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As you slowly return to the grind after the holiday season, it is possible that you have a massive credit card bill sitting at your table – thanks to all the Christmas shopping, travelling, and the festivities. Well, we are sure you’d take care of that. However, if you are planning to transfer the debt to a new card with an interest-free period, you might be in for a surprise. From January 1, 2019, all credit providers are required to check their customers’ debt servicing capacity thoroughly before issuing a card. Consequently, credit card users applying for a new card can expect lower credit limits, as credit card providers assess their financial capacity to repay their credit card limit within three years, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

 
It's time to boost your savings in 2019
 

Undeniably, it will be harder to get credit in 2019, and for a good reason.

According to a recent report by ASIC, 1 in 6 Australians is struggling with their credit card debt, with the total outstanding credit card balance touching $45 million in the country.

We say that you start the new year right by taking stock of your finances and follow these money hacks to boost your savings in 2019:


1.Write down a budget

Did you know that the easiest way to cut down your expenses is to know where you are spending your money? Write down your household budget to track your expenses and know where your money is going. This would help you trim the frivolous spending and also get a better visibility of your finances.

Read these tips to create a good household budget.


2.Be healthy and wealthy

Planning to quit smoking this year or reduce your liquor intake? Be it alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine – if you have an addiction, this is the time to try and kick it out of your life, or cut back, to improve your health, as well as, your bank balance! Double whammy, isn’t it?


3.Switch to planned shopping

It is easy to overspend when you are surrounded by interesting products and lucrative deals at the supermarket. However, you can resist the temptation to splurge by simply downloading a shopping list app on your smartphone to make your grocery shopping quick and less stressful.

Try the GrocerEaze app that lets you calculate how much your list will cost you and also track your costs while you are doing the shopping.


4.Carry your own food

Carrying healthy, homecooked meals to work will reduce not only your belly but also your expenditure! Packing your lunch helps you make healthier food choices and introduce variety into your diet.

Here are some quick and easy lunch recipes you’d enjoy cooking, as well as, eating! You may also carry a water bottle that you can refill, instead of purchasing water, to save money and the environment, both.


5.Give up on unnecessary subscriptions

Do you have an expensive gym membership that you rarely use? Well, running around the block or working out in the open will give you some fresh air, an opportunity to socialise with your neighbours, and also save some precious bucks you could use elsewhere. Similarly, you might be paying for some clubs you hardly visit or magazines that you can read online for free.

We suggest that you go through your account statement minutely and check for subscriptions that you don’t use to opt out of them and save money instantly.


6.Pay your bills on time to avoid late fees and get discounts

Paying your bills on time helps you maintain a clean credit record that can be a major factor in getting your home loan application over the line. However, it isn’t easy to keep track of every single utility bill, which means it is a good idea to set up automatic outflows to make timely payments and keep track of your cash flow. Some utility providers also offer discounts or rewards to customers who pay their bills on time.


7.Energy efficient is money efficient

Switching to energy efficient appliances will cut down your energy bills significantly and also reduce your carbon footprint. You could start by using a part of your savings or tax refund to change all the light bulbs in your home to LED bulbs. This will save you a lot of money over time as LED bulbs consume less energy, don’t heat up, and last for years.


8.Pay yourself first

According to psychologists, automated deposits are effective to boost your savings as they make spending difficult – because you cannot really spend the money you don’t have. Many experts suggest that you pay 10 per cent of your salary into an automated deposit account as soon as you receive it to build your retirement nest over the years.

“Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving,” recommends Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest men.

Of course, you must deposit your money smartly to balance out the risk and returns, and speaking to a financial advisor could help you plan your investments better.


9.Stop paying the lazy tax

Did you know that Australians are paying $11.6 billion in lazy tax each year by not shopping around for the best deals offered by banks, insurance companies, grocery and utility providers? Visit an online comparison site now to see if you are paying extra for anything from your credit card to cable to insurance to your phone bill.

Revisit all your rates and negotiate a better deal with your service provider if you think you are paying too much. In a competitive market, you can often find better options with another vendor if your existing vendor isn’t ready to offer you a competitive deal.


10.Reduce your mortgage interest rate

When was the last time you revisited your home loan?
Presently, the average mortgage interest rate in the market is about 3.70 per cent per annum, and, if you are paying more than this, you are possibly throwing away your hard earned money at the banks.

On the HashChing website, you can find home loans starting as low as 3.49 per cent per annum. Compare mortgage rates online to see how your interest rate stacks up against what the other lenders are offering. If you find yourself paying too much, pick up the phone and ask your lender for a better rate or, if you aren’t satisfied, you could consider refinancing with another lender to lower your interest rate and reduce your monthly repayments.
 

Click Here To Find A Lower Rate & Start Saving Today!

 

Remember, even a small discount on your mortgage rate could save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan! Speak to a mortgage broker to understand your options better.

HashChing is Australia’s first borrower-friendly online mortgage marketplace offering broker pre-negotiated home loan deals from 80+ lenders across the country.

 
By Vidhu Bajaj,
HashChing Content Writer
 

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HashChing is helping Australians by providing access to pre-negotiated home loan deals. Obligation free consultation with one of our partner brokers might save you time, hassle and money.

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