This is a sponsored post written by Sophie Ryan, iSelect spokesperson
You may have escaped a freezing cold Christmas in the United Kingdom for a much warmer celebration in Australia, but avoiding the extra expenses that go hand in hand with the festive season is going to be much more difficult.
We know costly trimmings such as presents, food and decorations are not entirely what this time of the year is all about, but it sure brings plenty of joy to many households. Unfortunately, with cost-of-living hikes left, right and centre, you may have cut back on your spending just a little (or perhaps a lot) this year. You wouldn’t be the only one, that’s for sure.
In fact, a new study commissioned by comparison service iSelect has revealed more than half of households surveyed (57 per cent) say they will be reducing the amount they typically spend over the festive holiday period. So, how can you tackle widespread price hikes and help ease the budget this Christmas?
Read on as we share three tips that could put some cash back into your bank account.
1 Go shopping
Many people mistakenly believe that ‘loyalty’ is rewarded when it comes to insurance and/or utility providers, but that’s not always true. In fact, often providers offer better rates/premiums to attract new customers than what are available to existing customers.
2 Consider a higher excess
Did you know that some insurance companies may offer lower premiums if you opt for a higher excess? It could be worth a try if it means a few extra dollars in your bank account (every cent helps!)
Also, around certain times of the year, insurers (particularly health funds) may offer incentives and that could be a good time to shop around and take advantage of any deals and offers. Remember though, a good deal doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest. Make sure any policy/plan is suited to your needs.
3 Check your power
Your street may be looking less bright this year, with more than half of regular Christmas light users surveyed (59 per cent) say they will be using less lights this year – or none at all – as a result of electricity bills increasing significantly.1
iSelect General Manager – Utilities & Credit Cards, Julia Paszka, said while cutting back on lights or switching to more energy-efficient options may help reduce power consumption slightly, it’s unlikely to make truly significant dent in your bills.
“That’s why it’s important to first see if you could save money on your electricity plan. In Australia, most plans – particularly those featuring discounts – generally expire after a year or two,” she said.
“If you’ve been on the same plan for a while, it’s possible you could have been automatically transferred onto a higher priced plan and might be paying more than you need to, so it’s a great idea to check.”
There you have it, three tips that could help you save. Of course, we know everyone has better things to do with their time than comparing household expenses (especially at this time of year!) Whether it’s your energy plan, health insurance policy or your home loan deal, a comparison service such as iSelect* can do the work for you and try to help you ease your festive budget.
*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. Click here to view iSelect’s range of Providers.
 Source: iSelect commissioned iLink to conduct a national online survey between 2 November and 7 November. The sample is N=1,000 nationally representative sample of those 18+ years.