Now is the time for your financial health check – It can provide MASSIVE savings!

We’re past the mid-way point of 2011, and the new financial year offers an opportunity to give your personal finances a quick health check. Taking a few minutes today to see how your money matters are faring could produce valuable savings through the rest of the year.

Your Mortgage
If you have a mortgage, take a look at the interest rate you’re paying to check that the loan is still competitive.

Some of the biggest banks have run extensive marketing campaigns over the last few months, advertising cuts in their rates. It’s a step in the right direction but comparison website RateCity says there are over 100 variable rate loans charging less than 7.0%. Many are offered by smaller lenders that don’t have deep marketing budgets.

Exit fees can no longer be charged on loans taken out after 1 July, but you could still be asked to pay exit fees on your old loan. So if you do find a mortgage offering a better deal, don’t forget to weigh up the costs of refinancing against the rate savings. That said, switching a loan of $300,000 from a lender charging 7.1% to one charging 7.0% could see you pocket $5,700 in long term interest savings – a benefit that could eclipse any refinancing costs.

Give us a call to find out whether we can get you into a more affordable loan structure.

Review Your Insurance

Already in 2011 we’ve seen a worrying number of wild weather events. These have reinforced the importance of having home building insurance, but it has also pushed up premiums in many parts of the country.

Having cover for your home is critical, and rising premiums make it vital to shop around and look for ways to save on the cost of cover.

Organising your home insurance online can cut your premiums by 10% with some insurers, and other insurers offer multi-policy discounts of up to 12.5% if you hold more than one type of cover with the same company.

If you have private health cover, you may be able to save on these premiums too. Consumer group Choice recently surveyed a wide selection of policies, finding differences in annual premiums of more than $1,500 among top hospital cover. Take a look at the federal government’s comparison service at privatehealth.gov.au to see how your private cover compares on price.

Budget
The mid-year point is also a sensible time to review your household budget. If you’ve had a salary increase, aim to save the extra cash, which can easily be lost in regular spending.

These key steps won’t take long but the savings they can produce will make a real difference at a time when many of us are battling rising living expenses.

Speak to one of out advisors today – What have you got to lose?!

Author: Yianni Tsimopoulos

Yianni Tsimopoulos is passionate and enthusiastic about finance and the advice profession. After having an active personal involvement in the finance industry for several years, he took the opportunity to become the Managing Director of the Nationwide Group of Companies.

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