What’s the Smart Way To Pay for Household Appliances?

Some purchases are too big for a single pay cheque, or they can’t wait for payday.

You can’t always control when you see a great bargain or need a new fridge or TV, but you CAN control how you pay for it. There are Smart Ways and Dumb Ways to pay.

Let’s say you need a new fridge. We’ve looked at the options from Cash to Debit Cards, Buy Now Pay Later, Credit Cards and Payday Loans.

Below you can see what the cost of each option is, and what the worst case scenario is after a year if you incur the maximum amount of late fees and/or interest.

the most common of household appliances - a fridge

NUMBER-CRUNCH: SMART WAYS TO PAY FOR A $1600 442L FISHER & PAYKEL FRIDGE (RATED #1 FRIDGE BRAND BY CANSTAR BLUE & CHOICE)

WAYS TO PAYVERDICTBEST CASE*WORST CASE*HOW IT WORKS
CASH
$AUD
SMART$1,600N/A
DEBIT CARD
Visa or Mastercard
SMART$1,608$1,6160.5%-1% merchant fee
BUY NOW PAY LATER
Afterpay
SMARTN/AN/A4 fortnightly instalments, late fees of $10-17
BUY NOW PAY LATER
Zip Money
SMARTN/AN/AMin. $40/mth repayment + $6/mth fee + $5 late fee
BUY NOW PAY LATER
Humm
SMART$1,616$1,7005 or 10 fortnightly instalments, monthly fee up to $8, late fee $6
BUY NOW PAY LATER
Zip Money
SMART, BUT ONLY IF YOU PAY IT OFF IN THE INTEREST-FREE PERIOD$1,637$2,107Est fee $0-$99 + $6/mth fee + $15 late fee + 19.9% after 3-36mth interest free period
CREDIT CARD
Low-rate card
OK$1,645$1,73510% p.a. interest + 0.5%-2% merchant fee + annual fee
CREDIT CARD
Standard card
DUMB$1,657$1,82820% p.a. interest + 0.5%-2% merchant fee + annual fee
PAYDAY LOAN
Nimble
DUMB$2,048$2,68820% of the purchase + 4% a mth

* ‘Best case’ is the cost to you if the appliance is paid off after 2 months. ‘Worst case’ is the total cost if the appliance is still not paid off after 12 months, and you’ve incurred the maximum amount of fees and/or interest. Note that I have not included the annual credit card fee in the ‘worst case’ cost for credit cards. BNPL such as Afterpay and Klarna not included as they do not cover purchases of $1600.

HOW DO YOU FIND THE BEST DEALS?

1. Tune into retailer sales & subscribe to their newsletter alerts:

Most major retailers – both the ‘bricks and mortar’ and online types – have dedicated deals pages you can check in minutes.

If you’re on the hunt for an appliance deal, you can also sign up to their email databases and social media profiles to receive notifications.

Some also promise to match certain competitor prices if you find something cheaper.

Harvey Norman

Bing Lee

The Good GuysDoor Buster Deals

👉 PRO TIP: PLAY HARD-TO-GET
If you join an online retailer such as the ones below and view a product, they will often send you follow-up emails with a lower price on that item and similar products

Kogan.comHot Deals

eBayDaily Deals

AmazonToday’s Deals

2. Check bargain forums & price comparison websites (and subscribe to them too):

Keep an eye out for deals sales via online bargain-hunting forums and price comparison websites. Here are some of the best:

Ozbargain Electrical – Australia’s biggest online forum for bargain hunters. Has an ‘Electrical’ section where members post the best deals they’ve seen and others can vote them up or down.

Getprice.com.au – A price comparison site that lists more than 3.5 million products from over 1,200 retailers nationwide and shows you the some of cheapest advertised prices online.

Google Shopping – just type what you’re looking for and Google shows you the range of retailers and prices advertised: 

3. Diarise the big online sales events:

There are now several big online sales events each year – most of them in the lead-up to Christmas – where retailers offer big discounts.

Some are run by a single online retailer such as Kogan or Amazon, while others occur across ALL online retailers.

It’s worth diarising these and subscribing for notifications if you’re in the market for a good deal on a particular product. You might get it half price!

SALEWHEN
Amazon Prime DayUsually July
Kogan First DayUsually Oct
Click Frenzy2nd Tuesday in November, plus other events
Singles Day – all online retailersNov
Black Friday – all online retailersNov ( day after Thanksgiving)
Cyber Monday – all online retailersNov (the Monday after Thanksgiving)

👉 PRO TIP: USE THE FREE TRIALS
Both Kogan First and Amazon Prime require membership BUT they offer 30-day FREE trials so you can look at the deals and cancel before the fee kicks in.

WHAT GRANTS & ASSISTANCE ARE AVAILABLE TOWARDS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES?

Some state governments or energy retailers will contribute hundreds or even thousands of dollars towards certain household appliances or upgrades.

Usually these grants are to help pensioners and low-income households, or to promote energy efficiency targets. See if you qualify. Here are a few examples:

New South Wales:
Appliance replacement offer: up to 50% off fridges and TVs
Get a discount when you upgrade your 10y.o. television or fridge. Offer applies to selected models only. Must be a NSW resident, over 18y.o. And hold one of:

  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Health Care Card or Low-Income Health Care Card from Centrelink
  • Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card

Queensland:
PeakSmart air conditioning program: up to $400 rebate
Energex
Ergon
Claim up to 5 rebates for purchasing and installing PeakSmart air conditioners or converting an existing air conditioner to PeakSmart:

  • $400 for purchasing and installing a PeakSmart air conditioner with 10kW or more cooling capacity
  • $200 purchasing and installing a PeakSmart air conditioner with 4kW to less than10kW cooling capacity

Victoria:
Victorian Energy Upgrades program: Up to $2771 back on energy-saving appliances
Discounts and special offers are only available from accredited providers. Examples include:

  • Up to $238 rebate on weather-proofing strips, double-glazed windows, chimney dampers and vent covers
  • Up to $102 rebate on recycling your old fridge
  • Up to $2771 rebate for replacing your heater – e.g. a central electric heater with efficient ducted gas
  • Up to $799 rebate for hot water system upgrades – e.g. replacing electric with gas-boosted solar
  • $17 rebate for energy and water-saving showerheads
  • Over $100 rebate for replacing (for example) 8 halogen downlights with LEDs
  • $17 rebate for energy-efficient TVs
  • $17 rebate for energy-efficient clothes dryers
  • $85 rebate for energy-saving pool pumps

Any information is general advice, it does not take into account your individual circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs.

Check KILL BILLS for more helpful tips about saving.

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