'Tis The Season To Get A Better Deal
Season's Greetings everyone!
Just quickly; I really can't believe it's December 2017 ALREADY yet, here we are. Personally, I've had a great year for which I'm very grateful and I hope yours has been too. Either way, here's to you and a fantastic 2018!
Townsville has seen its fair share of, shall we say, not quite ideal economic times in the last few years but from reports and conversations with local business owners, 2018 is looking really positive.
That's why this festive season is the ideal time to review your finances and your plans and get a better deal.
So where do you start?
1. Create your Attack Pack Document Stack
Gather all your information. You're going in to battle to get you a better deal and the better prepared you are, the better the deal you can get. Bank statements, loan documents and credit cards statements. If you have a business, get your financials in order (your bookkeeper and accountant probably already have this organised) and if you're employed then grab your payslips, Payment Summary (Group Certificate) and tax returns. Don't forget your super statements, life insurance and income protection as well.
2. Reconnaissance - Research, Research, Research
Jump on Google, ask a friend and your family - what deals are in the market? What rate are you on? It's quick and helpful plus it might also prompt them to review their own situation. This isn't about DIY. As you know I'm a big fan of #DDIY (Don't Do It Yourself). It's simply about getting a feel of what you can expect when you talk to the professionals.
3. Bring in the Big Guns
Now you have your Attack Pack and you have completed your reconnaissance it's time to bring in the calvary.
Get yourself a mortgage broker, financial planner and an insurance broker. They all work for you to get you the best deal. They deal with multiple institutions and know the "in's and out's" of navigating what will work for you.
Sometimes, there are "great deals" which look better than they really are. Introductory home loan rates that revert after certain times. Upfront discounts which are back-ended into your costs anyway. On top of that, rates, costs and discounts aren't the only way to ensure you are getting a great deal. What good is a really low interest rate if you can't access your money when you need it? What good is a cheap policy when you don't have a local contact in the time you need to make a claim?
Generally, you get what you pay for. Cheap (or discount) products generally mean cheap (or discounted) service options.
If you're the ‘set and forget' kind of person, then cut price service options might suit you perfectly. For me, I like to have a strong service proposition. A lot of these are now technology based which is great (24/7 chat facilities, phone centres, etc) but I like to be able to talk with someone or even visit them and get accurate answers. It's another thing to consider when you're looking at getting a better deal.
So off you go. December, a perfect time to get prepared and get yourself a better deal for 2018!(Originally published DUO Magazine December 2017)