This week in banking news - lunchbox savings, green homes, the first home loans deposit scheme and travel insurance pitfalls

Tara McCabe

Friday 31 January 2020

  • Aussie households could be saving $777 on lunchbox snacks a year
  • Why green homes are worth more money
  • First Home Loan Deposit scheme available from more lenders
  • Travel insurance pitfalls to look out for
  • Will the RBA cut in February?

All in this week's banking recap.

Woman waiting in an airport.

Do you spend too much on convenient lunchbox snacks for your kids?

Recent research from Mozo has uncovered convenient, prepackaged lunchbox snacks could be costing Aussie parents $3 billion a year.

The report found that by opting for prepackaged goods, individually packed, pre-sliced and pre-portioned out, Aussie parents could be spending an extra $432 per year, per child, than if they opted to buy in bulk.

That’s an extra $432 per child or $777* per household that could be stashed away into a savings account every year.

Read the full article: Convenient lunchbox snacks cost Aussie parents $3 billion a year, finds latest Mozo research, to find out how much you could save by buying cheese and crackers, sultanas, juice, yoghurt and popcorn in bulk.

Energy efficient homes could be valued at higher prices, research finds

Recent research conducted by the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre has revealed that energy efficient homes could actually be worth up to 10% more than less energy efficient homes.

In fact, the study showed that homes in the ACT rated 7 stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), could be sold for 9.4% more than homes with a 3 star energy efficiency rating.

Read the full article: Green property dream: energy efficient homes attract 10% higher prices, new research finds to discover what other savings might come with greener homes.

7,000 more slots up for grabs with the First Home Loans Deposit Scheme

As of this Saturday 1 February, there will be 7,000 more spots up for grabs with the First Home Loans Deposit Scheme.

The scheme has been going for nearly a month now, but has so far only been available through NAB and the Commonwealth Bank, who between them have registered 3,000 of the total 10,000 spots available with the scheme.

Of course, with the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) announcing the addition of 25 new lenders to the scheme, effective this Saturday, there will soon be a lot more banks to choose from.

Read the full article: 7,000 more slots to open with the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to find out which smaller banks or lenders you can apply for the scheme through.

Common conditions aren’t always covered in your travel insurance, finds Mozo research

After conducting research into the possible pitfalls of travel insurance this week, Mozo has discovered that some common conditions won’t always be covered in your policy. 

A thorough review of product disclosure statements from all underwriters in the Mozo database, revealed that when it comes to travel insurance there may be more than one pitfall to look out for.

Most notably, common medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure and cholesterol were not automatically covered with every policy.

On top of that, the data showed that 12% of insurers do not cover pregnancy and with those that do there are usually a number of restrictions that apply.

Read the full article: Do your bit and check the fine print: the major travel insurance pitfalls Aussies need to know to find out more about what to look out for when getting yourself travel insurance for your next adventure.

Will the RBA cut in February?

With the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly meeting just around the corner, we got the 411 from our experts on whether or not there might be another cut to the official cash rate.

Previously experts had predicted that the official cash rate would be cut to 0.50% come February, but the release of new jobs data last Thursday, has made this less likely.

The data showed that unemployment figures are the lowest they have been since April 2019, having decreased from 5.2% to 5.1%. 

Before this data was released last week, the market was 58% certain that a February rate cut would occur, that number has now dropped to just 19%. But of course, unemployment figures won’t be the only factor the RBA takes into account next Tuesday, as economic costs incurred by the ongoing bushfire crisis is estimated to be over $100 billion.

Read the full article: Will the RBA cut interest rates in February? for the full lowdown on whether or not interest rates might drop after next Tuesday.

Of course regardless of whether or not the RBA does cut, interest rates are still at an all time low. So now more than ever might be a good time to dig a little further for a savings account with a more competitive interest rate. With this in mind why not head to our savings account comparison page to see what savings rates are out there. Or if you’re rushed for time, simply scroll down for a quick look at what’s on offer.

*Based on the average number of children per household, as stipulated in data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2018.

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