There are two types of people: those who love to budget and those who say a little prayer every time they tap their credit card. If the thought of looking at your bank account makes your stomach churn, save yourself the stress by giving yourself a financial health check this July.
Put simply, a financial health check just means doing a little research to make sure you’re not spending too much on bills, bank account fees or loans. And if you do this just once, you can go back to ignoring your bank account for the rest of the financial year knowing that you’re not being ripped off.
There are a few major bills and debts you can get on top of just by doing a little research.
Check your home loan rate
If you have a home loan but have been living under a rock, you may not be aware that home loan rates are being cut left, right and centre thanks to the Reserve Bank of Australia dropping the cash rate for the first time in almost three years.
Now is a better time than ever to jump online and see if switching to a loan with a lower mortgage rate is a competitive choice for your financial needs.
Or you can skip this whole step and have someone else check for you – and earn $100 if they can’t find you a lower rate.
Switch power providers
When it comes to saving yourself money, start with the two bills that only seem to get more costly over time – electricity and gas.
Not all electricity and gas companies are created equal, and the Australian Government has created a power comparison site to help. Energy Made Easy allows you to compare different providers in your postcode so you can find the most affordable one, as well as look out for any fees that might pop up.
Look at your phone plan
Another bill that can sting if you don’t do your research is your phone bill. While you could shrink this by switching to a cheaper provider, you may be missing out if you live in rural or coastal areas that are only serviced by the bigger-named ones.
The easier way to shrink your phone bill is to have a look at what your provider is offering new customers and ask for that discounted price (and threaten to leave if they don’t pass it on). Seriously, it’s that easy – especially if you’re with one of the bigger providers.
Something to keep in mind when haggling for a cheaper rate is that these companies want your business and will do a helluva lot to keep you in their books, so don’t be afraid to ask.
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