Following on from our previous post on energy bills, let’s look at another general household bill for home owners - Council Rates. Many local councils have a rate assistance or rebate policy for people in financial hardship, you may be able to: Claim a concession rate – available to holders of a Centrelink Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card. Negotiate a payment plan – to pay your rates by instalments. Write off interest charges on overdue rates. Defer part or all of your rates and charges for a period of time. Communication with providers is the key to requesting financial hardship or finding out what type of assistance is available to help you during this stressful time. There may be some paper work or written request that would need to be completed but the outcome will be well worth the effort. The council is entitled to charge you interest on the amount you owe. Therefore, try not to ignore your council rates or another bills, being proactive is a key element to a successful outcome. Further reading: Cancer and your finances - A guide for people with cancer, their families and friends. Disclaimer: CCAdvice is an official Cancer Council NSW account, featuring regular content from the financial assistance team.
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We all receive our energy bill every quarter - for me my hands tremble at the mere thought of opening the envelope. I am preparing myself for the shock of the ever increase energy costs! Then I wonder how it could possibly be that high?
The second nightmare is how on earth I read the bill, then try and interpret it so that I could try and reduce usage so I can attempt to make savings or reduce the cost.
Here are some tips for better understand your energy bill.
Both electricity or gas bill comprise of both fixed and variable charges:
Fixed charges: usually referred to as ‘daily supply ‘or ‘Service to property’ and you will ay a price in cents per day
Variable charges: Usually know as ‘usage’ or ‘consumption’ charge. It is the amount you pay for each unit of gas or electricity listed as cents per kilowatt hour(c/kWh.)
Some of the most common tariffs you might encounter include:
Time of use and flexible pricing
Fees and charges
As well as fixed and variable charges, energy contracts can include several additional fees charges such as:
Pay on time discount
Direct debit discount
E-mail correspondence discount
Online sign up discount
Cheap Electricity Deals
I suggest you contact your energy provider and ask, is this the best plan or discount for me and my usage of electricity? Take the time to compare energy plans or switch providers but make sure you read and understand the small print and plan.
Information available from https://www.canstarblue.com.au is great for comparing electricity plans, as well as keeping up with price and discount changes from the energy providers.
Disclaimer: CCadvice is an official Cancer Council NSW account, featuring regular content from the financial assistance team.
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It’s a special time of year! As we count down the days to Christmas, decorate the tree and prepare for our family events, many of us are also preparing for the beginning of the school holidays, wrapping up business or end of year meetings and planning catch-ups to reconnect with friends and loved ones. It’s a chance to reflect on the year that was, what was achieved and what needs to be achieved or simply work on a new task or idea. This could involve looking at a new budget and how to prepare. A budget helps you understand how much money you have, how much you’re spending and how much money you need to cover your expenses. There are several ways to track you spending: You can jot down expenses in a notebook OR; Use an online tool such as MoneySmart’s budget planner . If you need assistance preparing a budget, you can speak to a financial counsellor in your state or territory by contacting the National Debt helpline 1800 007 007. Or for information and support you can call 13 11 20. Another great resource is our Cancer and your finances booklet. You can download the booklet here or if you’d prefer a physical copy, simply call 13 11 20.
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Christmas always seem to arrive so quickly and this year is no exception.
Many of us will reconnect with family & friends. A time when we need to rein in our spending and to look at our budget to survive the festive season.
Here are a few helpful tips so you can enjoy the Christmas cheer and merriment.
Personalise your gift
Often it’s not the price of a gift that matters but the sentiment and thought behind the gift giving. A special gift that was made by hand like Christmas decorations or a gift card where you can offer your time like walking the dog or babysitting, can mean so much more than a store bought gift.
Often lunch or dinners are arranged during this time to reunite with family and friends. So why not ask each individual or family to bring their best meal/recipe of the season to celebrate at the gathering, this will help everyone with additional expenses .
Don’t over spend
Make a budget and stick to It! Keep the credit card locked away and use your debt card as this is your own money. When January comes around there will be no nasty credit card statements to pay off.
Good luck and Merry Christmas to you all!
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.