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New Financial Year Money makeover

Melbourne, July 9: A new financial year is the ideal time to put the past behind you and start afresh with good money management.

ME’s Head of Deposits and Transactional Banking, Nic Emery offers five ‘easy as’ strategies to help you get cracking.

Try one or try them all to get more from your money over the next 12 months.

  • Pay less for your banking

“If you want to save money (and who doesn’t?) it pays to cast an eye over your key financial products to be sure you’re still getting a great deal,” said Emery.

“First, check your everyday account statements. If it turns out you’re being dinged for debit cards, socked with ATM charges, and slugged with regular account-keeping fees, it could be time to move on.

“The days when we had to put up with those costs are gone. Take a look at the new breed of everyday accounts that charge zero account keeping fees. It’s not hard to make the switch.

  • Get more for your savings

“Next, head to your savings account. After several cuts to the official cash rate in the last 12 months, chances are your money is earning a lot less now than when you first opened the account.

“If your savings account is paying a ho-hum interest rate, consider transferring your stash to a bank offering a better deal. Be sure to look for an account paying a consistently strong rate without fees attached.

  • Check if your home loan rate starts with a ‘4’

“Put your home loan under the spotlight to check if you’re benefitting from today’s record low rates. Your bank could be holding something back. If your home loan rate starts with a ‘5’ you’re paying too much. It’s that simple.

  • Tame the credit beast

“Here’s one great reason to take a look at how much your credit card is costing you.

“In May 2016 the Reserve Bank cut the official cash rate to 1.75%. Yet the average credit card interest rate is 17%. No wonder it can feel like you’re never getting ahead with the outstanding card balance.

“It is possible to pay less than 10% with some credit cards. No, seriously. Make the switch and enjoy the feeling of virtually halving your card rate – that’s got to make it easier to clear the slate sooner.

  • Divide and conquer your savings goals

“Jump start your savings by dividing your spare cash into different ‘buckets’ – separate savings accounts, each devoted to a particular goal.

“Using savings buckets helps create a sense of control. You’re less likely to dip into the ‘trip to Bali’ or ‘new car to replace old faithful’ buckets than if you just use a single all-purpose savings account.

“Look for a fee free savings account and you can’t lose. Make it an account that delivers a consistently healthy interest rate and you’re well on your way to ticking off your bucket list over the financial year ahead.”

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