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Lazy Australians pay $6.5 billion for unused and useless services

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Australians are losing $6.5 billion on services they don't need or use, just because they're not paying attention to what they're spending.

New research commissioned by superannuation provider Rest, indicated Australians were wasting $3.9 billion on apps, services and subscriptions that they weren't using.

The research also estimated $2.6 billion were spent on fees and insurance for redundant multiple superannuation accounts, bringing the national total of avoidable costs to $6.5 billion.

Rest chief executive Vicki Doyle said financial apathy was rife.

"One-in-five Aussies have never checked their bank or credit card statements, and a fifth have never checked their superannuation account."

Not only were people losing money to ignorance, 64 per cent knowingly paid unavoidable costs but couldn't be bothered fixing the situation.

"Our research shows that four-in-five Australians avoid taking action on their finances because they’re too busy, it takes too long, or they don’t know where to start," said Doyle.

Unused subscriptions were hitting Australian wallets hard, with each person on average paying for three services costing just under $40 per month.

Alarmingly, 62 per cent of those surveyed said they keep paying for subscriptions they don't use while 44 per cent admitted they've never cancelled anything.

Doyle said that wasted subscriptions and redundant super fees were similar in that they accumulate to a big amount over a lifetime.

"Unused subscription fees may feel reasonably harmless, taking this approach to your super can have a serious impact when you retire.

"The Productivity Commission Report into superannuation found that a worker with two superannuation accounts across their working life will be $51,000 worse off at retirement than a worker with just one account."

The same research found that one-in-five Australians are unaware they have multiple superannuation accounts, while 33 per cent have never bothered consolidating them into one.

New rules that came in at the start of the month made it even more critical for people to merge their superannuation into one, according to Doyle.

"It’s imperative to act now. Since 1 July, people with superannuation accounts that have been inactive for 16 months or more will have their insurance switched off as part of the Federal Government’s Protecting Your Superannuation legislation."

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