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Want to save money but don’t know how to do it?

Here’s one idea. Look into switching your energy, gas or insurance provider.

The truth is that you could save hundreds of dollars a year by doing so, and you are probably paying for being loyal to your provider. In this market, there is no reward for loyalty.

Take the energy market, which has been significantly de-regulated over the last few years. Where once you would have been lucky to have a choice of provider, now you can choose between as many as 10, particularly if you live in NSW, Victoria, SA, the ACT or Queensland.

If you live in one of these states, it really is worth testing the market to see if you can do any better.

The competition between retail energy providers is so intense that many offer up front deals or rebates to get you on board, while others – such as Red Energy – give you a discount of up to 10 percent if you pay your bill by a certain date.

Many of these providers are also retail gas, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll save money by bundling the two together.

The best advice is to go to one of the many comparison sites out there, punch in your postcode, and see what pops up. It may well be you can get a better deal through sourcing your power and gas from different suppliers.

In NSW, for example, there is a $220 difference between the average price for electricity per year and the best price, and $78 for gas. That’s $300 per year, which is better off in your pocket than that of the energy company.

Another place to look for savings is insurance, which is another highly competitive market. The comparison websites are a help here, but it’s probably worth also having a google yourself or even jumping on the phone to get the best deal here.

There is a wide disparity between the premiums insurance companies charge on health and general insurance, for policies around home and contents for example.

In terms of health insurance, the difference between the average and cheapest policies for someone living in NSW is a saving of more than $1300, according to comparison site privatehealth.gov.au

If you are really in the mood, pressure test what you can save on your mobile phone, the internet, any personal loans and credit cards, and of course your home loan.
Time is money they say, and if you put in the time to make these comparisons and act on them you could literally be saving thousands of dollars a year.