2020 hasn’t turned out exactly like any of us had planned. But while we’re stuck at home unable to throw our money at bartenders and baristas, we may as well get on top of our money while we’re at it, right? At Urban List, we’re all about balance. We love savings accounts and chasing the best interest rate just as much as we love hopping on a plane to Bali.
So, we’re bringing you the ultimate money management series which could help you school up on finance and turn 2020 into the year of action. The Financial Wellbeing Bootcamp brought to you by ANZ is inspired by their four-step financial wellbeing check-in, and loaded with helpful hints and techniques which could have you managing money like a pro.
If you’ve just joined us, make sure to check out all of our previous curriculum here to help you on the road to financial wellbeing. This week we’re talking about how to save money on bills and clean up your subscriptions.
Alright, we get it. Researching gas and electricity providers is nowhere near as fun as one more episode of your favourite Netflix show. Does your gas provider really make a difference? Turns out yes, it does. Look out for switching bonuses for newer companies, and don’t be afraid to give your existing provider a call and ask if you’re getting the best deal. Some will offer a pay-on time-discount, too, so while you’re cleaning up your financial act, set a reminder in your calendar to pay up on time and score those tasty savings.
If you get value from hitting your local gym or fitness studio, you might think there isn’t much you can do to save money aside from quitting all together. But it pays to check in with this expense anyway. Did you perhaps sign up on a month-to-month contract not knowing if you’d go? If you’ve established a solid routine and you’re regularly attending, you might be able to pay less by switching to a longer-term plan. Alternatively, you might be able to get the same gym experience via a multi-class app, which could save you money and deliver on endorphins by the bucketload.
Mobile data plans have come a long way since the days of character limits and paying per text message. It’s often cheaper to purchase your handset outright, and then BYO data plan. Regularly check for new deals and call or live chat with your provider to ask if they can switch your plan. If not, they might be able to offer more data or perks. Remember – don’t ask, don’t get.
The internet is something we’re all using, but are you paying for more than you need? If you signed up for an unlimited plan but find yourself using less than you expected, you could be overpaying. Call your provider and see if you’re on the best deal for your circumstances, and compare prices with other companies to see if it’s worth the switch.
Do you just pay your car insurance renewal from your existing provider without checking if you’ve got the best deal? It’s a common misconception that insurance providers give you loyalty discounts. Surely they’re giving you the best deal, you’ve been with them since you were on your Ps, right? Wrong. It’s always a good idea to check in and make sure you’re being hooked up on the best deal for your circumstances.
Paying your car rego is a nasty outlay all at once, we hear you. If you’ve been taking advantage of the option to pay quarterly because you just can’t quite bear to wave that huge chunk of money that could be festival tickets out of your account, it’s time to buckle up and play the adulting game. Paying less often usually means paying a premium in the long run, so if you can, take the plunge and pay that bad boy annually.
Relax, relax, you can keep your Netflix. We’re not monsters. But, whether Netflix and Stan are your weapons of choice, or you’re a sucker for a wine subscription or a monthly skincare kit, it pays to regularly audit your subscriptions. Subscription models are built to keep you paying, and it’s easy to forget about them if you’re not careful. Diarise a subscription check in every quarter, and cull everything you’re not using.
You could also save big with family plans by splitting the cost between multiple people, rather than each paying for an individual plan. Hot tip: by splitting a premium 4-screen Netflix subscription between four friends, you can pay just $5 per person instead of $9.99 for a single membership. Boom. Drop that knowledge into the group chat, pronto.
Knowing how to shave dollars off your bills can help you free up more money to allocate to your goals and future. Stay tuned for next week’s Financial Wellbeing Bootcamp, brought to you by ANZ, where we’ll be showing you how to live it up while keeping spending low.
Looking for more ways to cut back on pesky bills? Head here to discover how to live a greener life and save money while you’re at it.
Image credit: Gian Cescon
Editor’s note: This article has been written and published by Urban List, and is sponsored by ANZ. Unless otherwise stated, all views and opinions belong to Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.