10 Money Saving New Year's Resolutions

10 Money Saving New Year's Resolutions

Forget a new gym membership – here’s a list of New Year’s Resolutions that will trim the fat from your finances and boost your savings for the new year.    

  1. Audit your personal spending

Yes, it’s a little scary and it may bring to light some bad habits you wanted to keep buried. However, a financial audit is the best way to identify your unnecessary expenses and key ways you can save hundreds of dollars this year.

All you need to do is go through your financial records (bank statements, credit card bills etc.) with a fine-tooth comb and look at the different areas your money is going to, and how you can reduce your spending.

  1. Create a budget

After you’ve finished your audit you should be able to see a bigger picture of which areas you want to give your money to and which you don’t. If you need a helping hand, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website has a great budget template. 

  1. Pay off your debt

Take the weight of debt off your shoulders this year by using your new financial budget to help pay back your debt. If you have multiple sources of debt, such as a credit card debt and a mortgage, experts recommend paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. 

  1. Improve your credit score

Your credit score cannot be improved overnight – so make it a long-term goal for your year. You can help to improve your credit score by ensuring there are no errors in your report, paying your bills on time, reducing your debt and the number of loan applications you make. 

  1. Cut up your credit card

Like many Aussies, if your credit card is causing the most damage to your finances through overspending and growing debt, it could be worth cutting up the plastic and starting fresh this year. 

  1. Call your bank and get a lower mortgage rate

Are your mortgage repayments killing your budget? A simple phone call to your lender could save you thousands over the life of your loan. There are dozens of home loan lenders who offer rates under 4 per cent, and most banks will offer new customers lower rates than you’re paying. 

Compare rates from your own lender and others, call your lender and request one of these lower rates. You might be shocked at how much they’re willing to reduce your interest rates by, and how much you’ll save. Customers who ask for these discounts often get them. 

  1. Live below your means

Having champagne taste on a beer budget won’t do much for your savings. Reduce unnecessary expenses by spending less than you earn. Your new budget should come in handy to help this process.  

  1. Invest in your retirement

One of the best New Year’s Resolutions you can make is to invest in your retirement. You can do this through salary sacrificing or by making non-concessional super contributions. 

According to ASIC, if you make less than $51,813 per year (before tax) and make after-tax super contributions, you are eligible for contributions from the government. “If you earn less than $36,813 the maximum co-contribution is $500 based on 50c from the government for every $1 you contribute.” 

  1. Kick brand loyalty to the curb

If you have a love of designer label handbags, or have had an account with the same bank since you were a child, it’s worth researching how your brand loyalty is impacting your budget. 

Make efforts to kick your brand loyalty to the curb this year, whether it’s through buying the cheaper (and still tasty) options in the grocery store or comparing more competitive banking options.

  1. Make your own lunches

RateCity research found that, on average, Aussies who buy their lunch every day were spending around $10 a day or $2,400 a year. Preparing your own lunches at home should cost you around $4 per meal – a saving of $6 a day or $1,400 every year.

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Learn more about bank accounts

Can the government take your money from your bank account?

There are some instances when the government can take money from your bank account. This generally occurs in situations where you have an outstanding government debt.

Before it can take money from your bank account, the government authority owed money would first need to issue a garnishee notice. 

A garnishee notice is issued by the government agency (such as Centrelink or the ATO) to a third party that holds money for you or owes you money.

To take money from your bank account, your bank would be issued with the garnishee notice requiring it to pay ‘your money’ to the requesting agency to satisfy the debt.

Can British expats still open bank accounts?

As a British expat, you can open an Australian bank account, and you can apply for an account the same ways an Aussie would. You can even open an account online from the UK prior to relocating.

If you’re overseas, the bank you choose to open an account with may call you to provide you with our new account details beforehand. You can then have your ID verified within a branch once you’ve arrived.

And if you’re already living down under, the following list outlines the types of information required by most banks when opening an Australian bank account.

  • Australian residential address
  • Tax file number (TFN) or a TFN exemption
  • Identification (this can be your passport)

Can I find my bank account number online?

Yes, you can find your bank account number by logging into your online banking and clicking on the relevant account.

Can I open bank accounts for my children?

A common question for new parents is, ‘Can I open a bank account for my child?’

The short answer is yes – as a parent you can open a bank account for your child.

Once you’ve compared your options and found a bank account that suits your needs, the process is relatively simple.

As the bank account is for your child, you’ll need to provide some documentation such as proof of ID, including your tax file number.

You will also need a copy of your child’s birth certificate, and in some cases you may also need to sign a guarantee of indemnity.

