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The four resolutions that will save busy women the most money in 2018

The four resolutions that will save busy women the most money in 2018

By Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon

If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling punch drunk – possibly quite literally – from the recent festive season.

Life’s craziness is taken to a whole new level by present purchasing, large-scale entertaining, holiday organizing and constant indulging… such that getting financially fit is probably way down your 2018 priority list.

But it should be near the top. So I’m going to lay out for you – at a go-get-‘em-girl glance – the four money moves that could save your busy self more than $5000 this New Year. 

 

Move 1: Call your health fund

Actually let’s back up, if you earn more than $90,000 as a single or $180,000 as a couple, you may need to first get a health fund. You pay the equivalent premium as a penalty called the Medicare Levy Surcharge otherwise, so you may as well actually be covered for the money. Go to the comprehensive privatehealth.gov.au  to find your best-value fund (and do a quick price check there if you already have one).

Right, so just call up your fund, ask for what you’re covered and decide if you really need to be. If you are still insured for obstetrics and reproductive services long after you are done with kids, for example, you’ve been paying roughly $500 a year too much. If your fund won’t let you switch off just what you don’t need… privatehealth.gov.au will find one that will (and a head’s up, it will probably be not-for-profit).

Bottom-line boost in 2018: $500

 

Move 2: Switch your electricity provider    

This. Is. So. Easy. To. Do. It’s one phone call to a new electricity company and they do the rest. There are typically discounts of 25 per cent available to new customers and you can see the cheapest supplier in your area on the Australian Energy Regulator’s excellent comparison website Energy Made Easy

Bottom-line boost in 2018: 25 per cent off your electricity bill

 

Move 3: Stop paying interest on credit card debt

If you have any credit card debt, get a 0 per cent balance transfer today – and clear that debt completely within the interest-free period. These are like get-out-of-jail-free cards as you pay nothing extra on your debt and so waste not a dollar. 

If you’re currently paying the minimum on the average $4100 credit card debt that is rolled over from month to month, at the average 17 interest rate, that will save you $700 in interest this year…  or $12,000 over the 30 years it would take you at that rate and pace.

The trick is not to spend a cent extra on this new card though – the interest rate will be eye-watering. And you need to clear it within the maximum available 24-month interest-free period to avoid the punishing ‘revert’ interest rate afterwards, which requires an average, hopefully manageable, $170 a month. 

Find the top deals on mozo.com.au.

Bottom-line boost in 2018: $700

 

Move 4: Ditch your mortgage provider

This is the big one – and if you do just one thing this new year, it should be this.

The average Aussie is donating $350 a month in excess interest to their lender. The typical $378,600 debt at the average 5.23 per cent big bank interest rate costs $2264 a month… and, ultimately, $300,000 in interest. But competition has become so fierce in the mortgage sector that a bunch of loans charge almost 2 percentage points below this at 3.6 per cent… just $1916 a month.

That’s a $4176 saving across the first year. But it's far better to keep putting that on your mortgage, which remember you’ve been used to doing, because you’ll save an enormous $152,000 in interest and get out of debt six years early... essentially for free. 

Again jump on mozo.com.au for the loans that can this year fast-track your future.

Bottom-line boost in 2018: $4176

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a commentator and educator who presents her Smart Money Start, fun financial literacy incursion, in high schools around Australia. Website: TheMoneyMentorWay.com

Follow Nicole on: 

Twitter: @NicolePedMcK

Facebook: Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon Money  

Insta: @NicolePedMcKMoney

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