This week in banking - the HomeBuilder scheme and 5 other things you don’t want to miss!

Polly Fleeting

Friday 05 June 2020

  • Building or renovating? Say hello to the $25,000 HomeBuilder scheme
  • 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Awards: best NBN plans 
  • Coles joins Flybuys and drops Flypay 
  • How to spend your robodebt refund 
  • Aussie dollar hits five-month high 
  • Rent prices down due to COVID-19

All in this week’s banking recap. 

Two builders looking at a plan to build a home via the HomeBuilder scheme

Aussies to receive $25,000 cash grant under HomeBuilder scheme

Building a new home or doing a renovation? You may be eligible for the new HomeBuilder scheme. 

The scheme is a one-off $25,000 cash grant given by the Federal Government to Aussie home builders. It’s intended to boost the construction industry and help build 30,000 homes by the end of 2020. 

As a $688 million program, it’s set to support 140,000 direct construction jobs and 1 million workers in the residential building sector that are at risk of disappearing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The grant will be available to individuals that make less than $125,000 per year (less than $200,000 for couples) and can be used for new builds up to $750,000 or renovations between $150,000 and $750,000.   

Read full article: HomeBuilder scheme: Are you eligible for the Government's $25,000 cash grants? and find out if you qualify. 

Best NBN plans announced in 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Awards  

If you’re in need of a new internet provider, you’re in luck because we’ve just dropped the 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for NBN!

In the category’s second year, Mozo Experts judged Aussie 105 NBN providers to find the best Contract and No Lock-in options, from Standard coverage to Premium. 

Mozo banking expert, Peter Marshall says that now that the NBN is more widespread throughout the country, more and more Australian consumers are looking for the right provider. 

“NBN is still a relatively new service in Australia and with so many different options available, having some extra guidance can be super helpful when trying to make the right choice,” Marshall says. 

Read full article: The best NBN plans to consider in 2020 to check out some of this year’s notable winners! 

Meet Flypay! Coles and Flybuy’s new way to pay  

Online supermarket shoppers looking for a better checkout experience, listen up!  

One of the country’s favourite supermarkets, Coles has teamed up with rewards program giant Flybuys to create: Flypay

Shoppers using Flypay will no longer have to enter their credit card details, delivery information and flybuys number separately when doing their online grocery shop. Instead, simply select Flypay and your purchase and points collection will go through automatically. 

Currently, Flypay is available through Coles Liquor online stores: Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, First Choice Liquor and First Choice Liquor Market. 

Read full article: Coles partners with Flybuys on new payment method: Flypay to read more on this new payment method. 

Got a robodebt refund? Here are some wise ways to spend it 

Last week, the Federal Government announced it will refund over $721 million in wrongly issued Centrelink debts to 373,000 Aussies. 

These debts were collected back in 2015/2016, as well as in November of 2019, from Australians that had been thought to have received more Centrelink payments that their income entitled them to. The debts were named ‘robodebts’ as they were inaccurately calculated by a computer, without human oversight. 

So what should you do with your robodebt refund? Here are three finance-savvy options:

  • Pay down your loans and credit card debt 
  • Add it to your emergency or “rainy day” savings fund 
  • Put it in a high interest savings account 

Read full article: Robodebt refund: How to spend it wisely for a deeper look into how to access your Robodebt refund.  

Recession looming but Aussie dollar gets stronger 

Despite a recession on the horizon, the Aussie dollar is at the strongest it's been in five months. 

According to the XE Currency Chart, on Wednesday morning the AUD sat at 69.68 US cents (however slid to 69.25 US cents later on in the day). 

The slight drop followed the release Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) GDP data which showed that Australia’s economy shrank by 0.3% over the March quarter. And if this quarter is any indicator of the numbers for the next, Australia will fall into its first recession for 30 years. 

Read full article: Aussie dollar hits five-month high as recession looms to find out why the AUD has bounced back.  

Rent prices are down but is now the time to move?  

If you’re an Aussie renter you may have noticed that rental prices in your area have dropped. But will moving actually save you money? 

Recent data from SQM Research showed that the number of vacant rentals in Sydney increased by almost 8,000 between April and February. Plus, the average weekly rents for houses dropped by 8.8% while for apartments fell by 4.3% 

Sydney hotspot Bondi saw its average weekly rent for apartments fall by $100 per week between January and May. And in Melbourne, the average weekly rent for a three bedroom house in the popular St Kilda West fell by almost $300 per week.  

So should you move? If you are currently renting and are on a fixed-term agreement, breaking the lease may end up costing you more than what you’d save. However, if you are in the position to move without facing these charges, it could be worth considering. 

Read full article: Covid-19 leads to fall in rent prices: Is now the time to move and save? for a full rundown of what to consider when moving. 

Looking for somewhere to put your savings? Take a look at the killer savings accounts below! Or if you need a little help with your “post-iso” budget this month, check out our June 2020 Financial Checklist.

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