Isabella Ross

With the Christmas and New Year period comes added expenditures, bills and stress. Keeping a hold of your wallet in the holiday aftermath is important for every consumer, but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here to help are 3 simple steps you can adopt to start the New Year on the right financial track.

Shop Around:

Often it is the case that households are paying too much for the essentials – energy, gas and telecommunications service providers. Start by calling the company you are with to see if there are any new contracts or discounts available. Mentioning the fact that you are looking in the market for a new provider also tends to spur them into offering you a better deal.

“Too many businesses take advantage of your loyalty by charging you outrageously high prices over time. Even calling just one or two of these providers can save you hundreds of dollars,” says CHOICE consumer advocate Jonathan Brown.

Audit your pantry:

 I don’t know about you, but I always seem to unconsciously buy a bag of flour even though there remains a perfectly good bag still in the pantry. For many families, a pantry audit has not been done for years, but it is a really simple way to consolidate your shopping list. Keeping an organised space that has clear labels and used-by dates is how to ensure you don’t end up unnecessarily buying double of products and produce you already have available.

Invest in your Future:

Retirement is an inevitable part of our futures, so it is always important to keep an eye on your super. If plausible, salary sacrificing is a great way to add some additional funds into your super account. Another great aspect of this is that for most consumers, your sacrificed contributions will be taxed at a lower rate.

“There’s a small change you can make today to end up with thousands more for your retirement. You could be paying exorbitant amounts in fees and insurance you’ll never benefit from. Pick one superannuation fund that meets your needs and stop paying double or even triple the fees,” Mr Brown suggests.