9 out of 10 Aussies can't budget for their fitness goals

9 out of 10 Aussies can't budget for their fitness goals

Aussies will spend more than $4.7 billion on health and fitness products this year in an effort to meet their new year’s resolutions, according to research from Commonwealth Bank. 

57 per cent of Aussies have “getting fit” and “getting healthy” as their 2018 goal. 56 per cent also listed “losing weight”. 

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) research has found that while we make resolutions to get fit and healthy, almost nine out of ten Australians (89 per cent) aren’t budgeting to make it happen, and are overspending by $25 million per month. 

Clive van Horen, Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager, is encouraging these Aussies to set budgets for each resolution to “keep track of spending”. 

“While we’re setting New Year savings goals for holidays or homes, nearly a third (30 per cent) of Aussies don’t think about how much they are spending on fitness goals; for example, 2.6 million Aussies admitted to buying sports or fitness equipment that was never used. 

“Getting financially and physically fit can easily go hand-in-hand if people keep track of spending using simple tricks like researching before committing to health and fitness memberships, class passes or costly equipment – then using online banking to track spending while using apps to track steps,” said Mr van Horen. 

How much do “fit & healthy” resolutions cost? 

CBA research found that Australians spend $712 million a month on health and fitness activities, working out to $38 monthly on average. 

Gen X are the generation most financially invested in fitness, spending $243.4 million a month. This is followed by Gen Y who spend $189.2 million.

Feeling guilty about skipping the gym? For all the money Aussies are spending, more than a million health and fitness passes go unused. Further, only a third of people believe they’re getting “good value” from their health and fitness spending. 

Mr van Horen also shared tips for making “financially fit new year’s resolutions”. 

  1. “Don’t declare too early: Instead of buying new equipment the day you make your resolution, look online first – investigate what kit your local club has or borrow a mate’s second hand or unused gear.”
  2. “The best things in life are free: Getting fit doesn’t have to break the bank. Get friends together for a workout or go for a run around your local park, download free motivational apps or watch YouTube tutorials for inspiration at home.”
  3. “Don’t wear yourself thin: Be realistic with your goals, time and budget. Signing yourself up to multiple activities can leave you thinly spread and hamper motivation, so be selective and clear about your fitness goals.”

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Once you’ve compared bank accounts and found the right one, the process of opening a bank account online is quite simple and can be done in around 10 minutes.

To set up a bank account online, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide an approved form of ID as well as your tax file number (TFN).

If you’re a new customer of the bank, you’ll need to verify your identity and potentially upload documents before you can complete your online application.

Once your ID has been verified and you’ve set up your bank account online, you should receive your bank cards in the mail along with your PIN and any other account details.

How do I open a new bank account?

There are a number of ways to open a new bank account – online, over the phone or in the branch. The trick is to decide what type of bank account you want beforehand.

It might sound like a simple enough task, but there are literally hundreds of bank accounts to choose from. And each offer their own banking features and benefits.

A comparison site like RateCity can help you work out what bank account product matches your needs.

Once you’ve made up your mind what you want, it’s advisable to have the following information ready for the application process.

  • A couple of forms of identification (such as driver’s licence, Medicare card, passport)
  • Tax file number
  • Residential address, contact phone number and email (though email is not essential)

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.

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Overdrawing a bank account can happen by accident. It’s often hard to know what your balance is, particularly with direct debits, scheduled repayments and pending transactions competing for cash.

To avoid being stuck with a bank fee every time your account is overdrawn, you can apply for a personal overdraft. This will enable you to overdraw your account up to an approved amount.

A personal overdraft is connected to your CommBank Everyday Account, so you can enjoy easy access to extra funds once approved – anywhere from $100 up to $20,000.

Your overdraft funds can be accessed via your CommBank keycard or Debit MasterCard, or online through NetBank and the CommBank app.

To apply you can either call the Commonwealth Bank directly or visit your local branch.

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If your bank offers online services, you should be able to find your bank account number online by logging into your account on your bank’s website and checking your details there.

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If you don’t have access to your bank account online or can’t login, you should be able to find your account number on a mailed bank statement, if you have one.

Alternatively, you can call your bank’s customer service number or visit a branch to retrieve your account number.

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One of the easiest banking tasks in the world is depositing money. You can even deposit money into someone else’s bank account if you wish.

The basic information you need to deposit money into a third-party bank account is:

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A handy tip is to record yourself (or add a personal message) in the transaction description or reference. This will show up on the recipients account, letting them know who’s paid them the money.

How can you cash a cheque without a bank account?

You can cash a cheque without a bank account if you visit the bank that issued the cheque. For example, if somebody sends you a cheque from Bank X (as written on the cheque) and you visit Bank X, it’s likely that Bank X will let you cash the cheque – provided the person who wrote the cheque has enough money in their account. Bank X would probably charge you a fee for the service.

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.

Which bank is best for business accounts?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to the question of which bank is best for business accounts. That’s because ‘best’ will differ from customer to customer, depending on their unique circumstances. These include not only your company’s financial position, but also its size, its age and the sector in which it operates. Another factor to consider is what features you want in a bank account. Your business may require different features than another business; and your business may require different features tomorrow than it does today.

The best thing to do is to thoroughly research the market before opening a business account. And when you do open an account, you should reassess your options every year or two, because the market moves quickly. A particular bank might offer the best account today, but be surpassed by one or several rivals tomorrow.

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

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For bank accounts that require you to be 18 or older, you’ll have to rope in a parent or guardian to open the account for you.

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If applying online, you might be asked for a form of identification. For under-18s, this could be a Medicare card you’re listed on, your birth certificate and/or your current home address.

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How do I open a bank account for a child?

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A bank account for a child can be opened online, over the phone or in a branch in a few easy steps. The minimum age a child can open a bank account for themselves usually ranges between 12 and 14.

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To do this, you would need to be over 18, have an Australian residential address and currently reside in Australia (or have proof of residency).

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