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Bills Tag

It’s that time of the year again. Your advice about the annual rise in your health insurance premiums has just arrived. But don’t just sigh and make a mental note of the extra dollars coming out in a few days. Take it as a sign - a sign to reexamine your policy and make sure it is working for you.

It’s not just about your age, but your stage in life. Are you thinking about having a baby? Do you need a lot of physio? Is your health deteriorating to the point you think you might be more likely than not to need to go to hospital within the next year?

You may not want to ditch your health insurance altogether, but by taking a closer look and thinking about what and where your policy delivers - or isn’t delivering - you could get a lot better value for money.

Worried about your energy bill? You now have more power to do something about it.

As of 1 October 2021, the Federal Government requires energy companies to switch you to a better deal within 48 hours of asking for one.

Prior to this change, companies could take up to three months to switch you over — that’s three months of paying more than you should. With Christmas on the horizon, making a switch now might just put some much-needed extra money into your account.

Winter was coming... but the cold snap has well and truly arrived. The mercury drop means woolly coats, water-proof boots, and eye-watering power bills. In fact, previous research found households use almost a third of their annual electricity in winter and could be paying 40 percent more compared to the summer season.

COVID has made us appreciate how important it is to care for our health. At the start of the lockdown, restrictions meant we had to cancel our checkups. Now, we are making bookings for our vaccine injections. It is also that time of year when the price of Private Health Insurance increases. You are probably wondering how the latest changes will affect you and your family.

Scammers are constantly finding ways to exploit the current trend. People are out in force buying online, and as those packages go out for delivery, people expect to receive messages from shopping websites like Amazon and delivery companies including Australia Post. This makes it the perfect time for scammers to prey on consumers who are not paying close attention.

2020 has taught us that being safety conscious allows us to enjoy the finer things in life, like cafes, family reunions, weddings and (hopefully) travel. Home improvement projects have been extremely popular as we’ve spent more time at home than ever before. When it comes to shopping, all types of shopping, safety matters too. Each year Australia has about 650 consumer product recalls. But only about half of the affected products are returned to sellers. This amounts to about 1.7 million recalled products remaining in people's homes!

With energy prices skyrocketing, it's no wonder ordinary Australians are feeling the pinch. The Energy and Water Ombudsman for Victoria has revealed that more people than ever are complaining they can't afford their power bills with payment difficulties having tripled in the 5 years since 2009.

Here's our top 10 ways your household can get a good deal and minimise energy bill shock.

Your dryer is one of the greediest appliances in your home. Aside from your refrigerator, it guzzles electricity faster than every other appliance in your household.

With about two out of every 10 Australians unable to pay their electric bill at least once a year because they can't afford it, it's about time you said “Adios!” to the electrical dryer and opt for the healthier, cheaper option of line-drying your clothes.

Easter means higher prices thanks in part to public holiday surcharges. If you're in the midst of making holiday plans, there is some good news. Wotif has dumped its $5.50 'booking fee'. It has also dropped the $16.95 charge for flights with full-service airlines and flights with low-cost carriers now attract a reduced fee of $9.95. How lucrative are these surcharges for companies? It's expected consumers could save as much as $20 million a year from these changes made by Wotif.

But surcharges have gone beyond public holidays. There’s airlines – 'fuel surcharge', room service – 'delivery charge', taxis – 'booking fee', restaurants and cafes – 'cakeage', 'corkage' and a surcharge for a 'group booking'. Even a concert ticket purchase comes complete with booking and ticketing fees. I’m sure you’ve got a few more of your favourites to add to the list!

So, what’s happened over the last decade that has seen surcharges become so prevalent in our daily lives? Is this a trend set to continue in the future?