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New year, new financial approach

Top tips from Commonwealth Bank to get your New Year finances on track

Sydney, 11 January 2010:  The New Year is the perfect time to review your finances and change things for the better.

For the next monthi, Commonwealth Bank is offering zero dollar annual fees on all new credit cards for the first year, zero dollar establishment fees on all new home loans, and zero dollar monthly account fees on all new personal transaction accounts when customers deposit $2,000 a month.  

“While some New Year resolutions may have already fallen by the way side, taking control of your finances is not as hard as it sounds.  One of the key ways to take control of your money is reviewing your financial needs and ensuring you have all your finance products working for you,” said Lyn McGrath, Executive General Manager Retail Sales, Commonwealth Bank.

“In recognition of the new year, a wealth of Commonwealth Bank’s everyday banking solutions can be set up fee free till mid February.  From a $0 annual fee on all new credit cards for the first year to $0 establishment fee on all new home loans, the New Year is the perfect time to get your finances on track and working for you.”

New Year finance tips

Lyn McGrath, Commonwealth Bank, shares her top five tips on refreshing your finances in the New Year.

  1. Set financial goals
  • Financial goals are personal, but the trick is set some and have clarity around your goals. Rather than say, "I should pay off my credit card this year sometime” make your goal more defined by saying, "I will pay off my credit card by September by putting $500/month towards it" – your resolution is much more likely to become a success.
  1. Organise your spending
  • Take control of your finances and track your spending.  It is important to know where your money goes so you can identify areas to cut back and save.  
  • Set a realistic weekly or monthly budget by using the Commonwealth Bank’s on-line Budget Planner, visit www.commbank.com.au .
  1. Cut your fees
  • Understand your regular account fees and ensure you are using the right account for your financial needs.
  • Make your minimum credit card repayment and stay within your approved credit card limit.  Commonwealth Bank credit card customers can also elect to have over-the-limit transactions declined.
  • Avoid over-the-limit fees.  Commonwealth Bank offers a range of opt-in ‘safety nets’.  These include SMS and email balance or credit limit alerts to help customers better manage their money.
  • Always use your financial institution’s ATMs as ‘alien’ ATMs charge fees.  Commonwealth Bank customers have access to the largest network of ATMs – more than 4,000 Commonwealth Bank and Bankwest ATMs across the country.
  • Combine all your transaction accounts into one account.
  • Consider consolidating your credit card debt onto one card so you can closely monitor the state of your finances.
  1. Get saving – every little helps
  • Automatically transfer a portion of your salary into your savings account each month as soon as you get paid.  If you don’t see the cash, it’s much harder to spend it.
  • It is not new, but you really do save money by bringing your lunch to work ($10 per day x 10 working days = $100), cutting out the take away coffee and saving on travel costs (and improve your fitness) by walking or running to work – it can add up to thousands of dollars over a year.
  • Save your gold coins or even $5 notes and once a month deposit your cash in your savings account.  You’ll be amazed how it adds up ($20 a week x 52 weeks = $1,040 plus interest)!
  1. Make your savings go further
  • Open a high interest account to make sure you are getting the most out of your savings.  Whether you have a short-term or long-term savings plan, want a fixed return or instant access to your funds, choose an account which best meets your financial goals.  For example consider in the:
    • Short-term (0–2 years), an online savings account if your goal is saving for a new car or your next holiday;
    • Medium-term (0–5 years), a mix of saving strategies using both a savings and term deposit account if you want to save for an extended overseas trip or a mortgage deposit; or
    • Long-term (5+ years), use a term deposit account if you are saving towards a major home renovation or retirement.

For more information on the $0 fee offers visit: www.commbank.com.au/zero 

ENDS

For further information:
Sarah Gibbons
Commonwealth Bank
P (02) 9118 1706 | M 0403 681 515

i $0 fee campaign runs until 14 February 2011.

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