Depending on the bank and whether you’re an existing customer, you may be able to open a bank account for your child online. However, you may still need to go into a branch to prove your identity.

Can you open another account at the same bank?

Yes, you can open another account at the same bank if you already have an account there, but some banks place a limit on how many specific accounts you can open.

Generally, though, it is possible to have more than one everyday account, one personal account and one joint account, or have different types of accounts – such as a transaction account and a savings account.

Keep in mind that some bank accounts come with fees, so you could be charged twice for having two types of the same account at the same bank.

Also, if you have more than one high-interest transaction account at the same bank, only one account will be able to earn the highest rate of interest.

Can debt collectors take money out of your bank account?

Many people find themselves struggling to cope with debt at one time or another. In these cases, a debt collector could contact you to demand payment for a debt, to explain the consequences of you failing to pay a debt, or to organise alternative payment arrangements.

If you’re contacted by a debt collector, you may be wondering what their rights are and whether they can take money out of your bank account.

Creditors cannot access money in your bank account unless a court order (also known as a ‘garnishee order’) is made to allow creditors to recover debt by taking money from your bank account or salary.

If this happens, the creditor can take money out of your bank account unless you pay the debt in full or make an alternative payment arrangement such as paying in instalments through the court.

How do you find a bank account number by name?

For privacy reasons, Australian banks won’t hand out account numbers or other details about their customers. However, if you provide a bank with a BSB and account number, they should be able to confirm if those numbers belong to one of their customers.

How long does it take to open a bank account?

The length of time it takes to open a bank account varies, depending on whether you want to open it online or in person.

Online

Most banks and credit unions have simple online applications that usually take no more than 10 minutes to fill out. It can be especially fast if you have your identification documents like your driver’s licence and passport handy. Sometimes you will instantly be approved and the bank account opened. However, depending on the financial institution, it may take a day or so to be processed and your account number issued. Your account information and ATM or debit card will then be mailed to you, which usually takes between five to 10 days.

In person

If you decide to go into a branch or office to open a bank account, it may take about half an hour. Make sure you bring your identification documents with you. Also book an appointment if you can, otherwise you might be forced to wait in line. Sometimes your ATM or debit card will be issued on the spot, otherwise you’ll need to wait for one to arrive by mail, which usually takes between five to 10 days.

How do you delete your bank account from PayPal?

Deleting your bank account from PayPal is a simple three-step process:

  • Go to your Wallet
  • Choose the account you’d like to delete
  • Click ‘Remove bank account’

How do you open a bank account under 18?

If you’re under 18 and you want to open an Australian bank account, you will need your passport or birth certificate. (Some lenders might require just a Medicare card or driver’s licence.) You can apply online or at a branch. If you’re 13 or under, you will probably need a parent to accompany you to a branch.

Can foreigners open bank account in Australia?

If you’re migrating, studying or working in Australia, you’ll be pleased to know that you can open an Australian bank account. For the most part, opening a bank account in Australia is a simple process which starts by comparing the types of bank accounts foreigners can open in Australia.

Once you’ve found a bank account that suits your needs, you can start the application process.

When you apply for the account, you’ll need to provide proof of ID which may include your passport, overseas ID or credit card. You may also need to provide a copy of your visa and proof of address in Australia.

Depending on the bank and the type of account you choose, you may be able to apply for the account online or over the phone before you arrive in Australia.

How do I transfer money from Paypal to my bank account?

Transferring cash from Paypal into your bank account is simple…if you have a Paypal account that is.

Once you’re logged into your Paypal account, the account balance will appear on your home page. Below your balance are two options:

  • Add money
  • Withdraw money

Choose option two if you want to transfer money from your Paypal account to your personal bank account.

The next screen will prompt you to either enter new bank account details or choose a bank account that’s connected to Paypal. You can always add more bank accounts to your Paypal profile.

Another way to transfer out of Paypal is by jumping to the wallet tab on the top menu, and clicking ‘transfer money’. Both options will give you the same result.

How do I close my bank account online?

You can usually easily open a bank account online, but you often can’t close it online.

Many banks and credit unions will only let you close an account if you go into a branch or call them on the phone.

However, some banks will let you request to close the account via your internet banking. Check your financial provider’s website for details.

Just remember: If you still have funds in the bank account, transfer them to another account, or withdraw the cash. Also, if you have any payments like direct debits going in or out of the bank account, these will also stop when you close your account.

Do you need a bank account to sell on eBay?

You don’t need a bank account to sell on eBay. But if you don’t have a bank account, you must provide either a credit card or debit card.