There are many ideas for staying cool and saving on expensive utilities bills if you have your own house. When you are renting it is hard to make the changes to problem areas of the home necessary to effectively reduce your costs.
"The Renters Guide to Saving Money" helps people renting to look consider what changes they can make to save money and life sustainably and how to negotiate with landlords for a reasonable outcome.
The booklet is biased towards the East Coast of Australia but many of the practical ideas are still worthy of exploration. Concessions and laws may vary between states so it is worth checking.
When you scroll through the extensive list of Christmas hampers that are available online, it becomes extremely apparent that you have little to no choice about what brands or products go into each hamper.
Can you justify paying $30 or more each fortnight for a whole year for full priced items you did not choose yourself?
As an alternative option, we have put our thinking caps on to help you design your very own DIY Christmas hamper.
We have all seen the image on television and in magazines of a dinner table that has been beautifully laid out with red, green and gold decorations, covered in enough food to feed a football team. The family seated at the table are dressed like they are going to visit the Queen and are laughing, probably at something the dog has done. The image has blurry edges to give it that warm, cosy, festive feeling as the advertisement reveals to the audience that for a small fortnightly payment all the food on the table could be yours this Christmas.
At first glance, a Christmas hamper seems both convenient and ‘value for money’, but if we get down to the nitty-gritty of it…is a Christmas hamper really worth it?
Before you consider signing up for next year, take a look at the list we created of ‘Things to think about before you sign up for a Christmas hamper’.
Need help to pay your electricity or gas bills?
You have rights.
Stronger protections are now available to households having trouble paying their energy bills. The Australian Energy Regulator has taken action to assist vulnerable customers experiencing payment difficulties by introducing an enforceable Customer Hardship Policy Guideline.
Energy retailers have important responsibilities in helping vulnerable customers. The Guideline requires energy retailers to provide consistent minimum standards of assistance, ensure hardship programs are easily accessible and put processes in place to identify customers who may need help.
Customers participating in a hardship program will get access to different payment options, help finding a better energy plan, tips on energy efficiency, and information about government concessions, relief schemes, energy rebates and financial counselling services.
Other help may also be available – All energy providers have a hardship policy that tells you how they can assist you if you are having trouble paying your energy bills due to hardship. You can find it on their website or ask them to post you copy.
If you are in a hardship program and meetings its conditions your energy provider cannot disconnect you.
If paying your utility bills is a struggle call your energy retailer and talk to them about your situation, you may be surprised by the help that is available.
For more information, visit the Australian Energy Regulator’s website at [www.aer.gov.au/consumers/my-energy-bill/help-for-customers-in-hardship](https://outlook.office.com/owa/redir.aspx?REF=CVjY0EEewpzFGhBVoOuq7C_Xb4rSpSeCBjgQoJ4-QUPr7PrKRWLXCAFodHRwOi8vd3d3LmFlci5nb3YuYXUvY29uc3VtZXJzL215LWVuZXJneS1iaWxsL2hlbHAtZm9yLWN1c3RvbWVycy1pbi1oYXJkc2hpcA..).
When life is tough call Affordable SA 1800 025 539 or visit [www.affordablesa.com.au](https://outlook.office.com/owa/redir.aspx?REF=uS9vZkOIrOv6MsJd-xrudYu4AWGqiRiGqarrbUBtWwjr7PrKRWLXCAFodHRwOi8vd3d3LmFmZm9yZGFibGVzYS5jb20uYXU.) or download the app AffordableSA for free, confidential and independent support to 'get in the know' with services that can best help you.