Let the good times roll: consumer confidence up

Consumer confidence rose strongly on the first weekend of 2014, to 116.4 (up 4.6 pts since Dec 15/15) according to The Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Update.

The rise was driven by consumers having more confidence about their personal finances and the Australian economic conditions over the next 12 months.

43% of Australians reported that they are expecting to be "better off" financially this time next year compared with just 14% who expected to be worse off. 30% of Australians expect 'good times' for the Australian economy over the next 12 months.

To keep the good vibe going all year long, Australians are encouraged to take the time to review their personal finances and shop around for better deals on their home loans, credit cards and utilities.

Most economists are predicting a rise in interest rates this year so fixing a portion your home loan could be a good option to keep your repayment levels stable. And if you spent up over the Christmas break, look at saving on interest by transferring credit card debt to a low rate balance transfer credit card. On a $3000 balance, making $300 monthly repayments you could save $280 in interest and fees by switching cards according to Mozo's credit card health check tool.