Staying at home…While many of us mums are used to spending plenty of time at home, these last few months everyone else has gotten in on the act, too!
Staying at home has definitely become less of a choice due to the coronavirus restrictions.
And while you may have previously spent plenty of time at home, maybe with a kid or two in tow, there is a good chance that now you are not alone!
You’ve most likely had other family members cramping your style due to working from home and remote schooling.
Of course in some households, spending more time at home is also due to loss of employment or reduced hours. Many families are under increased financial strain and it seems everyone – whether they’ve lost income or not – is looking for ways to cut back given the financial uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
When it comes to your finances, spending more time at home can help you save money – I’m definitely spending far less on meals out and catch-ups with girlfriends (BYO wine over Zoom is much more economical than catching up at a cosy but pricey wine bar).
On the flip side, I seem to be spending much more shopping online and while I’m telling myself that new winter clothes for my two-year-old are an essential purchase, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t also a welcome distraction while WFH. My moment of realisation – when I asked my two-year-old what we were doing today and his response was “PARCEL LOCKER!”
Either way, now is definitely a good time to sit down and review your household bills and expenses to see if you could save some money to help relieve the financial pressure (or to put towards online shopping).
Here are four things I’ve taken the time to review while spending more time at home.
Driving less? Review your car insurance
Chances are you’ve been driving less, probably going for walks in your local neighbourhood rather than zipping around between playdates and play centres. If you or your partner (or both) are working from home, then it’s likely your car is spending a lot more time parked at home. An obvious saving is petrol (seriously, I think I’ve filled up the tank once in the past two months = winning!) but you may not have thought about the potential impact on your car insurance.
Driving less and/or having your car more secure more often could impact your insurance premiums. So now is a good time to check in on your policy and see how it stacks up against others.
Not using your health insurance extras?
When the coronavirus restrictions kicked in a few months ago, many extras services and elective surgeries were quite literally off the table. The good news is that many are restarting again but it may have left you questioning how much value you get out of your policy, particularly your extras. If you managed fine without using them, do you really need them? This could be a perfect time to take a close look at your extras and make sure you aren’t paying for anything you don’t need.
Same goes for your hospital cover. Hot tip = make sure you aren’t still paying for pregnancy if your family is done. Trust me, you could save a bundle.
Home more = more energy used
While spending more time at home will bring some costs down, others will, unfortunately, be going up. Spending more time at home will likely put a nasty dent in your energy bill as you use more energy round the clock to keep you all comfortable and entertained, particularly if you have been working or studying remotely. Winter energy bills are often already the highest of the year but many Aussies could be in for a nasty bill shock when their winter energy bill arrives this year , just as many are already under increased financial pressure.
Don’t wait for a larger than expected bill to arrive in your mailbox – take the time now to compare your gas and electricity plan and see if you can get a better deal.
WiFi not coping with WFH & homeschooling?
I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many families that haven’t had a little bit more screen time in recent months. And while much of that was unavoidable due to remote schooling and work-from-home requirements, some of it has been, well also unavoidable…. you try keeping a 2-year-old entertained while stuck inside all day (thanks Melbourne weather) without a dose of YouTube kids!
Whatever the reason, chances are that you’ve spent more time online recently and you may have found that your current internet plan simply isn’t up to speed, or data.
So it’s worth shopping around to see if spending a bit more could get you much better services or whether you can get a similar deal for less with another provider.
While we’ve all definitely been spending more time at home, it’s debatable whether we’ve had more spare time. I don’t know about you, but more time at home just means a dirtier house and more time spent cleaning! And with all the time spent online, whether it be WFH or a FaceWine with friends, if you have a bit of downtime the last thing you probably feel like doing is spending hours online comparing different providers.
So why not head to one website that can check out a bunch for you*, or easier still, give iSelect a call and chat to one of their consultants while you multitask and pack away the Lego for the 11th time this week?
Hopefully when we are able to spend more time out and about, you’ll have a little bit of extra cash to spend.
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Any advice provided by iSelect is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice iSelect gives you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on iSelect’s advice or purchasing any policy.