Saving money can feel pretty lonely sometimes, but the truth is there are lots of us trying it!
Let’s look at 5 Australian websites that are designed to help us keep more money in our pockets!
The Centrelink Payment Finder
Centrelink - Australia’s centre for social security payments and services - is notoriously difficult and time consuming to deal with. Finding out what you might be entitled to can take hours of investigation.
Fortunately, Centrelink have built a Payment Finder that makes it really easy to figure out what you (or a family member) could possibly receive.
Click here to check it out.
An unclaimed money search takes around 30 seconds and is completely free.
Any bank accounts, shares or life insurance policies that are linked to your name or an Original Transaction Number (OTN) will show up once you plug your details in.
Sometimes we lose money when we move house and forget to update your details with a company or financial institution.
That unclaimed money is received by ASIC and is then transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund.
But you can claim it at any time if you are the rightful owner, and if you think you might have lost something a long time ago, you’re in luck! There’s no time limit on claims.
Imagine if you’d used your forgetfulness to save money.
Find your lost dollars here!
Bank accounts become unclaimed after 7 years if the account is inactive (no deposits or withdrawals).
Energy Made Easy
Despite being one of the most resource-rich countries on earth, the Australian government still hasn’t managed to find an energy acronym they can stick with to help bring energy prices down.
(A good story that explains the Australia’s energy mess is here.)
Regardless, Energy Made Easy is a government site that helps find the best electricity deal for you and your circumstances.
You can visit the site here.
It has a checklist to help if you’d like to switch providers and tips to help you pay less for energy in your house. This can be a powerful and long-term way to save money.
ATO’s myGov superannuation check
We’ve all been there! You start with a bar job, fill out some paperwork. You start another bar job, fill out some more paperwork.
You then switch to a construction job. Or an admin job. More paperwork.
But as long as you’re getting paid, it doesn’t matter so much at the time. Right?
But before long, you might have inadvertently signed up to three or four superannuation funds! And without realising it, 9.5% of each pay cheque has been siphoned off into one of those funds.
And without a doubt, you’re paying fees on every single account.
The best way to stop paying all those fees is to consolidate your superannuation into one account.
And you definitely don’t have to fill out boatloads of forms, you can just use the ATO’s myGov website.
Make sure you check any costs involved and consider any benefits or features you may lose, such as insurance cover, before deciding to consolidate your superannuation funds. A financial adviser can help you decide if you’re unsure.
Here are the steps!
- Create a myGov account at www.my.gov.au, then link the ATO to your account. There’s a huge, obvious button.
- If you already have a myGov account, just log in and click on the ATO section.
Go to the ‘Super’ tab. In this section, you can:
- see details of all your super accounts, including any you have forgotten about
- see details of all your super, including super the ATO is holding on your behalf
- Click "transfer super" and pick which fund you’d like to be your homebase super fund.
- Then, whenever you start a new job or money comes in, submit this super account as your nominated fund.
- Then watch compound interest work its magic and when you’re older, you’ll be a happy little Vegemite.
Money Smart’s Budget Planner
Budget’s are amazing! Rather than wondering where your money went, tell it where to go!
This free, interactive budget from ASIC’s MoneySmart website is comprehensive and detailed.
After filling in things like your income, utility bills, groceries, entertainment etc, you can work out how much spending you’re actually doing.
Check out the budget planner here.