Beat the top five financial stresses of 2019
Our friends at ME Bank have identified some of the top financial concerns facing Australian households in 2019.
We thought the new financial year seemed like the perfect time to take a closer look at what you can do to beat them.
Slow wages growth
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says wages climbed just 2.3% over the past year1. But there may be a solution. Research by industry super fund-owned bank ME found one of the most successful ways to boost your income is simply to ask your employer for a pay rise. According to ME, only 12% of workers take this step but with a 75% success rate, it’s worth a shot.
A ME study revealed one in four households have less than $1,000 in savings. Try setting up a regular automatic transfer of funds from your everyday account into a savings account – even small deposits can grow into a decent balance over time.
In fact, Intrust Super has recently released a super savings app designed to help members do just that for their retirement savings! The new app, SuperCents, allows members to save extra money or spare change for retirement by seamlessly connecting their super and bank accounts. They can set up automated micro-contributions based on their spending, make top-up contributions, and monitor the difference these make over time. Learn more about SuperCents and download the app today!
Rising power bill costs
Power bills are rising, with a report from the Grattan Institute2 saying energy bills increased by up to 20% in 2017 alone.
Take the stress out of your utility bills by analysing your electricity costs and comparing your options. Use sites like free government website EnergyMadeEasy to check whether you could get a better deal with a different provider or a new energy plan.
Higher fuel prices
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says petrol prices have hit a four-year high3. This makes it important to look at ways to save.
To help combat the rising costs, you could consider selling that second car, think about carpooling, or fuel up on days when petrol prices are low. There’s a wide range of free fuel price apps and websites you can use to shop around for savings.
Buying a first home
Rising home prices over the last two decades have made it challenging for first-home buyers to get into the market. Cooler property markets, together with the recent reduction of interest rates, are giving first home buyers an opportunity to get started on the property ladder. But remember, a 20% deposit isn’t always necessary. You could also consider purchasing in a less preferred area or purchasing a smaller-than-preferred property.
A reminder from Intrust Super: you can also use your super account to help you save for your deposit through the First Home Super Save scheme!
1Wage Price Index, Australia, March 2019. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6345.0/
2Mostly working: Australia’s wholesale electricity market https://grattan.edu.au/report/mostly-working/?_sm_au_=iVVFNPW0WlkNBFQV
3Petrol prices hit four-year high in Australia’s largest cities. https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/petrol-prices-hit-four-year-high-in-australia%E2%80%99s-largest-cities
This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit www.mebank.com.au.
Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.