Festive season drained your finances? Two ways to get back on track.

Festive season finances

What’s the old saying? Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! While that may be true, it can also be the most expensive and stressful – especially as a single mum.

A new study commissioned by comparison service iSelect, found more than half of households surveyed (57 per cent) said they would be reducing the amount they typically spend over the festive holiday period, due to significant cost-of-living pressures.[1]  Even if you were more money conscious during December, combine shopping for presents, food, and decorations with increased interest rates, insurance premiums, and petrol (to name a few!) and your bank account could still be looking a little worse for wear as we welcome in a new year.

Now that you may have some time to hopefully relax after the busy festive season (even if the kids are still on school holidays), why not take some time to overhaul your finances to see where you could save, and start the new year off on the right foot?  If you’re not sure where to start, read on as we reveal two important steps to take now that could help you get back on track.

1. Beating the heat? Consider checking your energy plan

During summer, many people crank their air-conditioner to beat the heat. The higher price of energy, combined with more consumption around this time, and you could be in for some serious bill shock!

Did you know many households even cut back on Christmas lights this year as a result of increasing electricity bills? The new research also found that more than half of regular Christmas light users surveyed (59 per cent) said they’d be using less – or none at all.1

In 2024, consider making some changes around your home to reduce your power usage. This could include shutting doors and vents to unused areas and only cool the rooms you’re using, keeping curtains shut during the hottest part of the day and making the most of natural airflow in the cooler parts of the day by opening windows to bring the breeze in and keep the hot air out. 

While these steps to reduce your energy consumption could lead to less expensive bills, it might only make a small dent. It’s also a great idea to review and compare your energy plan to make sure you’re on a suitable deal.  Despite prices being higher across the board right now, there are still differences to be found between plans and providers and in the current cost-of-living crunch, every dollar saved counts! 

2. Think about your Home and/or Contents Insurance 

Storm and bushfire season is here. Do you know if your home and/or contents are adequately covered if disaster strikes this summer?  If you have a home and/or contents insurance policy, now could be the perfect time to review it.  A  policy with appropriate cover may give you peace of mind that your home and valuables are covered in the event of damage such as floods, fires and storms, but don’t assume that just having a policy means adequate cover.  

Some people may think they’re automatically covered for these types of events when they might not be! The last thing struggling families need right now is to be caught out underinsured. So, put your home and/or contents insurance plan on your 2024 list of bills to review and check you are adequately covered.  

There you have it – two common household bills and expenses you could review as we welcome in 2024, potentially helping reduce your costs during the new year.    

While it might seem like a big task to review them all, help is out there! Whether it’s your Energy Plan, or home and/or contents insurance, can see if they can find you a better deal, and if you do decide to switch, they can take care of the process, saving you time and effort. 

Further reading: 21 Ways for single mums to make extra money from home.


 *iSelect does not compare all products in the market. The availability of products iSelect compare may change from time to time. Not all products made available from iSelect’s providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all products compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some products and special offers may only be available from iSelect’s call centre or website. Click here to view iSelect’s range of Providers.

iSelect General Pty Limited ABN 90 131 798 126, AFS Licence Number: 334115. 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. You should consider iSelect's Financial Services Guide which provides information about our services and your rights as a client of iSelect. iSelect receives commission for each policy sold that is a percentage of the premium or a flat fee. Ask us for more details before we provide you with any services.

[1] Source: iSelect commissioned iLink to conduct a national online survey between 2 November and 7 November. The sample is N=1,000 nationally representative sample of those 18+ years.

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Sophie Ryan

About the author

Sophie Ryan is an experienced journalist and spokesperson for comparison service, iSelect. She’s passionate about helping Australians to save time, effort and money. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of the Sunshine Coast and provides advice on how Aussies can save on their household bills.

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