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Lights Are On Because People Are Home – Lockdowns & WFH Life Increasing Your Power Bill? Here’s What You Can Do.

It’s one of the most inescapable costs of living that the average person may encounter. Whether you are renting, leasing or own your home, the energy bill is an unavoidable circumstance that everyone faces.

With many individuals currently working from home and cutting other costs involving travel, it’s not surprising that your own energy bill’s total may have increased as a result. Regardless of this unexpected outcome, the bite of the energy bill in your monthly budgeting will not have to sting as much if you employ some of these tactics to decrease the total and save overall.

While many initially look at the total of the bill, it can pay off to examine the finer details. Checking the pricing tariffs of the peak, off-peak and shoulder periods can be useful in identifying not only what your energy usage pattern is costing you, but whether or not the cost is reflective of other providers offering similar services for what you are currently paying.

Keep an eye out for providers who offer discount-based incentives to pay on time (or even earlier) by direct debit. If you can afford to use this option with your available funds, this may be a simple means through which you can lower the overall cost of the bill.

You may be particularly conscious of the impact that your energy usage may be having on the planet, and have chosen a supplier dedicated to energy efficiency and lessening their carbon footprint. However, this option can cost substantially more than other suppliers, so you need to measure whether or not you stand by your beliefs and take the extra cost, or look for an alternative.

Finally, a hidden cost that you need to consider is the impact of the loyalty tax, and the increases that can occur during renewals. Like any of your current policies and utilities, don’t grow complacent with what you have. No matter how convenient it may be, don’t roll over your insurance policies and/or other contracts automatically. Instead, set up an alert for 60 days in advance of when they are due to renew, and then shop around online for the best deal.

Working from home is already challenging enough without increasing costs. Using these tips may save you a little extra money in the long run, but for more financial advice about budgeting, planning and more, you can speak with us.

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.

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John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier

David and Alison Parker

I have been consulting J L Noller and Co. (more specifically Jane) for six years and during this time I have found her to be professional, efficient and easy to discuss all accounting and taxation matters with. Her office team are all polite and friendly also.

David and Alison Parker

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Carl Gillmore

I have used Jane & the team for the last 6 years for all of my business & personal accounting needs. They have always been professional, easy to talk to & available when we have needed assistance.

Carl Gillmore

Carl Gillmore Landscape

John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier