How to save thousands of dollars by kicking bad financial habits

From biting fingernails to indulging in just a little too much end-of-the-week chocolate, we’ve all got some bad habits - but there are some that can be a serious drain on your budget.

Mozo research shows that the financial bad habit nearly a quarter of Aussies are falling for is carrying lingering credit card debt. Other common offences include using plastic for fixed expenses like bills and rent, not having a budget and failing to save a financial buffer, which Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont says paints a worrying picture.

“When you look at the big picture here, the overall problem for Aussies seems to be that we’re having trouble getting on top of expenses, which leads to cutting into savings and relying on credit when we really shouldn’t be,” Lamont said.

But there are ways to break these bad habits and put cash back in your coffers.

For those looking to find extra funds to save, refinancing an expensive mortgage may be the road to success. By switching from the average interest rate to the lowest in our database, a borrower with a $300,000 mortgage could put as much as $59,276 back in their pocket^.

Finding a way to lower expensive interest payments is key for those struggling to stay on top of their debt. By paying off $4,000 of credit card debt in a 12 month 0% interest balance transfer period instead of letting it sit on the card, a spender might save as much as $4,922** in interest payments.

If you’re ready to kick bad habits and start saving money, check out these top picks from our Editors to help you along the way.

To plump up your savings

ING - Savings Maximiser
  • 2.80% interest rate when you deposit $1,000 and make 5 debit card purchases per month
  • Free ATMS in Australia and around the world
  • Mozo Experts Choice Regular Saver winner 2018
How it helps:

If you’re going to start building a financial cushion, then you need somewhere to put all that cash, right? That’s where the ING Savings Maximiser comes in. There’s a generous 2.80% interest rate on offer for savers who deposit $1,000 into their linked Orange Everyday account and make 5 debit card purchases per month - so not only does it motivate you to put savings away, but it will help you grow your stash.

HSBC - Discounted Home Value Loan
  • 3.59% variable rate (3.60% comparison rate*)
  • No application or service fees
  • Available for loans up to $7.5 million
How it helps:

One great way to find some breathing room in your monthly budget is to slash your home loan repayments. The lHSBC Discounted Home Value Loan is a great option for that, thanks to the super low interest rate and no upfront application or ongoing service fees. Plus, you can choose to make repayments on a monthly, fortnightly or weekly basis to suit your budget better.

To cut down on debt

Woolworths - Everyday Platinum Credit Card
  • 0% balance transfer for 14 months
  • $0 annual fee in the first year
  • Up to 55 interest free days
Find out more
How it helps:

If your financial vice is carrying a credit card balance around, then it might be time to pick up a balance transfer card and get rid of it once and for all. The Woolworths Everyday Platinum card comes with a BT offer of 0% interest for 14 months, and no annual fee to worry about in the first year, so you can focus on crushing that lingering balance. Just remember not to make any new purchases until you’ve paid off your existing debt!

Plenti - Personal Loan
  • 8.63% interest rate
  • $220 application fee
  • Mozo Experts Choice Excellent Credit Personal Loan winner 2017
Find out more
How it helps:

Another option to help you get a handle on your debt is a debt consolidation loan. With interest rates from 8.63%, the RateSetter Unsecured Personal Loan is a great option. Loans are available for between $2,000 and $45,000, and you won’t need an asset to put up as security. One thing to keep in mind though, is that there is an upfront application fee and a small monthly service fee to budget for.

Great Southern Bank - Low Rate Credit Card
  • 11.99% purchase rate
  • $0 annual fee in the first year ($49 after)
  • Up to 55 interest free days
Find out more
How it helps:

Once you’ve cleared that bad debt, the next priority is to avoid winding up in the same position again. With a low interest rate of 11.99% and no annual fee to worry about in the first year, the CUA Low Rate Card is the perfect spending companion to keep you in the clear. You’ll also get up to 55 interest free days and be able to spend using Google Pay and Apple Pay. And if you’re looking for an all rounder option, this one also comes with a 0% balance transfer period of 13 months.

^Based on average home loan rate of % and lowest rate 3.39% from reduce home loans.

**Based on a credit card with average interest rate of 17.03%, making minimum monthly repayments of 2.5%.

* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

*** WARNING: The Comparison Rate combines the lender's interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the true cost of a personal loan. The comparison rates displayed are calculated based on a loan of $30,000 for a term of 5 years or a loan of $10,000 for a term of 3 years as indicated, based on monthly principal and interest repayments, on a secured basis for secured loans and an unsecured basis for unsecured loans. This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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