A guest post by Sophie Ryan, iSelect spokesperson.
It’s safe to say many Aussies take a real hit to the bank balance during the festive season. In fact, recent i-Link Research commissioned by comparison service iSelect found one in four Aussies estimate their household spends more than $1,000 on Christmas each year, while 14 per cent estimate their household spends more than $1,500. However, more than half of Aussies surveyed (58 per cent) said they’d be taking steps to reduce Christmas spending in 2022, given the increased cost-of-living.
It’s understandable if you needed to tighten the purse strings this silly season, but as we welcome in 2023 there are a few other household expenses you should consider reviewing to see if you can save money. Read on as we outline these common bills, and why now could be a great time to review them and help you start the new year off on the right foot, financially.
1. Consider checking your energy plan
In 2022 energy became less affordable for Aussies, and power bills are expected to soar even higher in 2023 for many. The recent survey also found most (87 per cent) are worried about the cost of their upcoming summer energy bill, with 15 per cent saying they’re extremely worried and have no idea how they’re going to pay for it.1
During summer, many people are cranking the air-conditioner too to beat the heat. The higher price of energy, combined with more consumption around this time, and you could be in for some serious bill shock!
In 2023, consider making some changes around your home to reduce your power usage. This could include shutting doors and vents to unused areas and only cool the rooms you’re using, keeping curtains shut during the hottest part of the day and making the most of natural airflow in the cooler parts of the day by opening windows to bring in the breeze and hot air out.
While these steps may help reduce your energy consumption and lead to a less expensive bill, it’s also a great idea to review and compare your energy plan to make sure you’re on a suitable deal. Despite prices being higher across the board right now, there are still differences to be found between plans and providers and in the current cost-of-living crunch, every dollar saved counts!
2. Think about your Home and/or Contents Insurance
Storm and bushfire season is here, do you know if your home and/or contents is adequately covered if disaster strikes this summer? If you have a home and/or contents insurance policy, now could be the perfect time to review it. A suitable policy with appropriate cover may give you peace of mind that your home and valuables are covered in the event of damage such as floods, fires and storms, but don’t assume that just having Home and Contents Insurance means adequate cover.
Some people may think they’re automatically covered for these types of events when they might not be! The last thing Aussies need right now is to be caught out underinsured. So, put your home and/or contents insurance plan on your 2023 review list of bills to review and check you’re on a suitable policy and adequately covered.
3. Check on your Health Insurance premium
Most of the country’s biggest funds increased their prices on November 1st 2022, and at this stage Medibank/ahm is set to increase their premiums on January 16, 2023. If you have private health cover, and your premiums just went up (or is about to) consider comparing your current policy against a range of other providers this new year. Don’t just accept the higher price tag for having and keeping your cover as there are ways you could save or find better value.
There you have it – a list of common household bills and expenses you could review as 2023 gets underway, potentially helping reduce your costs during the year.
While it might seem like a big task to review them all, help is out there! Whether it’s your Energy Plan, Home and/or Contents Insurance, or Health Insurance policy, a comparison service such as iSelect* can see if they can find you a better deal, and if you do decide to switch, they can take care of the whole process, saving you time and effort.
*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.
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.
 Source: iSelect commissioned i-Link Research to conduct a national online survey between 4 November and 10 November 2022. The sample is n=1,000 Australians 18+ years, with data weighted to represent the population by age, state and gender, and is representative of all Australian adults 18+
 Source: Page 6 of this report: https://www.aer.gov.au/system/files/State%20of%20the%20energy%20market%202022%20-%20Full%20report.pdf & Page 57 of https://budget.gov.au/2022-23-october/content/bp1/download/bp1_bs-2.pdf
 Source: https://www.energy.gov.au/households/quick-wins