How to give yourself a financial check-up
Just as you occasionally have to clear out the garage and get rid of all your excess stuff, making an audit of your outgoings is always rewarding and is something you should do at least once a year. You could start with your mortgage payments: are you getting the best home loan? Could you pay less elsewhere? Would you pay less in interest if you started paying fortnightly? You can use an online comparison service like Canstar.com.au, or go to a broker and get them to find you the best loan. It’s worth it.
Another expense that people tend to set and forget is insurance. When you go through all of your policies, I bet you’ll find insurance you no longer need, premiums that are too high and premiums that are wrong because your status has changed. I’m sure you could find savings of at least $100 a month by calling the company and negotiating for a better deal. If you don’t feel you can do this, use one of the online comparison sites or go to an insurance broker and ask them to streamline your insurance.
Okay, so now you’ve saved $200 a month on financial services, so have a look at your utilities. With power and gas, there are some excellent comparison websites such as Switchwise.com.au where you can input your current provider, usage and tariff and the service will return you a provider and a plan that you should be on. There are people saving $50 a month by using these sites, so why aren’t you? The same goes for phone and internet plans. Why pay more when you can pay less?
Most people shop at the supermarket that’s closest to their home or work. But these are not always the cheapest. There are many cut-price supermarkets out there. You may have to bring your own bag and put up with a smaller selection, but you could save $100 a month.
These are the most obvious monthly overheads that most households have to spend on, yet I’ve identified a conservative $400 a month in savings. If you’ve never done a financial check-up before, it could be greater than that. Good luck! The money you don’t send to insurance companies and banks, phone companies and supermarkets, instead finds its way back into your wallet. It’s as good as money earned, but you didn’t need a second job to do it.
Taken from: http://homes.ninemsn.com.au/blog.aspx?blogentryid=1008670&showcomments=true