Common Sense Budgeting – Taking the Power Back
As I’ve gotten older and grown into my role as a Mum and wife I’ve found there are more than a few things that I’ve gone back to or revisited from an earlier time in my life. Though we ditched the CDs years ago (thank god!), my playlist only gains a few new tracks each year – yes, I still listen to the same bangers that have been pumping me up for over 20 years now! Likewise, the circular nature of fashion means I’ve dusted off my Levi’s denim jacket that I purchased when I was at Uni, brightly coloured, oversized Tees and sneakers are back (no Jordache though, unfortunately!) and it’s totally ok to wear a rah-rah skirt 30 years after their eighties debut.
Mid-winter this year, Dave and I got serious (for a minute lol) and took a long hard look at our budget. After purchasing The Barefoot Investor, I realised that there were quite a few areas in which we could tighten up our spending, and with the goal of daily expenses totalling no more than 60% of your income, I turned my thrifty gaze to our household expenses first.
Two areas really stood out for me; the amount we were spending on groceries and power. We immediately paused our dinner subscription boxes, started meal planning again and began to look into what on earth was going on with our power bills.
Fibre arrived on our street earlier in the year, so when we were shopping for a provider, I was wooed by combo deals which offered ‘great rates’ for new customers who signed up for both fibre and power. We switched companies and I didn’t think about it again until the winter power bills made their first appearance.
And then, I thought about power A LOT.
We have an old house, build in the ‘50’s, wooden joinery, no fireplace, three bedrooms to heat and a power-loving teenager. Price per kw is really important to me because energy-proofing our house any further than we have already done just isn’t an option right now. What I had neglected to factor into the budget when our fibre was installed was the good-ol’ Fixed Daily Charge.
I HATE the Fixed Daily Charge.
Easy, easy solution though.
I went back to an old and trusted provider, and got them to handle the admin of getting us switched over and back on track.
10 years after we first signed up, we are back with Powershop and it feels good. Look! Proof >
The switchover process was ridiculously easy and fast. 6 simple steps to complete online and then Powershop took care of the rest – I didn’t even have to contact my previous provider to give them the flick! We chose the Powershop Classic option which is how we purchased power from them previously. What this means is I get control of when I buy power and at what price – HELLO regular specials and powerpacks. Did I mention NO fixed daily charge and no fixed unit price? In our first month, we used 200 units more than the prior month and paid $2 less than our last invoice with our old provider. More power for less $$ = winning!
The Powershop app is where I feel I really begin to take control of our power spend, as well as gaining some invaluable insights into how/when our household consumes power – why do we have big spikes every day at 12 pm????? I’m yet to solve that mystery. I LOVE saving money, and pre-purchasing power for the months ahead is one way to do it. As we head into Summer 2020 with a second heat pump unit I know that the AC will be cranking in both ends of the house. I’ll tuck a couple of Future Packs under my belt and feel quite smug (and cool!) when Summer decides to show up here in New Zealand.
Household utilities are something that as a consumer, I feel quite ‘removed’ from in general. We have so little control over what we pay for water, internet, phone services and power in general. The switch back to Powershop has been (once again) quite revelatory in that, everything I need as a purchaser, is right in my hands – consumption, predicted future consumption, spending options (soooo many options), account history and if you’re really keen, the ability to earn credit by referring your mates! Seriously, if you’re watching your pennies, and watching your power, get sorted and switch over to Powershop. Like I said over on IG, nothing gives you the thrifty-super-budget-conscious thrills like a new Powerpack hitting the Powershop Shop. It’s 2019, we comparison shop for everything, it’s pretty cool to have the same flexibility from your power company.