Leah Kidd

Save $700 on your energy bill, here’s how

The mercury is soaring and we see you reaching for that aircon remote.

Here’s your friendly reminder that every extra degree of cooling is adding a greater cost to your energy bill. 

What’s the recommended reading? Set your thermostat between 22 to 24 degrees celsius and ensure your aircon filter is clean. Use your aircon sparingly and if you can, run it to cool your house when you get home, or your bedroom before you go to sleep rather than blasting it 24/7.

According to a recent article by news.com.au, approximately 13% of Australians have already asked for, or were planning to ask for an extension on their energy bill. 

If you’re looking to reduce the cost of your next energy bill, here’s some fast facts from the Department of Energy to save you in other areas of your home.

  • Turning off, or ridding yourself of a second fridge could save you around $172 a year  
  • Switching off the game console when not in use could save you up to $193 a year (this goes for all appliances you’re not using) 
  • Using the clothesline once a week instead of using the dryer could save around $79 a year
  • Installing a water-efficient 4-star showerhead could save around $315 a year on water bills (you’ll also save on your energy bill as less water will need to be heated)
  • Shop around for the best deal from energy suppliers, don’t assume you’re automatically on the best plan. 

Fast five: holiday hacks to save you serious $$

1. Do a little (read: a lot) DIY

Last week we touched on the idea of DIY pot plants

Now we’ve planted the seed, we wanted to build upon it. The reality is, you can DIY pretty much anything for Christmas and save yourself some serious $$$. 

From your gift-wrap to your present tags, Christmas cards, the gift themselves and of course, who wouldn’t love a DIY baked good for Christmas

2. Don’t buy presents for yourself

We see you adding that extra item to the cart. A little something for the list, a little something for yourself can spiral out of control quite quickly and blow the budget. 

As tough as it is, resist the urge. It’s likely the item you’re chasing will be available in the New Year when your gift giving finances have had a little breather. 

3. Unsubscribe from marketing emails 

If you’re not in the market for something, you likely don’t need to be receiving marketing emails. If you are in the market for something, it’s easy enough to find a deal/ discount when you need it.  It’s amazing how often you find you “need” something just because it’s on sale. 

It might be time to do a quick little stocktake/cleanse of your inbox and determine which emails you need to be receiving and which ones are a little too tempting. 

4. Think out of the box for a holiday 

The international and potentially interstate borders where you live may not be open for Christmas and let’s be honest, there may be no room for travel in the budget this year.  

A little staycation can be a fun way to switch it up and feel like you’re had a break. Sometimes a little distance from the house, away from chores and whatnot is a holiday in itself. 

Perhaps go camping and explore a local National Park. Or, if you’re not up for roughing it, support a local business and book a few days at a nearby hotel or perhaps an Airbnb.

5. Bank the points 

If you pay your bills with the Sniip app, you can earn full points on your points earning bank card. 

While the international borders are closed right now, why not bank those precious loyalty points now. That way, when you’re ready to fly again, you can take off in style! 

Five tips for a financially savvy festive season

1. Get in early

Write a list of every person you have to buy for and add a rough idea of what you’d like to buy them. Now, it’s time to get in and start ticking each person (or pet) off. 

Set aside time in your diary to shop in person, or online and smash it out. Most importantly, start now and cross each person off as you get their gift. You’ll get a little burst of achievement with every person you tick off and will be ready to move onto the next. 

By getting in early, you’ll avoid the express shipping costs incurred when you’re scrambling to ensure the gift arrives in time for Christmas day. Plus, you’ll ensure your loved ones don’t end up in an episode of Friends with a gift from the local petrol station. We’ve all been there. 

2. Set a budget (and stick to it) 

Maybe you’ve got $10 to spend on Christmas, or maybe you’ve got $1,000. Perhaps there’s people you like to splurge on in your family/ friendship group and there’s others you want to give a token of your appreciation. Divvy up your list with a budget for each person and challenge yourself to stick to it. 

If $10/$20 seems unachievable, it might be time to get crafty. A terracotta pot from Bunnings can easily be jazzed up with some paint and a small plant. 

And keep in mind, an experience often costs less than a gift and could be as simple as a voucher for the recipient’s local coffee shop. Supporting small business, and on-budget is a double win. 

3. Trim the fat 

Are there monthly or recurring subscriptions you could pop on hold over the festive season?  

Maybe you’re planning to head away over Christmas and don’t intend on hitting up the gym. Perhaps you plan on doing some Christmas cooking and could probably put that weekly food subscription service on hold for a while to save some money. 

Not sure of what other subscriptions you have? Here’s how you can see mobile subscriptions on iOS and Android. You might be surprised to see what sneaky subscriptions you’re still forking out for. 

4. Group the gifting 

Are you from a big family, friendship group or workplace?

Cut down on the cost of individual gifts and suggest a Secret Santa this year and save yourself some serious gift money. The budget might be as simple as $10 or $150, it’s really up to you! 

There’s a bunch of online tools to make the process easier (we like Drawnames) and those in the group can make suggestions of what they’d like. Participants can add online links to make the process smooth, simple and cost effective for all involved.  

5. Avoid late fees 

Sometimes you might head away for Christmas and other times you’re just so focused on relaxing, spending time with family and having a bit of a digital detox that bills can creep up. 

Add your upcoming bills to the Sniip app now, select when you’d like them to be paid then set and forget, enjoy your Christmas and know your bill are sorted without any painful late fees. 

Stats show 90 per cent of bills paid using the Sniip app are paid on or before the due date (probably because it’s so fast and easy!). That means more money for Christmas and less money burnt on late fees.