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Budget hacks: how to avoid bill shock in four easy steps

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to consolidate your essentials with a single provider and better manage your household costs.

A new financial year often calls for streamlining and simplifying household costs. Although it’s impossible to eliminate bills entirely, there are ways to consolidate your essentials services.

Not only does consolidating services like gas, electricity, mobile and internet with a single provider reduce the chance of oversight, but it also gives you the opportunity to enjoy customer benefits and potentially save money.

Here are four ways to stay smart and avoid bill shock.

1. Paperless future

Paperless invoices are not only better for the environment – they're better for your peace of mind. Instead of shuffling through old documents while trying to remember if you have or haven't made the payments, e-commerce now allows for a more user-centric experience with on-demand statements.

Easy-to-monitor mobile apps – like the AGL app – ensure you're never more than a few clicks away from clarity on where you stand.

If you're a meticulous bill keeper, you can download your statements and save them to your personal computer or external drives and store them for safekeeping. It's also worth noting that it's common for providers to keep billing statements on their end, so you can securely backtrack and recover any files you may need.

2. Check your payment options

Make paying your bills simpler with direct debit, which ensures that your bills are paid on time, every time without you having to lift a finger.

Scheduling regular payments – much like a Netflix or Spotify subscription – makes it easy to make monthly payments from your nominated account to your essential service provider.

Payment options may include a deposit from your bank account or a credit card, via your financial institution.

It only takes a few minutes to set up, and is also easy to cancel, should your preferences change. If you're an AGL energy customer, you can find a complete list of AGL's payment options here.

When help is required

Because life doesn't always go to plan, AGL has a range of options to help with short-term payment relief you may need on current or future bills.

We offer a range of payment help, including online tools to arrange a payment extension for your bill. Eligible customers can apply for payment extension in the Billing tab in My Account by selecting 'I can't pay my bill this time'. A representative from our team will contact you to help tailor a solution based on your personal circumstances.

You can find more information in the AGL FAQs, and can also reach via Messaging in My Account or the AGL app.

Senior woman working on her laptop from her couch

3. Planning and reminders

If you would like to remain a little more hands-on, and enjoy the autonomy of ‘pushing the button' on payments yourself, inserting planning and reminders in your monthly schedule may be the best way forward for your financial planning.

There are various ways to increase your bill visibility, from setting up push notifications through the AGL app – which appear on your smartphone or tablet – to email alerts, which are automated and sent to your inbox.

These also help to prepare you for the upcoming payment, so you can ensure your nominated account has sufficient funds before your payment deadline.

4. Consolidate your providers

Many providers offer special bundle deals, which allow you to consolidate your services and potentially save more.

The greatest advantage of consolidating – outside of potential discounts and access to special rates – is that you are now dealing with a single provider. Connecting your essentials in one place – such as electricity, gas, internet and mobile – is often much easier to manage logistically and financially. Plus, it pays to streamline communication should you have any enquiries and makes managing the account more straightforward.

Now all in one place

Save on your internet plan when you combine your energy with us.

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