With strata insurance premiums going up by up to 50 per cent for some and utilities cost such as electricity and gas going up year on year, chances are that your strata fees are going up to meet these expenses and will eat up a chunk of your household budget. Plus, with interest rates rising and inflation pushing the cost of living even higher, many of us are feeling the financial strain. As such, here are some tips for reducing your expenses as a strata lot owner.
Refinance your home loan
Refinancing your home loan is the easiest way to save money as a strata lot owner. Look around for offerings that allow you to pay off existing debts, consolidate them into one new loan and get better interest rates in the process. Of course, you shouldn’t rush into this decision because the wrong home loan can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
You may even benefit from speaking to a broker. They can usually find the perfect home loan for your circumstances. Plus, they can also consider your future goals. Consolidating debts such as credit cards and personal loans into your home loan can be beneficial as you will only have one bill to pay. However, you also need to be sure you don’t seek other forms of credit or keep using credit cards after consolidation, or you’ll be right back where you started.
Rent out a spare room
Another good option is to rent out a spare room if you have one available. This can be very beneficial in many ways, including offsetting the cost of living and maintaining your property. If you choose this option, you should ensure that it doesn’t breach any by-laws. You also need a clear understanding of what the rent you charge actually covers to avoid confusion later on regarding utility bills.
Assess your budget and spending
Budgeting is the best way to get on top of your finances. Of course, a budget is nothing without the willpower to stick to it. But when you sit down and analyse all of your annual expenses and see where you spend the most money, you can often find ways to save.
For example, are you having food delivered to your door two nights a week? Perhaps reduce this to once a week, or strip it back to a fortnightly treat. Understanding your income and expenses is the easiest way to find savings.
Compare energy providers
Energy prices constantly seem to be on the rise, and the best way to escape that is by comparing energy providers. Chances are, there are much better deals out there, and many providers offer incentives for you to switch.
Bear in mind that your best chance of saving money is to find an energy plan that suits your energy consumption. For example, consider cheap off-peak electricity if you’re home more in the evening. As always, read the fine print before committing to any new provider.
Looking for professional strata management?
Individuals aren’t the only ones who experience pain when the cost of living goes up. Inflation and other economic factors can also affect strata schemes. So, if you need a team of experts to assist with the daily running and finances of your strata scheme, contact More Than Strata today. We’ll be happy to ease the burden on your committee.