More than three quarters of Australians plan to make changes to their household finances this year.
Health insurance, car insurance and home and contents insurance are first in the firing line, according to a new study by comparethemarket.com.au.
It also found that 44 per cent of people plan to cut back on personal spending such as clothes and eating out, 41 per cent plan to reduce energy usage, 35 per cent will buy less groceries and 19 per cent will downgrade or cancel travel plans.
Comparethemarket.com.au’s general manager of banking, Rod Attrill, said households were more focused on their own financial situation amid uncertainty around interest rates and housing markets.
“It’s hard for ordinary Australians to be comfortable that things are going to be easier,” he said.
The survey of almost 1100 people found that almost two-thirds would review their health insurance, half would check their car insurance and more than 40 per cent would review energy plans and home and contents insurance.
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“Loyalty is not as strong as it used to be across financial services. Just because you have been with someone for 20 years doesn’t mean you are getting the best deal,” Mr Attrill said.
It has become easier to shop around, he said. “People now have much more information than they ever had before. They will do research on their phone at seven o’clock at night.”
Wotherspoon Wealth principal adviser Simon Wotherspoon said it was a good idea to shop around and approach financial institutions as a new customer.
“The best deals tend to be for new customers,” he said.
Mr Wotherspoon said weak wages growth, the end of falling interest rates and tightening credit conditions meant people now had to look elsewhere for savings.
“People were using their homes as ATMs … but are now having to find other ways,” he said.