Loyal or Lazy? How you could be missing out on thousands


Australians are wasting more than $500 million each year by not switching to a better deal on items such as banking, groceries, internet, mobile phone and utility providers just to name a few, according to research released from the Queensland University of Technology.

The national research found more than half of Australians had seriously considered switching their providers but less than 25 per cent have actually acted on those intentions, adding to lost savings each year.

While switching can save you thousands of dollars, the typical reasons why people don’t switch is due to the time and effort involved in doing so, the perceived costs involved in making the switch, the lack of information on different service providers and a perceived benefit of receiving preferred treatment at their current supplier.

But are these behaviours really helping our hip pocket?

When looking at the savings made by people who have made the switch, the savings may surprise you. Here are some typical examples of what you can save.

Home Loans

At least 30 per cent of the people who switched their home loan declared having saved more than $2000 per year with a further 22 per cent saving between $1000 and $2000.

Why not call your current bank and ask for a better deal or jump online to see what the competitors are offering and use their home loan calculators to see what difference making a switch will make to your hip pocket.

Banks are becoming better at streamlining the process of refinancing a home loan so you may be surprised by the process compared to what it was a few years ago. The bigger your mortgage, the more the savings – so what are you waiting for?

Credit cards

The most frequent savings range from switching a credit card is between $200 and $300. Credit cards change and so can your financial situation. Ensure your credit card suits your spending habits. If you know you can pay off your card each month in full then a low annual fee might be more attractive than a low interest rate. Ensure you review this on a yearly basis to lower your costs.

Home and contents insurance

More than 14 per cent of people who switched insurers saved more than $500 with an average saving of $100 to $200 from all of those who switched. Use comparison sites to look at what is and isn’t covered compared to your existing cover and consider using the same insurer for multiple policies as there may be a group discount.

Energy supplier, internet and mobile phone

On average switching saved up to $200 for energy and more than $200 of savings came from switching the internet or mobile phone provider.

In particular, internet providers change their plans and data allowances regularly.

Talk is cheap and data is becoming less and less expensive.

Not reviewing your plan can mean you are paying more than what you need to or you may be losing out on benefits. A simple phone call will ensure you are being rewarded with benefits and are getting what you are paying for.

Grocery providers

Possibly the easiest way to save money is to consider making a switch when it comes to groceries. One in seven Australians who made the switch saved more than $1000 with an average saving of up to $400.

The bottom line is, you can’t assume you are always getting the best deal regardless of whether you were at the time you first obtained your mortgage, chose an insurer or bought a mobile phone.

Review all your bills on a yearly basis and a simple phone call to each of them or to a competitor once a year could save your thousands of dollars.