) say they will be reducing the amount they typically spend over the holiday period, due to significant cost-of-living pressures.
We don’t really need to explain why Christmas may look different this year. It’s the water cooler conversation of 2023. A rate rise here, a power bill price increase there. It’s no wonder many Aussie households are slashing their spend on many festive favourites, such as presents and holidays.
Here’s the silver lining. There are ways households could be saving money this Christmas which they may not have even thought of doing, and we’re here to let you in on three of our top tips.
1. Review, review, review
Yes, we do need to say it three times because it can be a common thing many Aussies may forget about when it comes to their household bills and expenses. Think about your health insurance policy, or your home and/or contents or car insurance plan. Can’t remember the last time you reviewed these essential bills? Needs and circumstances change over time. When it comes to insurances, regularly ask yourself what you need to be covered for and if your current policy/plan stacks up. You could be paying for things you don’t need, and not covered for things you do.
We know, you’re probably thinking ‘who has time for that?’. That’s where a comparison service such as iSelect can help out. iSelect can do the work for you by helping you to compare, and if there’s a better deal to be had from their range of plans and providers, they take care of the switching process for you! Less admin? Yes please!
2. Keep an eye out for any deals and incentives
Everyone loves a good deal, right? Did you know that around certain times of the year, insurers (particularly health funds) may offer incentives to attract new customers? It’s true, they want your business! Now could be a great time to put the Christmas shopping aside and instead take advantage of any deals that may be on offer, especially if you’re one of the millions of Aussies who experienced a health insurance premium increase this year.
3. Reduce your power consumption
According to the research, more than half of Aussies surveyed (59 per cent) who typically use Christmas lights said they won’t be using them at all this year (or not as many) as a result of power bills increasing significantly.
Thankfully, lighting only accounts for 10 per cent of the average Australian household’s electricity bill. While there are other things you can do around the home to reduce your power consumption over summer (like switching off that power-guzzling air-conditioner), iSelect General Manager – Utilities & Credit Cards, Julia Paszka, said if you’re concerned about your next electricity bill, then it might be worthwhile comparing your energy plan and provider.
“Electricity bills increased by hundreds of dollars for many Aussie households this year, as rates for both default and market offers soared,” she said.
“Many customers aren’t aware that most energy plans – particularly those featuring discounts – generally expire after a year or two, so if you’ve been on the same plan for several years, it’s possible you could have been automatically transferred onto a higher priced plan and might be paying more than you need to.”
And that’s something no one wants to be doing at any time, let alone over Christmas.
*iSelect does not compare all products in the market. The availability of products iSelect compare may change from time to time. Not all products made available from iSelect’s providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all products compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some products and special offers may only be available from iSelect’s call centre or website. Click here to view iSelect’s range of Providers.
 Source: iSelect commissioned iLink to conduct a national online survey between 2 November and 7 November. The sample is N=1,000 nationally representative sample of those 18+ years.
 Source: https://www.energy.gov.au/households/lighting