By iSelect spokeswoman, Jessie Petterd.
There’s something about the Springtime air that makes us want to reorganise our lives. Whether it be cleaning out the garage, the pantry or closet, the decluttering of our space is very satisfying.
But before you clean out the house and take a load off, it’s important to also declutter your household bills regularly to make sure you’re not paying too much or for things you no longer need.
We can all agree that our lifestyles have certainly changed since the start of 2020, whether its home-schooling, working from home or just more time inside. With a change in lifestyle, should come a change in your insurances and utilities. Sound overwhelming? Never fear. We’ve created a simple four-step guide to Spring Clean Your Bills in no time.
Step 1: Check your health insurance policy
When was the last time you reviewed your health insurance policy? If it’s been a number of years, then it may be time to compare health policies*. With health premiums rising every year on top of your changing lifestyle and health needs, you could be covered for things you no longer need or worse, not covered for things you do need.
There’s nothing worse than going into hospital for a treatment to find out you’re not covered for your procedure. Or perhaps you’re paying top dollar for your policy when you really don’t need to anymore. You’d be surprised how many families are still paying top cover for pregnancy when their baby-making days are well behind them!
Or perhaps you don’t use your Extras, so then why should you pay for them? Alternatively, you could opt for a policy that offers flexible Extras limits that you could tailor to suit your lifestyle.
Comparing your policy against others is a great way to make sure you’re getting great value and could save you money off your premiums.
Step 2: Make sure your internet plan still suits your browsing needs
Home schooling, working from home and a lot more screen time could mean that your browsing needs no longer match your data plan which is why it’s important to compare internet plans* regularly.
When looking to save money on your broadband deal, remember that ‘unlimited’ data plans can sound appealing but may not be necessary and you could be paying for more data than you actually need.
Also, while a month-to-month plan may seem appealing because its offers low commitment, if you’re trying to keep costs down it may be better to consider a 12 or 24-month contract instead which can generally have lower set-up fees.
Step 3: Check you’re not paying too much for your energy bills
Energy prices and plans have changed quite a bit over the past year, throw this in with the new Energy Demand Tariff that was recently introduced for some customers, and it could mean you’re paying more than you need to for your energy bill.
If you’re content with your plan and your discount, just remember that discount periods on market offers may change after a year or two and this should be your prompt to shop around.
With multiple changes made to electricity plans in recent times, in addition to your bumper winter energy bill which has probably just arrived, now is the time to compare energy plans* to make sure you’re still getting value for money*.
Step 4: Consider refinancing your Home Loan
With interest rates always on the move and market conditions constantly shifting, the home loan you signed up for yesterday may not be suitable for you today.
Variable rates are generally not set in stone and you may be free to negotiate a better deal with your current lender, or even to move your home loan to a new lender to secure a lower interest rate or more appealing terms.
Some lenders may be more likely than you think to offer you a discounted rate on your home loan so it doesn’t hurt to at least ask the question. Before you speak to your lender, do your research so that you can be confident and firm with your request.
If you feel as though you could still be getting a better deal from your lender, speak to a mortgage broker like iSelect’s trusted partner, Lendi^ about home loan refinance – the process is easier than most people think and could save you some serious cash.
If these four easy steps still sound impossible to achieve on top of home schooling, working, cooking, cleaning, attempting a social life and finding ‘me time’, we don’t blame you. Which is why there are comparison services available like iSelect who can compare from their range of providers and products and help with some of the admin to make the switch for you in one simple phone call*. Leaving you more time to enjoy the important things in life!
*iSelect General Pty Limited ABN 90 131 798 126, AFS Licence Number: 334115. Any advice provided by iSelect is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice iSelect gives you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on iSelect’s advice or purchasing any policy. You should consider iSelect’s Financial Services Guide which provides information about our services and your rights as a client of iSelect. iSelect receives commission for each policy sold.
^iSelect does not arrange home loan products, but can refer you to Lendi who does provide such services and can help you compare home loan products. Lendi is a Credit Representative of Auscred Services Pty Ltd (Australian Credit Licence 442372). If you click through to the Lendi website and acquire a home loan through Lendi, iSelect earns a commission from Lendi.
Need a reminder to Declutter?
Check out these printable decluttering stickers and add them to your planner to remind yourself to start now!