Financial goals such as saving more, spending less and budgeting are among the most popular new years resolutions people make. Unfortunately, statistics show that fewer than 10% of us actually keep our resolutions for the full year.
To bump up your chances of achieving your financial goals in 2015, we’ve pulled together a list of money resolutions you can do right now which could help you to save thousands throughout the year.
#1. Stop paying to access my own money
If you are paying any kind of account keeping fee on your everyday banking account then you are throwing money away. The same goes for using out of network ATMs. Australians spend around $555 million annually for using out of network ATMs – that’s one habit worth kicking.
Here are some top bank accounts for zero fees and ATM network goodness:
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday: No atm fees when you deposit $1000 or more a month, 2% cashback on Visa PayWave purchases, no monthly account fee
NAB Classic Banking Account: Free ATM access at NAB and Redi ATMs nationwide, no account fee
HSBC day-to-day account: Free ATM access at HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA ATMS, No monthly account fee.
Mozo tip: If you’ve been putting off switching banks because of the hassle of changing direct debits don’t. Thanks to bank switching reforms you can now authorise your new bank to notify direct debit providers on your behalf.
#2. Ditch the set and forget mentality
Just because you have a 25 year mortgage, it doesn’t mean that you should put your repayments in set and forget mode. Home loan interest rates are at record lows but there is talk that the RBA will put rates up sometime in 2015 so now is a good time to make sure you are on a good deal before the market shifts.
Sure there is some paperwork to consider when switching home loans, but a couple of hours work could end up saving you thousands. For instance, the average standard Big 4 Bank variable package rate is now at 5.10% but variable rates are as low as 4.39% (Heritage Bank Discount Variable Home Loan). On a $300,000 mortgage by switching you’d save $1464.00 this year alone. Try our Switch & Save Calculator to see how much you would save.
Here are some other variable rate home loan options:
4.48% p.a. (4.50% comparison) : loans.com.au Dream Home Loan Offset Variable
4.54% p.a. (4.54% comparison): UBank UhomeLoan Real Reward Offer
4.60% p.a. (4.61% comparison): bankmecu Basic Home Loan Special
See our site for fixed rate home loan deals.
Mozo tip: Even if you are happy with your current bank’s service but not its rate, channel your inner haggler. Tell them what you can get with another provider after searching home loans on Mozo and ask them to match it. Haggling not your thing? Get in touch with Mozo’s home loan negotiators, our service is free and we do the rate haggling for you.
#3. Say good riddance to credit card debt
According to Moneysmart the average Australian credit card holder is in debt to the tune of $4200. It is time to say goodbye to this debt for good and with so many long term balance transfer offers in the market and a bit of discipline you can be debt free this year. For instance, the Bankwest More Mastercard currently has a balance transfer deal of 0% for 18 months, so if you make monthly repayments of $350 you’ll clear the debt in 12 months and all it will cost you is $70 for the annual card fee.
Other top balance transfer deals:
- 0% BT for 18 months: Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard, $0 annual fee, 19.99% purchase rate
0% BT for 16 months: ANZ Low Rate Card, $58 annual fee, 13.49% purchase rate
0% BT for 16 months: Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card – Balance Transfer Offer, $129 annual fee, 20.74% purchase rate, exclusive reduced flight offer.
Mozo tip: Don’t use the card for new purchases until the balance transfer is paid off. Payments must go to the highest interest accruing debt so if you make purchases on the card your repayments will go towards this not reducing your debt.
#4. Use it or lose it
Make 2015 a year where you either use it or you lose it. Give yourself the task of going through your bank statements, health care policies and other bills to make sure that you’re not paying for things you don’t use. Do you have an old magazine subscription that you’re getting charged for that’s still going to an old address? Are you paying for massages in full when you could be claiming for them on your health insurance? Do you need to be on the mega broadband plan or have unlimited gym access when you only go twice a week?
One of the other benefits of reviewing policies is that you also brush up on your entitlements. For instance, a common feature of travel insurance is rental car excess reduction cover but if you don’t know this before showing up at the rental car desk you could find yourself paying an extra $25 a day for something you’ve already paid for.
#5. Put yourself on your payroll
Whatever your top money goal is for 2015 – a new car, holiday or emergency fund – set up an automatic transfer every payday that goes straight to saving for this goal. Don’t keep the money in your everyday account, set up a specific high interest savings account that will keep the cash out of mind out of site until you’ve reached your goal. If you are unsure how long will it take you to save for your goal and how much you should be putting away, try Mozo’s savings goal calculator.
Here are some savings accounts to stash your cash:
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser: 4.00% p.a. bonus interest rate with bundled Orange Everyday Account. No account fee.
Bankwest Hero Saver: 4.00% p.a. interest rate with $200 min monthly deposit and no withdrawals. No account fee.
HSBC Serious Saver: 4.00% p.a. for first 4 months then 2.70% if you don’t make any withdrawals in the month. No minimum deposit requirements and no account fee.
Mozo Tip: Many high interest accounts have minimal monthly deposit conditions so make sure your automatic payments meet the criteria or you could find that you’re not getting the best rate possible.