As we near the end of another year, many of us, for better or worse, will attempt to make New Year’s resolutions. It seems the food coma between Christmas and New Year’s provides the motivation for us to sit back and reflect on how we could have done things better, saved more, achieved more, made more healthy choices, kicked a bad habit – the list is endless.
Before you sit down and ponder what you’ll do differently in 2016, here are 4 simple ways you could increase your general wealth and save more money…
1) Erase ATM fees
It’s incredible to think that in an age where you can instantly pay a friend with the ‘tap of an app’, there is still a fee attached to accessing your own money from an ATM. Consumers can expect to pay between $2 to $4 for each cash transaction through an ATM that doesn’t belong to their bank.
The ING DIRECT’s Orange Everyday is one of the few accounts available where all of your ATM fees can be offset, in this case if you deposit at least $1,000 each month. If you’re making a withdrawal every week and getting charged $2 per transaction, you could be saving $104 per year!
Savings total: $104
2) Slash your investment fees
Superannuation and investment fees provide you with one of the biggest opportunities to save money in 2016, not to mention over the course of your lifetime. Our 2015 Stockspot Fat Cat Funds Report found that Australians pay over $23.5 billion each year in super fees and this figure is set to increase.
By switching from a Fat Cat fund charging 2% per year to a Fit Cat Fund charging 0.5%, an Australian with a $100,000 super balance could save over $1,500 in super fees in 2016.
Savings total: $1,604
3) Reduce your personal lending rates
Looking for a personal loan with one of the big four banks? You’ll also be looking at a comparison rate somewhere in the vicinity of 14-16% per annum. This is because banks put everyone in the same ‘risk bucket’, whereby people with excellent credit ratings get the same rates as those who don’t. It means everyone ends up paying the same higher, average rate regardless of how responsible they are with repaying the debt.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending businesses like RateSetter and SocietyOne are challenging the traditional banking model by creating a marketplace for loans. People with extra savings can set the rate they’re prepared to ‘lend’ at, and private borrowers get a fair market price for their loans. For many people, this matchmaking service can bring down the lending rate by about 4-6% per annum. On a $10,000 loan, that difference could be $400 in a year.
Savings total: $2,004
4. Cut currency transfer fees
If you’ve ever travelled or sent money overseas, you’ve no doubt been stung by currency conversion fees. With fees as high as 4-6% once you include all costs, that’s a minimum of $12 charged on every $300 you transfer overseas!
Peer-to-peer currency transfer services like TransferWise and CurrencyFair have drastically reduced the cost of transferring money overseas. You could be saving $12 on every $300 transfer. These services make this possible by matching people who want to swap currency, so fees can be 70-90% lower than Western Union or bank charges for transferring funds abroad.
Savings total: $2,016
Make 2016 your year to be financially savvy and save an extra $2,016 over the year.
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