By Laura Crowden
It’s like a fairytale. You buy the house of your dreams, move in and while doing some routine pre-move cleaning of your new abode, you notice piles upon piles of cash stowed away.
There are wads of it behind electrical sockets, neat piles in the garage and books full of cold hard cash hidden in the study. You call the previous owner (as any responsible karma-conscious citizen would) and he tells you he knows nothing about it… “the money must belong to you.”
You drop the phone, you let out a delighted squeal, you go shopping for shoes… and you live happily ever after.
Doesn’t that sound nice? It does. Doesn’t that sound unlikely?… Well, not necessarily.
Before you start ripping into the floorboards and overturning bookshelves, let me clarify… there may well be money hidden in your new home but it’s not undiscovered banknotes and coins; rather it’s in the form of potential savings and efficiencies. And they are indeed hidden inside your electrical sockets, garage and study.
Potential cash reserve #1- Your electrical sockets and heating vents
This is an easy place to start your treasure hunt and potentially a lucrative one. This is because energy costs can vary from suburb to suburb and even more dramatically from city to city or state to state.
So what does this mean?
It means that by moving house a whole new world of energy provider and rate options may have suddenly become available to you. It’s just a matter of uncovering them.
My advice: Don’t automatically bring your old energy plan and provider to your new home. Instead, review your current plan and the new options available. You’d be surprised how much your bills can change even by moving just a few kilometres down the road.
Potential cash reserve #2- Your garage
Your garage is home to your car, your tool box, your bike and that tent you’ll never use… but it can also be home to some more savings.
For example, if you have moved from a home with only street parking to one with a garage you could save big time. The same can go for switching neighbourhoods.
So unless you are moving to an identical living arrangement on the same street (boring move but it does happen) it’s a good idea to update your details with your car insurance provider to see if your repayments will either 1. Increase, 2. Stay the same or 3. Decrease.
If the answer is 1 or 2, then shop around to see if you can make the answer 3.
Potential cash reserve #3- Your study
We all dream of becoming internet billionaires. But unfortunately, unless you’re a socially awkward individual with a surname that rhymes with Puckerberg, it’s probably not going to happen. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t profit a little from a new internet plan.
Like energy, your broadband options can also vary from suburb to suburb, and your current broadband provider or plan may not be the best value service in your new neighbourhood.
And guess what? Speed can also vary. So when you are reviewing prices also talk about NBN, ADSL and Cable options. Because after all, there is nothing like kicking back in front of Netflix with lighting fast internet…. Ok fine, maybe kicking back in front of Netflix with lighting fast internet while enjoying a 1kg tub of triple chocolate fudge ice cream!
It’s all about changing the way you look at things and realising how saving money can be just as good as finding it…. with a lot less digging.
–Laura Crowden works for life admin experts iSelect. When she isn’t providing advice on how to find the right energy, broadband or insurance plan, Laura can be found tackling home renovations (to varying degrees of success) or eating ice cream.