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6 ways to find an extra $23,000 in 2023

These simple money tricks will help boost your bank balance for the year ahead.

Compilation of Australian dollar money notes with full body image of Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon on steps
An interest free balance transfer is just one way to save money this New Year. (Source: Supplied/Getty Images)

If you think about it, how much was your money squeezed last year? If it feels like a lot, the average circa-$610,000 mortgage went up by $1,092 a month. That’s $13,104 a year.

Then there was petrol, everything at the grocery store and move over toilet paper - for a while there, you had to sell your firstborn for a lettuce. The cost impost seemed relentless.

Read more from Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon:

So, in the spirit of 2023, let’s look at six ways to find as much as an extra $23,000.

1. Home loans

Fact sheet

Ave home loan: $609,785

Big 4 (undiscounted) rate: 7.01 per cent

Cheapest, quality loan: 4.39 per cent

The undiscounted average for the Big Four is 7.01 per cent and the discounted is 5.91 per cnet (for a loan of $400k with 80 per cent LVR), according to Mozo.

But the lowest variable rate from an authorised deposit-taking institution (that can therefore offer a real offset account like the Big Four do) is 4.39 per cent from Police Credit Union.

That means the average Aussie with an undiscounted Big Four, 25-year mortgage is on track to pay $684,574 ($4,315 a month).

Note that interest now up at this level more than doubles the initial cost of their home.

They could instead pay only $395,782 ($3,353 a month) – a saving of $962 a month.

Average 2023 saving: $11,544

2. Personal loans

Fact sheet

Typical loan: $30,000

Ave rate: 9.87 per cent

Best rate: 5.15 per cent

Much like your mortgage, you can probably save a packet on this repayment too… and if your loans are large, a fat packet.

While the average is almost 10 per cent, the best is near on half that rate.

It’s 5.15 per cent from Cashify (and you can get 5.99 per cent from, again, G&C Mutual Bank).

If you switch a typical $30,000, three-year car loan from that uncompetitive average to the market-leading one, you will slash your repayments by $65 a month.

Average 2023 saving: $780

3. Health insurance

Fact sheet

Premiums vary widely

Often $2,000 difference between

Remember, if you don’t have private health insurance, you pay anyway if you earn over $90,000 as a single or $180,000 as a couple: the Medicare Levy Surcharge of up to 1.5 per cent.

So make like me and instead cut the net cost of it by upping your excess AND working the extras to get it to pay for itself.

Think dental, optical, physical therapy, health management and a huge range more. Don’t forget to claim kids’ swimming lessons, if relevant.

And realise that there is also probably a $500-a-year saving on the table, if you are well past the need for it, from switching off obstetrics and reproductive services.

Check your policy at the excellent and independent Privatehealth.gov.au

Average 2023 saving: $2500

4. Credit Cards

Fact sheet

Ave credit card debt: $2,938

Ave rate: 18 per cent

Cheapest ongoing rate: 9.9 per cent

36 months available at 0 per cent

If it took you three years to pay off the average debt at the average interest rate, you would fork out $3,763.

You could instead do it interest-free for just the amount of the debt itself: $2,938.

Or if times are too tight to think about clearing your card, just use a 0 per cent balance transfer card to put it on ice. That way you can get away with paying just the minimum without the interest.

You can get 0 per cent transfer deals for up to three years right now from Citi and Virgin Money.

The lowest ongoing rate is 7.49 per cent from G&C Mutual Bank’s Low-Rate Visa Credit Card… but you shouldn’t be paying even that much.

Average 2023 saving: $275

Male person holding some Australian currency. This visual concept evokes ideas around saving money, paying for expenses and investments.
What could you do with an extra $23,000 in 2023? (Source: Getty Images)

5. Savings accounts

Fact sheet

Ave savings: $35,316

Basic rate: 2.55 per cent

Best rate: 4.55 per cent

Let’s not forget there is a plus side to higher interest rates: savings that will grow faster.

According to Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker, the average savings balance is $35,316.

Based on this, a person could earn $564 a year by switching from the average 2.55 per cent rate to an account with a 4.55 per cent rate. This would be an extra $730 this year.

You can get that 4.55 per cent with ING’s Savings Maximiser.

Just be aware that this is a bonus-saver-type deal. To get the full interest, you need to link to an ING Orange Everyday Account and deposit $1,000, make five eligible purchases and grow your savings balance. Available on balances up to $100k.

2023 extra interest earned: $730

6. Super

Fact sheet

Ave 39-year-old super balance: $75,167

Ave 10-year, annual return: 8.1 per cent

A poorly performing fund: 3 per cent

A high-performing fund: 13 per cent

Datahouse SuperRatings says the median return for a balanced super fund over 10 years is 8.1 per cent.

But there are funds and funds.

Say you have the average super amount as reported by the Association of Super Funds of Australia for a 39-year-old: $75,167.

You could make 5 percentage points less than the circa 8 per cent average at 3 per cent. Or you could make 5 percentage points more with a shoot-the-lights-out fund.

You would be $7,517 better off by this year’s end.

Be aware, too, that for all the scary headlines about the sharemarket, your super has been doing well for you.

The 2019/2020 pandemic panic financial year was the only negative year since the 2008 global credit crack up, which was a grim 20 per cent… and only by 0.9 per cent.

Last financial year the dip was just 3.1 per cent.

It is now really easy to compare your fund with the top-performing ones – don’t forget to look over the longer term – on the government’s YourSuper website.

2023 extra returns earned: $7,517

Here’s to your – $23,000 easier – 2023.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is the author of How to Get Mortgage-Free Like Me, available at www.nicolessmartmoney.com. Follow Nicole on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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