Save money on the little things

We’ve all heard that trying to save money is all about the lattes and smashed avocados – or rather, not having them.

The concept is sound; cut back on spending on the ‘wants’ and keep an eye on the little things. But, if you want to keep the smashed avocado, here are some other things to keep an eye on as opportunities to save money.

Save money on the little things

Who powers your life?

If you have been a loyal customer with the same power company for years, there’s a high chance you are paying more for your power than you need to. The Government’s electricity price review found that many retailers were reserving their best offers for customers who were shopping around – whether just threatening to leave, or actually changing to another provider. People who stayed loyal generally weren’t benefiting from pricing wars…

Use a website such as PowerSwitch to see what options and pricing are available for your household. Even if you want to stay with your current provider, check with them if you are on the right power plan for your household electricity usage.

The cost of credit

Your credit card may be costing you more than you think – even if you pay off the balance in full each month. Most credit cards charge an annual or six-monthly fee for the convenience of having the card – so check what you are paying and shop around for a cheaper fee.

Not only do you pay a fee for the convenience of having a credit card, you also pay a fee for the convenience of using it – and the fee could be as much as 3% of the transaction amount, and more if you are overseas. If you are frequently using your credit card instead of cash or your main debit card, or travel overseas a lot, you may be able to achieve significant annual savings by looking for options that have lower or no fees for these transactions.

Missed payments

Dishonoured or missed direct debits or automatic payment fees can add up quickly. Make sure you have your payments aligned to when the money is in your account. Some of your providers may be able to change your monthly due date to be better aligned with your income – so ring around and change what you can, if you are finding you frequently miss these payments.

It’s not only the bank that will charge a fee – many providers also charge late fees if your due date is missed. For example, credit cards, phone bill and water rates. Save yourself two lots of fees by getting your payment dates right.

Your insurance

Whether you can get a no-claims bonus or a multi-product discount, check that you are getting the discounts you are entitled to on your general insurance policies. If you have managed to put aside a rainy-day fund, you could save on your premiums by having a higher excess – talk to your insurance adviser before making any changes, to make sure that it is right for your situation.

With insurance companies competing for the insurance dollar, some of them come with valuable inclusions of benefits – for example, roadside assist or bonus Airpoints. Shop around for an insurance package that suits your lifestyle to get extra savings or add-ons that mean you can save in other areas.

Your broadband data usage

If you have a full household all streaming different content to different devices, make sure you’re not paying excess usage charges on your plan. The bigger the family and the more devices connected, the bigger the plan you’ll need. Check that you have, or change to, a plan that can accommodate your needs, while not charging you for the needs you don’t have.

Most providers will offer you an unlimited plan, that has steps – so if you don’t use a lot of data, you are not paying the same price as a household that does.

Like to discuss your options?

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Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure the content is correct, the information provided is subject to continuous change. Please use your discretion and seek independent guidance before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.