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New Year's resolutions you'll want to stick to

03 February 2022
• 4 minute read
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By Kate Browne

When the new year rolls around, many of us take it as an opportunity to make some changes to our lives, whether it’s to join a gym and get fit, to start eating better or to save money.

However, by the time March rolls around, plenty of us have discarded our fitness routines or healthy eating for nights on the couch with takeaway. But the good news is you can easily whip your finances into shape without breaking a sweat.

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Some of the simplest and most effective ways to do this can be done with a few phone calls and have the potential to save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Here are a few of the easiest ways to do this:

Do a subscription audit

A streaming subscription here and there, a car share service you joined when you needed an extra car, some software you no longer need – while many of these are small amounts of money, these subscriptions can really add up each month.

Pull out your bank or credit card statement and take a close look at what you are subscribing to and be ruthless. If you haven’t used something for a few months, it’s time to cancel it.

A clever tip with TV subscription services is to see if you can share a subscription with family and friends. Plenty of TV services allow up to 5 users, so if you’re savvy, you can split the cost between a few people.

Try a meat-free Monday

Here’s a super-easy way to save money, eat a more healthy diet AND help the planet. Adopting what is called the Planetary Diet doesn’t mean giving up those roast dinners or barbecues, but it does mean eating more vegetables, legumes and fruits (as well as having the occasional meat-free meal). And the best bit? This can be an easy way to slice a sizable amount from your grocery bill too.

In fact, Deakin University has estimated that a family of four can save $1,800 a year by adding more veggies and less meat. How easy is that?

Check your car insurance

Do you have a car? When was the last time you checked if your car insurance was the best deal you could get? Since COVID-19, many of us have changed the way we drive, so this is one of the best times to try and negotiate a better deal. I did this recently and saved $400 a year on my car insurance after realising I had been with the same insurer for about five years. It took about 30 minutes to compare insurers and after making three phone calls I was able to make the switch to a better deal with comparable cover.

Look for a better interest rate

If you have a home loan, one of the easiest ways to save a huge amount of money is to refinance your mortgage to a better interest rate. With interest rates at a historic low, you can save thousands of dollars on your home loan even by dropping a couple of percentage points.

First up, take a look at your current mortgage and see what interest rate you’re paying. Then contact your lender to see if they can offer you a better rate. Many lenders will be keen to keep you as a customer and may be willing to drop you onto a better rate straight away. What’s the saying? If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

New Year's resolutions can be hard to stick to so why not make these quick and easy changes? You could be counting the dollars you’ve saved and ticking off that to-do list sooner than you thought.

Kate Browne is a personal finance expert at Finder, a global fintech and Australia’s most visited comparison site.

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