Reducing your bills

What can you do to bring down the cost of the bills that can be relied on to eat away at your hard earned money, every single month? Rather than moving house and leaving no forwarding address or just throwing up your hands in despair, consider some of these tips

Water bills
As you are already aware, the less water you use the less your bill will be. So instead of simply just showering for shorter periods and looking for basic ways to reduce your water usage manually – why not invest some time in ensuring your household becomes more water friendly?

You can pay around $150 for a plumber to come to your house, install water saving shower heads and tap nozzles throughout your home in less than 1 hour. These little devices simply restrict the flow of water to your taps and ensure that you still get good pressure, while not losing hundreds of litres per second. In some states there are also subsidies for doing so, so be sure to check with your states water website for deals and specials.

Another great idea is to consider investing in newer water efficient appliances. Things like dishwashers and washing machines have come a long way in recent years, so if are running an older washing machine – perhaps the upfront investment of a new machine would repay itself within the year with the water savings?

Electricity bills
The key to saving money on electricity bills is better household planning. Look to ensure that all of your household lighting is using energy efficient light bulbs. Awful as they are, those little bulbs can cut your lighting costs by over 50% over the course of a year.

Another idea is to resist the use of lighting. How often do we put a light on when in the bathroom when really it isn’t that dark? Look to change your habits .

Also, when it comes to electricity, our heating and cooling of a house can quickly drive the bill sky high. Look to use fans and natural breezes in the summer, while insulating and wearing warmer clothes in winter to avoid the over usage of heating/cooling systems.

Have you considered solar power panels? Despite the initial set up cost, it is worth investigating whether the installation of solar panels will offset enough of your quarterly bill to firstly pay for itself and then reduce the ongoing usage charges.

Home phone, mobile and internet bills
With the amount of mobile phones we now have in our life, is a home phone really necessary? Perhaps look to scrap the landline in favour of using your mobile instead.

When it comes to mobiles, the trick is to avoid the upsell we all get from the sales person in the telecoms shop. Do you really need all that data? All that free time and chat that is included? People often sign up to high paying contracts that are rather unnecessary.

Now the cost of an internet connection is a tricky one. If you pay too little, you often get unreliability. If you pay too much, you end up with super faster internet and a download limit you never reach. The trick is to find an in between plan and look to get it as cheap as possible. Avoid bundling to ‘save money’ on things like the home phone and focus on finding an internet connection that has a low cost per month with a lightning fast download speed.

Gas bills
Gas is often used on stoves/cook tops and for heating hot water. Did you know that most Australian’s still have a water heating tank? These tanks are on 24/7 and the gas is always keeping the water warm. Instead look for a gas hot water system that heats the water ‘on the go’ – e.g. it lights up and warms the water only as you need it. A small investment to stop you using gas all day and night.

If, despite all your efforts, the bills are still a challenge, do consider calling the companies who supply you. They are usually open to setting up payment plans or reviewing your current agreement.

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