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Sydney, Dec 24: Personal finance marketplace company Compare Club reveals that in a year of high inflation, cost increases and rate rises, Australian households will have, on average, $6,636 less to spend on Christmas this year, compared to a year ago.
Comparing data across the yearly cost of home loans, energy bills, health insurance, credit cards, fuel and car insurance, Compare Club discovered that many households will likely have to make some difficult choices at Christmas, in order to budget for bills that have collectively increased by an average of $553 per month in 2022.
The largest chunk of change has gone to home loan repayments thanks to seven consecutive rate rises since May*, with an average of $4,788 more being spent on mortgage repayments this year. Energy bills have cost us around $158 more this year than in 2021 and interest charged on credit card balances have increased by roughly $347 over 2022.
Many health insurers delayed their premium increases from May to November, but that didn’t help the hip pocket with approximately $130 more spent this year on health insurance premiums.
While we’re driving less in 2022, our vehicles are costing us more with an average of $966 more being spent on fuel and an average of $248 more spent on car insurance this year, than last year.
Compare Club CEO Andrew Davis said taking a bit of time to review each bill could save households thousands of dollars.
“The best thing Australians can do right now is to look at each of their bills one by one, looking for where they could save.
“Many mortgage lenders are offering cashback when refinancing, which can really help manage household cash flow in the short-term. Even if you can’t refinance to the lowest available home loan, just knocking half a percentage point off your interest rate could cut mortgage payments by $177 a month – that’s over $2,000 saved over the course of a year.
“Energy is the quickest and easiest bill to save on. In Victoria, for example, over half of households aren’t on their retailer’s most competitively priced plan. This can be fixed in a few minutes by comparing and switching.
“Insurance is a big cost but if you review your health cover, car and home insurance, and life insurance, if you have it, there’s potential to save several hundred dollars a month by switching, and getting more value from your policy overall.
“Finally, while we don’t encourage Aussies to get into debt, using credit card balance transfer offers and interest free periods smartly can really help if your budget is stretched.”
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