Forget the Smashed Avo on Toast - Are you just too lazy to save money?

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Australians are self-confessed penny pinchers, with new research identifying three-quarters of Australians as tightwads who limit their spending and hunt for the best deals.

But with all this self-confession, are we really saving as much as what we could?

With more than half of Australians dumping their current service providers for a
cheaper deal, research released today by the University of Technology Sydney revealed that Australians are wasting an estimated $7.4 billion a year by focusing on savings on minor purchases, such as their internet provider, rather than where it can make a bigger difference in an area such as their home loan.

The research, conducted on behalf of Heritage Bank revealed Australians crave the instant gratification they get from saving a few dollars on travel and fashion, but are ignoring the potential to save thousands because they are too lazy.

So are you too lazy to save money?

Well if you haven’t considered changing your grocery or credit card provider or your home loan lender, you could be conservatively missing out on up to $1,200 per year, enough for a coffee a day at work or a smashed avocado on toast every weekend.

Forget the smashed avo though, investing these savings over a 30 year time frame, means your nest egg will be boosted by an extra $80,000.

With home loans clearly being one of the biggest areas to save money, it’s no surprise that many people are turned off by the perceived process to change banks and the lack of clarity as to the savings to be had, if they take the plunge.

Here are some tips to help you save but keep your sanity.

Don’t fall for the banks. Changing your loan provider does not mean you need to change your personal banking to the same provider.

When you move banks, people are often lured by the benefits of changing your personal banking, but this is a trap, despite the potential to save a few dollars in banking fees. Think of your home loan as something separate to your everyday bank accounts so that every 6 months, you can shop your loans around and change them as you please. This means you will be in the position to save as much as you can and get the best deal.

By keeping your everyday bank accounts the same and only changing your loans, you don’t have to go through the pain of advising service providers, filling out forms and changing your direct debits and automatic payments – an exercise which typically turns people off getting a better deal on their home loan interest rate.

Most lenders these days will allow you to pay home loan repayments from any bank account with any institution, despite what they tell you. Obviously though, they want you in their web – and want all of your business including your bank accounts, loans and credit cards. The key is to not get caught by their sales talk and stick to your guns when it comes to managing your personal accounts.

These days, any type of loans whether it be for your home, rental property or investment, should be fluid and shopped around every 6 to 12 months to find a better deal. Be smart with your loans and bank accounts and reap the rewards by ensuring the process adds to your hip pocket and doesn’t require a lot of your effort in doing so.

Why not increase the financial savviness of those around you – pay it forward and pass on these tips to your family, friends and kids.

Olivia Maragna is the co-founder of Aspire Retire Financial Services and is a respected and independent financial expert. Olivia’s advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions.

You can follow Olivia on Facebook or Twitter at https://twitter.com/oliviamaragna

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