Signing up for a 30-year home loan is just the tip of the home ownership iceberg – the bills and basic household costs can stretch even the most money savvy’s budget.
"The housing recovery, which was initially confined to New South Wales and Western Australia, appears to be gaining broader momentum," Geordan Murray, Housing Industry Association Economist, recently commented.
However, are homeowners getting the best deals? From home loans to power bills, there are plenty of ways Australians can cut costs.
With your bank
If you want to cut down the term of your loan or are simply fed up with your lender, running a home loan comparison could be a smart move. If another lender offers a better deal, see if your current home loan provider is prepared to match the rate. If not, making the switch could potentially save you thousands of dollars.
If you're refinancing, you’ve got nothing to lose by contacting your current lender and asking for a better rate. After all, if you've still got to make repayments for another decade or so, your lender won't want to miss out on the potential interest they could earn from you!
Discussing your options with a broker is a good idea, too. They can suggest a range of options and are in a favourable position to negotiate with lenders to secure you a great deal.
With your utility provider
Want to slash your electricity, gas or solar costs? Start by picking up the phone.
Call your existing utility provider and ask them if they've got any promotions running. Or, if you indicate you're prepared to make the shift to another company, this may prompt your existing provider to offer you a one-off discount or better rate.
Some providers allow you to lock in prices for a set amount of time, which can help insulate you against any price rises for a specified period, too.
With your internet provider
Shop around when you're looking to sign up to an internet provider — often, companies will run promotions offering free data for a period of time, for instance.
But don't sign up to a package that offers more than you need. Often, you'll buy a package that's perceived to be great value, when in reality, you don't need the level of data or calling minutes provided.
With your mobile phone company
Are you coming to the end of a mobile phone contract?
Don't go signing up to a new plan just yet! Many companies offer a free phone to customers who sign a new contract. If you're already set on signing a new 12 or 24-month contract, you may as well shop around to see which mobile phone provider is offering the best free handset and call rates!