Although you may not be over the moon to be cooped up inside all day long, if you do have to work from home for the next few weeks, it might be an ideal time to tick off all those finance-related life-admin tasks you’ve been putting to one side. By doing just some of these, you could save yourself some serious dollars.
Need some help on how to whip your finances back into shape? Here are seven financial tasks to say sayonara to while you’re ensconced in the privacy of your own home.
Refinance your home loan
So you’ve been meaning to refinance your home loan for a while, but never seem to be able to find the time to get the gears in motion.
It’s totally understandable if you’ve been putting off finding a loan with a more competitive rate, after all an office environment isn’t exactly the best place to be comparing home loan interest rates, but did you know that you could save hundreds, even thousands in repayments by refinancing?
We worked out that by switching from the average big four home loan interest rate of 3.80% p.a. to one of the most competitive variable rates on the market (2.44% p.a., comparison rate 2.47% p.a*. with Reduce Home Loans), you could save a total of $106,487 over the course of a 30 year loan. That’s a saving of $296 per month with a $400,000 loan and a loan to value ratio of 80%^.
So now that you do have some private time, you could start by applying for a free copy of your credit report. This is a summary of your credit history which will give you some indication as to whether you’re likely to be accepted for a loan.
Once you’re ready to start comparing some refinancing options, why not head to Mozo’s compare refinance home loans page to see what competitive interest rate you could snag.
Rethink where you stash your savings
While having a savings stash to fall back on is ideal, especially in the current economic climate, perhaps it’s time to rethink exactly what your savings account is doing for you.
If you’ve kept on top of savings interest rates lately, you’ll know that they aren’t looking too healthy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try and find the most competitive one on the market.
At 2.00% p.a, the highest ongoing savings rate available in the Mozo database stands more than 1% above the current market average, which is 0.90% p.a.*
So let’s just say you had $5,000 stashed in a savings account and you deposited an extra $100 each month, with an average annual savings rate of 0.90% you would earn about $50 in interest in 1 year. In comparison, if you were to go with the highest rate available and earn 2.00% p.a., on the same amount of money over the same period of time, you could make around $112 in interest, that’s more than twice as much!
Banish your credit card debt
Now that you have a little time to yourself, you might want to think about finally banishing that credit card debt you’ve been meaning to deal with.
You could start by comparing balance transfer credit cards. This type of credit card allows you to transfer an outstanding amount from your current piece of plastic to another credit card with a 0% balance transfer deal.
Just beware that the 0% interest rate will only last for a limited time, usually anywhere from 3 to 26 months and will only apply to the transferred balance and not to any new purchases you might make with the card.
With all of this in mind, the wisest way to use a balance transfer card is to pay off any current credit card debt before the 0% annual interest rate offer expires. Find out how many months you’ll need to make yourself debt free with our credit card debt repayments calculator.
Consolidate your superfunds
If consolidating your superfunds is something that’s been niggling at you for a while, then now might be the time to get on it and get rid of those extra funds you have sitting around gathering dust.
Although there is a chance that any low balance superannuation funds you have might already have been dealt with as part of the Federal Government’s Protecting Your Super Act, it is still good to check that you don’t have any hanging around.
You could start by making a list of previous jobs you’ve had and what superfunds you had with them. If you can’t remember you could always look at old payslips or call your previous employers and ask.
Find a new energy provider
Reviewing energy bills is one of those things that we always have the best intention of getting round to, someday, but never quite do. Well as it turns out that someday has arrived!
While you’re at home and all your recent energy bills are at hand, you can take stock of what you’re actually paying to power your home. In fact, why not start by heading to Mozo’s compare energy deals page to see what rates are on offer in your area and whether or not you really could save money by switching.
Plus if you need any more motivation to get the wheels in motion, here’s an enticing bit of information for you: by comparing 427 plans from 37 different electricity providers, Mozo recently figured out that Australian households could save an average of $544 a year, simply by switching to a better value energy deal!
You could even download an energy saving app and think about adopting better energy saving habits!
Take out insurance
Let’s face it, insurance isn’t exactly the most thrilling thing to think about, especially after a long day of work and commuting, but now that you have some time at home, you might want to think about whether or not you need it.
Maybe you have compulsory third party car insurance that you’ve been meaning to upgrade to comprehensive for a while or you have home contents insurance but not home building insurance, either way why not use your home time to burn through some hefty insurance product disclosure statements!
Plus if you’re unsure as to what type of insurance you need, why not have a read through our car insurance guides and home insurance guides for more information. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can use our comparison pages to check out car insurance and home insurance deals on offer right now.
Cancel unwanted subscriptions
Speaking of niggling things to deal with, besides everything else, home is also the perfect place to review and cancel any unwanted subscriptions.
Take a look at your bank statements to see if there are any odd little payments going out that you’ve forgotten about. For instance, you might have a subscription to a job seeking website that you no longer use and although it may seem like a negligible amount, it could be that $5 extra you need to treat yourself to a hot chocolate!
So whether it be a streaming service you don’t use or extra cloud storage you don’t need, now is the time to get rid of any direct debits that are no longer relevant.
Once you’ve done all that, feel free to kick back on the sofa and make yourself a well-earned cup of tea!
^Calculations taken from home loans available in the Mozo database, correct as of Thursday 19th March, 2020.
Compare bank accounts - last updated January 16, 2021
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