Aussies reveal their top money goal for 2023


Australia's top money goal for 2023, phone plans take priority over home loans, and new job seekers targeted by scammers. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

Revealed: Our No 1 financial goal for 2023

CommBank says nine out of 10 Australians have set a financial goal for 2023, and this year "reducing living costs" tops the list of money resolutions.

money new years resolutions

However, Will Mailer, chief behavioural scientist at CommBank, says, "We know a huge number of resolutions won't make it to February, as many of us fall back into old habits in the first weeks of the year."

Mailer offers tips for sticking with your 2023 financial goals including:

  • Avoid big and vague - break down big goals into one or two very specific behaviours that you will need to change, for example, saving a certain percent of your pay each payday.
  • Build in incentives - you might agree with your partner that you will do the dishes for a week every time you miss your monthly budget target.
  • Accept willpower is not enough - set up systems that will help to sustain good behaviours, like setting up auto-transfers to grow personal savings.

Aussies more likely to research new phone plan than new mortgage

A home loan is a vastly bigger beast than a mobile phone plan. Yet research by non-bank lender Pepper, shows 70% of Australians devote time to comparing phone plans, while just six out of ten people shop around for a home loan.

Mario Rehayem, Chief Executive Officer, Pepper Money, says the finance market "can feel confusing to navigate" but adds that taking the time to check out home loans "can make a much bigger real-life difference to the household budget than your choice of phone plan."

Partnering with a mortgage broker can make it quicker and easier to find a home loan, but Pepper's survey found three out of five people believe engaging a mortgage broker is expensive.

In fact, consumers don't usually pay for a mortgage broker's home loan service. Most brokers are paid via commissions from lenders.

New year, new job? Old scam...

As thousands of high school, TAFE and uni grads hit the workforce, the ACCC is cautioning young jobseekers to look out for scammers.

Australians lost over $8.7 million to recruitment scams in 2022, and the ACCC's Scamwatch is warning young people to be especially wary of job offers made through social media platforms or messaging services such as Whatsapp.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard says, "If you are job hunting and you are offered work that requires little effort for a big financial reward it is most likely a scam.

"This might include repeatedly clicking a button on a website or app to purchase products or submit reviews."

The red flag is that scammers often ask a jobseeker for payment in exchange for a guaranteed income.

"In the final months of 2022, we saw a significant uptick in reports and losses associated with recruitment scams, and we are concerned these scammers will continue to ramp up their efforts as people look for work in the new year," Ms Rickard says.

"We are urging jobseekers to be wary of opportunities that seem too good to be true. Never make a payment or upfront investment to secure a job."

Is your health insurer holding back?

A recent report from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) shows that some health insurers are far more generous than others when it comes to the rebate they pay for medical procedures.

The AMA found NIB pays a benefit of $3498.75  for coronary artery bypass surgery, while members of AHSA can get a benefit of $4246.10 - over $700 more than NIB members.

The delivery of a baby (without complications) can see a top rebate of $2190.05 through HBF (no gap rate), which is $550.35 more than the rebate of $1639.70 paid by NIB.

The AMA says these differences are a good reason to look at more than just the premiums when deciding which insurer offers the best value for money.

NAB offers home loan relief to new parents

Babies are back!

Birth rates hit the lowest level in a decade during the pandemic, but they're trending upwards again, and a new offering from NAB can help parents manage their mortgage.

Eligible NAB customers on parental leave have the option to reduce their home loan payments by up to 75% for six months.

NAB Assist Executive, Stephanie Boag, says this could be a game-changer for many new families challenged by rising living costs.

"Having a child or adding to the family can be a shock, not only in terms of the sleep deprivation, but also when it comes to making ends meet," says Boag.

Customers can access NAB Assist's new parental support by calling 1300 961 577. Parents need to be on parental leave, or going on parental leave in the next month, and will be assessed on whether they can make a minimum repayment of at least 25%.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.