With the end of the year on the horizon, we are all likely looking forward to a bit of down time with our family and friends. This can also be the time of year when people reassess many areas of their life, including their finances.
With this in mind, if you are doing a bit of financial housekeeping over the break, I have included a few links below to some websites that may assist. I appreciate there are many ‘comparison’ websites out there, which are often more about selling than comparing, so I have endeavoured to provide links to industry or government websites that only contain impartial information.
Reviewing Your General Insurance (Home / Car / Contents)
The amount of money spent on general insurance policies can be a significant part of your monthly budget. As home prices continue to rise, it is also important to make sure that your home is insured at the correct value.
The Insurance Council of Australia has an excellent website which offers a great source of information (in plain english) on the various types of general insurance policies available and how they work. https://understandinsurance.com.au/
- Tips to make sure you are not under insured: https://understandinsurance.com.au/do-you-have-enough-insurance,
- How to reduce your premiums: https://understandinsurance.com.au/premiums-explained, and
- A building cost calculator that allows you to estimate the possible cost of rebuild or replace your home. An important step to take when reviewing your levels of home insurance. https://understandinsurance.com.au/calculator/building-calculator
Check Your Health Insurance
For those with private health insurance – the following link is the Australian Government’s private health website for consumers which offers independent information on your current private health insurance policy / your chosen individual insurer.
It has an excellent comparison tool, that allows you to compare your existing private health policy (features and cost) with what is currently available in the market.
Private health is a big spend – so it can be a worthwhile exercise to make sure your policy meets your needs, you are covered for benefits you are likely to claim on, and the premium is comparable with the current market.
Review Your Budget
There are many benefits to creating a household budget. It allows you to manage monthly expenses, prepare for unpredictable events and afford big-ticket items without going into debt. It doesn’t mean you can’t buy the things you want, and it doesn’t have to be drudgery. It just means that you know where your money is going and gives you greater control of your finances.
Whilst it can seem easier to not budget and simply spend what comes in, this almost always leads to a time in the future when a budget is forced upon you – either as you enter retirement or if an unexpected events occurs – such as a period of illness or loss of employment.
The government’s Moneysmart website has an excellent budget calculator, which can even be downloaded as an excel spreadsheet: https://moneysmart.gov.au/budgeting/budget-planner.
For those in NSW, it is also worth a quick look on the Service NSW website, which offers a list of 70 NSW Government rebates and savings currently available to NSW residents. The following link is the Service NSW cost of living page – where after answering a few simple questions you will be provided with a list of the available rebates and savings that may be applicable in your own specific situation: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/cost-living