Single dad Martin Bongiorno rents his property in New South Wales, Australia, and has adopted a few crafty hacks to minimise his utility bills. Unlike most households that use fixtured lighting to brighten their home, the savvy parent has a much more scaled-back approach – using a single bulb. And he’s been doing it for years.
Households across Australia are, like many Britons, facing steep hikes in living costs – particularly when it comes to energy.
While some parts of the country boast extremely low property prices, pockets of struggling communities have been left with no choice but to be more savvy around the house.
As was the case for Martin who found himself restricted by his personal finances following a workplace accident.
The event left him dependent on compensation payments and has forced the single dad to strip back on essentials at home, including using a lightbulb in every room.
Instead, the savvy tenant relies on one single lamp that he moves around the property.
He told ABC: “I have one lamp positioned in the middle of the room and if I need to move from one room to the next, I just take out the light bulb and move it to the next room.”
And when it comes to using the bulb, Martin is very careful about exactly when he switches it on.
In fact, the crafty billpayer revealed that he only ever lights his home when it is entirely pitch black outside.
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The unusual approach to being more energy-savvy came after Martin was faced with a $2,000 (£1,071) electricity bill that he simply could not afford.
His only option was to take drastic measures around the house in the hopes of dramatically reducing his living expenses.
And the Australian’s unique money-saving hacks don’t stop at lighting his home either.
The single parent also avoids hot showers, along with ingredients that need to be cooked before eating them.
As a result of his cost-cutting techniques, Martin has managed to curb food expenses to just £8.03 per day (AUD$15) and energy to £10 per day (AUD$20).
But despite his restricted living habits, Martin has still faced increasing bills elsewhere in his budget.
The property tenant revealed that his rent had been inflated by £21 per week (AUD$40), which had eaten into his tight budget even further.
He told the broadcasting network: “You’re constantly in this sort of survival mode… It’s exhausting because you realise this is not a temporary thing.”
As households in Australia battle a similar cost of living crisis, the Government has offered some help to those struggling to afford bills.
According to ABC News, the Australian body offered £267 (AUD$500) to help more than five million households to pay their energy bills.
This is part of a means-tested scheme which could also benefit businesses that are eligible for the one-off payment.
According to the Australian Government website, they are also offering payments in July 2023 as part of a $3billion relief package proposed in their 2023-2024 budget.
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