While Prime Minister Tony Abbott may have ditched his legendary budgie smugglers for the 2014 Budget Announcement, he certainly didn’t shy from “tough” spending cuts.
Whether it’s household expenses, banking products or superannuation…it’s important to think about ways to save because once the Budget comes into effect, every little bit will count! So avoid a wipeout and splash into Mozo’s 20(14) budget-beating tips.
Simple debt dumpers
1. Get a crackin’ credit card. There’s no reason to pay sky-high credit card interest rates over 15%! Mozo’s winner in the Experts Choice Awards McGrath Pink Visa Card offers a 4.74% interest rate for the first 9 months and an 8.99% ongoing interest rate – the lowest in the market for both purchases and cash advances.
2. Drain the gnarly debt. Switch to a 0% balance transfer credit card with a low revert rate. It’ll help you escape high interest repayments and tackle debt sooner.
3. Create a wicked budget. Don’t think of a budget as a money cramper, think of it as a way to plan for the things you can have (say Bintangs in Bali!). Calculate your household and everyday expenses to get an idea of how much you can afford to save and spend.
Savvy savers checklist
4. Set a sweet savings goal. Whether you’re dreaming of new Manolo Blahniks or that 60 inch HD plasma, it’s important to set clear savings goals. Try Mozo’s savings goal calculator here and also check out our infographic saver’s cheat sheet.
5. Look for rippin’ savings rates. Don’t let your money dwindle in a regular bank account with almost no interest, instead open a high interest savings account (look for one above the 4% mark like ING DIRECT’s Savings Maximiser with a 4.35% intro rate) to shift your savings up a gear. Once it reverts to the lower standard interest rate look for the next savings deal, so that you’re always getting top interest.
6. Pipeline your green. Regular payments into your high interest savings account will allow you to save without thinking about it. It’s a no-brainer!
Bountiful ways to boost your banking
7. Wipeout account fees. Right now in Mozo’s bank account database there are 60 out of 101 accounts with no account fee, giving you plenty of fee free options!
8. Sweep your bank statement. Cancel old direct debits that you no longer need. That old mag subscription or unused gym membership could be setting you back big time.
9. Dodge dangerous transactions. Also check your bank statement for dodgy transactions and report anything unusual to your bank ASAP.
10. Love your ATM network. If you withdraw money from an ATM outside your financial institution’s network you’ll be charged from $2.00 upwards, just for one measly transaction. So know thy network!
Mortgagees money hints
11. Enjoy the fixed sun and variable surf. The official cash rate is at a low 2.5% (for the tenth consecutive month) so take advantage of the low rates with a split home loan. The fixed rate means you’ll get the great benefit of the low rates but no big repayment shocks if rates start rising again.
12. Offset your cash stash. If you have a mortgage, depositing your salary into an offset account attached to your home loan will help you save on the interest you pay and you won’t be taxed on it because you’re not earning compound interest.
13. Unite your debt. Generally home loans have much lower rates than personal loans and credit cards. In Mozo’s home loan and credit card databases the average standard variable rate home loan is 5.49%, compared to the average credit card purchase interest rate at a high 17.43%. So if you have several loans with massive interest rates, consolidate your debt under your home loan. But be sure to keep the same repayment levels for loans you consolidate because if you don’t you’ll end up spreading the cost over the life of your home loan and this could end up being a much more expensive option.
Ride the super wave
14. Avoid the super impact zone. Paying multiple fees for different super accounts will set your super savings back, so ensure you consolidate your super by putting your money into the one account by visiting the Australian Government’s SuperSeeker site.
15. Health check your super. Make sure your past and present employers have paid you the minimum 9.25% super amount by doing a health check.
16. Salary sacrifice. Putting part of your wages into your super account will reduce your salary and yearly income tax and boost your super.
Everyday ways to save
17. Become a clever couponeer. Save on everyday groceries with coupons and lookout for supermarket specials.
18. Hang five at the library. Why pay for your books and DVDs, when you can hire them for free from your local library? Too easy!
19. Eek a bill has arrived! Automate your bills to avoid nasty late fees and make sure you pay any fines early or on time.
20. Last but not least, axe your vices! Giving up drinking (dry June, rather than dry July) and smoking will save you hundreds, even thousands each year. Check out how much you could save with Mozo’s vice calculator.
There are plenty of ways to avoid a Budget wipeout and save this new financial year, so what are your budget-beating tips? Let us know in the comments below!