The bills are piling up and you don’t know what to do next.  Here are some hints on getting out in front of your expenses once and for all.

  1. Pay your car registration annually rather than six-monthly.  Most states in Australia will offer drivers both options, and a hefty fee to go along with a six-monthly renewal.  Keep that $100 or so in your pocket and pay annually.
  2. Check your telecommunications provided has not changed their products.  It is not uncommon for people to be paying for older (and less flexible and technologically advanced) plans that are no longer being offered, when newer and better plans are available.  Find out and switch.   And of course don’t be afraid to negotiate on the price!
  3. Save on bank fees by electing to get your monthly statement online rather than in the mail.
  4. Bundle your insurance policies.  Your car insurance, home insurance, contents insurance, boat insurance, life insurance, pet insurance – the list goes on these days! Many insurers give a discount for three policies with the same provider, and these discounts can be upward of 15%.
  5. Reduce your bills by investing in a grid-connecting solar system to save both energy and money.  You will never use all the energy you generate, and as well as eliminating your own power bill, you will actually get paid for the extra power you send into the power grid!
  6. Switch your power bill to off-peak power and make substantial savings from the off-peak tariffs.  Even by connecting just your hot water system to an off-peak tariff you could save up to 60% of your costs, or around $300 a year!  And you might also be eligible for a Government rebate!
  7. Pay extra mortgage repayments when you can.  No matter how little the amount, making extra loan repayments of even just $50 is saving you in in interest costs in the short term, which means getting you closer to paying off that home loan principle in the longer term.  Reduce your mortgage stress when you can.
  8. Never pay an insurance premium by the month if you can afford it.  There is always added administrative costs and fees for the privilege of doing so.
  9. Carefully review your banks policy – how many free EFTPOS transactions you get a month, what the ATM withdrawal policy is.  Also, know what ATMs you can use and what charges you will incur if you use another banks.
  10. Get out of the trap of relying on your credit cards.  Don’t automatically swipe your credit card, instead use cash or your debit card.