8 tips to save on your household bills in 2022
These simple tips can help you save hundreds on your everyday bills – but only take minutes to do.
Sponsored by AGL. Customers in VIC, NSW AND QLD can enjoy up to $150 in sign up credits on selected plans when switching home energy to AGL online. Plus, save $15 off an AGL nbn plan and $5 off mobile SIM plans when combined with AGL energy.
If you're feeling the cost of living pinch in Australia and aren't sure how to reduce your spending, you're not alone. Just 1 in 5 Australians describe themselves as being great with money.
To help ease some of the pressure, we've put together 10 tips that'll help you save on everyday household bills in 2022 – from combining your bills to cutting down on healthcare costs. Let's get into it.
Combine your bills
When it comes to household bills, Australians appreciate convenience. 60% of us are willing to combine our energy services with a telco subscription, according to a recent report from management consultancy Oliver Wyman.
For example, AGL is currently offering customers in NSW, VIC and QLD up to $150 in sign up credits on selected plans when you switch your home energy to AGL online – that's $75 for electricity and $75 for gas.
They'll also knock $15 a month off AGL Internet and $5 a month off AGL mobile plans when you combine with your AGL energy plan. They're also currently offering 3 months free for their mobile plans and 1 month free for nbn plans.
There's no lock-in contracts so you can change your plan at any time.
Use energy-efficient appliances
Energy-efficient appliances will make a huge difference to your power bill. For example, An energy-efficient washing machine could knock off $54 off your household bills each year.
You can see how energy-efficient your appliances are by checking the star rating label – it's usually plastered on the front of the product.
If you're hunting for a new machine, lots of online stores including The Good Guys, Bing Lee and Appliances Online let you filter by energy rating which can help narrow your search.
Turn off your appliances
What's the harm in leaving appliances on standby? It turns out, quite a lot.
Turning your appliances off could save you around $100 a year, according to a report from Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. In fact, switching off your game console after using it could save you as much as $193 a year.
Of all the ways to save on household bills, switching devices off at the wall instead of leaving them on in the background might be the easiest.
Ditch or downgrade your health insurance
Take a quick look at your health insurance policy to see what you've used — or more importantly, not used. The easiest way to save is by switching to a policy that only covers you for the services you need.
There are also extras policies, such as ahm's Lifestyle Extras policy, that let you skip waiting periods for services like general dental, physio and optical. Rather than pay for a policy all year-round, you can simply take out cover when you need it.
Alternatively, if you're happy to use the public system, consider ditching your policy altogether. Private hospital insurance typically covers the same treatments as Medicare. The main difference is that private waiting times are often shorter and you get to choose the doctor.
There can also be some tax benefits to having private health insurance, but only if you earn over $90,000 a year.
Claim working from home tax deductions
The new working from home norm was one of the few positives to come out of the pandemic. More than half of Australians plan to keep working from home in 2022, according to a Finder survey of 647 workers.
While working from home has its perks – from midday dog walks to fuel saved on fewer commutes – our household electricity and energy bills have taken a hit.
The good news is you can still claim tax deductions for working from home.
There are a couple of ways you can do this: the fixed rate method and the actual cost method. With the former, you can claim the fixed rate of 52 cents for each hour you worked from home, plus some additional expenses for things like electricity and gas.
For the actual cost method, you'll need to keep records of receipts or other written evidence which show the amount you spend on expenses and depreciating assets you buy and use while working from home. You can then use the ATO's home office expenses calculator to work out your deduction.
Don't pay interest on your credit card debt
24% of Australians say their biggest money mistake is falling into credit card debt. If you've got card debt, put a plan in place to get rid of it.
The easiest way to avoid debt is to set up a reminder or direct debit to pay off your balance by the due date. If you do that every month, you'll usually get an interest-free period for purchases.
If you're not able to pay the full amount, consider transferring the debt to a 0% balance credit card. That way, you'll avoid paying interest for an introductory period of time (typically between 6 and 36 months). Just make sure you pay off a set amount every month.
Switch to a high interest savings account
If your money is sitting in a regular transaction account, it's worth switching to a high interest savings account. Your money will earn interest each month – rather than just sit there – and thanks to compound interest you'll earn interest on your interest as well.
Even if your money is in a savings account already, you might be able to find a better deal – the highest bonus rates at the moment are 1.35% and 2% if you're under 30.
Most come with account criteria you'll need to meet in order to earn bonus interest. For example, you generally need to deposit a specific amount into your account every month.
Refinance your home loan
Probably your biggest household bill (if you're a homeowner), refinancing your home loan to a new loan with a lower interest rate is a great way to cut your monthly mortgage costs. Even a small difference in your rate can save you quite a bit.
Let's say you have a $600,000 home loan with a 30-year loan term. If your interest rate was 2.50%, your monthly repayment would be $2,370.
If you switched to a loan with a rate of 2.30%, your monthly repayment would fall to $2,308.
That would save you $62 a month. In a year that's $744.
Ready to save? Combine your bills with AGL
Sponsored by AGL. Customers in VIC, NSW AND QLD can enjoy up to $150 in sign up credits on selected plans when switching home energy to AGL online. Plus, save $14 off an AGL nbn plan and $5 off mobile SIM plans when combined with AGL energy.