It never ceases to amaze me how too many Australians don’t give a flying fig about their money!
For years I worked in radio with a very well-known personality who was hopeless with money, despite the fact we had the greatest money chats each Monday on his top rating show.
And believe it or not, his questions were great. So were my answers! This money segment sparked a lot of listener interest, if you can gauge that from the number of calls we received.
However, I found that he never seemed to remember the website that I used to talk about for checking if you had the best interest rate on your home loan, a credit card, a term deposit or whatever. Given the guy’s general smarts, there could only be one reason for his lack of recall — he simply didn’t care about becoming money smarter.
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That’s not to say he didn’t want to get richer. I know he did because he and his wife came to our financial planning business as clients to actually build their wealth.
And that, I guess, is a lesson too: if you’re not prepared to commit to improving your money knowledge, you better think about paying for help, if you seriously want to build your riches.
All this came back to me when a listener on Ben Fordham’s radio show on Sydney’s 2GB heard Ben talking about a well-known journalist who’d cheered her own action to ask her bank for a better rate on her home loan, which they cut by more than 0.5 per cent.
The listener, Michael, tried the same stunt and was stunned at the banker’s reply. “Listening yesterday when you urged people to ask their bank for a better home loan rate. I had to contact my bank (Police Bank) about another matter. When they said: is there anything else I can help you with? I simply said, I don’t suppose you can give me a better home loan rate? The guy said he would see what he could do. Just got an email my rate has gone from 3.44 per cent to 2.79 per cent a drop of .65 per cent Thanks mate, great advice.”
This should be a clarion call to anyone who’d prefer to be richer rather than poorer, that testing out your financial products could be one of the smartest money moves you could make.
To give you a benchmark or two to use to check out your money life, have a look at these:
Cheapest home loan rate of interest: U Bank 2.14% for fixed, or 2.49% for variable.
Cheapest credit card: Heritage Bank Gold Visa 10.8%.
Best term deposit $50,000 for 1 year: Judo Bank 1.4%
Best super fund for 3 years: Suncorp
Multi-manager growth fund: 8.22% pa.
By the time you read this, you might find better rates, but if you’re paying more than you should be according to these numbers (or getting less) and don’t do anything about it, you better be as talented as my radio buddy, whose very good salary partially makes up for his silly money attitude.
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