Money

Spending Shakedown – Services & Utilities

Published on December 1, 2018 5:38 am, by

Spending on Services & Utilities has skyrocketed in the last few years driven mainly by the increase in gas and electricity costs. But there has also been a rapid increase in the availability of Pay TV and other streaming services. So peoples spending on Subscriptions has also increased (though not all subscription type services will appear as spend in this category of course).

Saving money in this category is very straight forward and there are big savings for most people.

First, get your gas and electricity costs sorted. If you are on an old, expensive plan because you’ve remained a loyal customer of your energy company then pull your finger out! Ditch the old energy company, or at least threaten to an find the cheapest plan for what you need.

Second, if you are spending money on subscription services you don’t need or worse still that you don’t use then cancel them! Get rid of them!

Subcategory – Utilities – Water, Gas, Electricity

Save yourself the time and trouble of finding the cheapest gas and electricity plans. Turn on Bill Watch in MoneyBrilliant and we’ll do the hard work for you. We won’t do it just once either. We’ll do it every month so you can always be confident you have the cheapest plans.

To set up your Electricity and Gas bills in Bill Watch follow these steps:

  • Set up your Bills in the Manage My Spending Dashboard using the Bills tile
  • Provide additional information for any bills that work with Bill Watch by tapping on the Bill Watch tile on the Manage My Spending dashboard. Here you can provide additional information about tariffs and usage levels from a recent bill

Now every month we’ll run the numbers of virtually all the plans available to you and let you know the details of up to 6 plans that are cheaper than your current plan. You can then make the decision to switch (or we can help you with that too if you like). More information on Bill Watch is available in this article.

Once you are paying the cheapest rates, look for ways to use less energy and become more efficient.

This article provides tips on using less energy.

If you think you may be eligible for a concession but you’re not sure, we have included links to information on eligibility at the bottom of this page. Also for those who live in WA, QLD and Tasmania parts or all of the state operate differently to the other states – links to articles explaining are also below.

Subcategory – Pay TV

Review any subscription services you have for Pay TV and decide whether you need them. If you need them, and let’s face it they can be a cheaper option than going to the movies, select the cheapest option that meets your needs. The best example is if you are an old Foxtel plan, paying $100 or more per month you are probably on the wrong platform. If you don’t want live sport consider switching to Netflix (about 10% of the price). If you want live sport consider switching to Kayo Sports.

These articles might be helpful if you need to get rid of some of your unused or unwanted subscription services like Pay TV.

Our guide to cancelling Pay TV and streaming services

Our guide to cancelling online music subscriptions

Our guide to cancelling Gym memberships

Subcategory – Mobile Phone

The best value for money is SIM-only plans. To qualify for these, you need to either already own or purchase a phone outright. SIM Only plans are offered in different durations. You can even prepay for one or two years. If you are taking out a plan that isn’t monthly, check out the data. Some give you a huge amount to last the year, while others roll over each month. SIM Only providers worth checking out –

• Catch Connect (Optus network) https://catchconnect.com.au/
• Kogan Mobile (Vodafone network) https://www.koganmobile.com.au/
• Boost Mobile (Telstra network) https://boost.com.au/
• Aldi Mobile (Telstra network) https://www.aldimobile.com.au/plans/

Mobile phones that are purchased on a plan, often work out more expensive over the contract period – however, the cost of the phone is spread out. If you are going to purchase a new plan, shopping around is certainly your best option – as is considering what it is you want from a phone as there are always a lot of options more economical than those advertised. E.g. the last model of phone is often marked down, and these days the added value you get from the newest model may not be recognisable. 

Subcategory – Internet

Getting the best deal on this is a case of being clear on what you need, making sure you aren’t paying for speed, capacity or other features you don’t value and frankly ditching the bigger providers. Your best options for saving money are probably:

  • If you have internet data access on ADSL/NBN and your mobile phone can you use just the data on your phone and get rid of the other one? If you consider this option make sure your phone plan has sufficient capacity or the extra data costs if you go over your allowance aren’t excessive
  • Do the research and find the best option for you. If you are switching from ADSL to NBN it’s a good time to evaluate your options. We’d suggest using one of the better comparison web sites like whistleOut to do the comparisons.

Additional Energy Links

Energy Concessions by State –
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/energy-concessions-wa/
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/energy-concessions-new-south-wales/
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/energy-concessions-south-australia/
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/energy-concessions-victoria/
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/energy-concessions-queensland/
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/energy-concessions-tasmania/
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/energy-concessions-northern-territory/

An explanation of contestable & non-contestable areas –
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/explaining-electricity-prices-western-australia/
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/explaining-electricity-tasmania/
https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/explaining-electricity-queensland/

Share now

Peter is the CEO of MoneyBrilliant. He has over 20 years experience in banking, insurance and accounting. Peter has three sons, ranging in age from 16 to 3, is a sport and fitness fanatic and a volunteer firefighter. He is passionate about improving people's lives through making financial services more accessible.

Still searching?