Do you need a financial boost? Maybe your credit card balance is out of control and you need to reduce the outstanding balance. Maybe you want to make extra payments on your mortgage or even put some extra away into your super account every month.

No matter the reason, we could all do with a financial boost every now and then, even if it’s just to increase our savings or put aside a little extra for unforeseen emergencies.

Did you know that you could literally find or save thousands of dollars with just a little bit of clever investigation and research? Here are five top tips on how you can give yourself a financial boost in just a few hours.

1. Get A Cash Bonus By Opening A New Bank Account

If you do your research, you’ll find certain banks that will give you a cash bonus just by opening a new account and meeting certain conditions. You could use the new account to save for a future purchase or maybe your next holiday.

Or you could just put in a set amount every month and use the balance at the end of the year to make an additional mortgage payment.

Here are some current promotions:

ING Bank will give you a $75 cash bonus when you open a new account with them.  To qualify, you need to use a promotional code, make a minimum deposit of $1000 within the first calendar month and make 5+ purchases with your debit card within that same calendar month.

Bank of Melbourne are offering a $50 cash bonus when you open a new Complete Freedom account. To qualify for the bonus you need to deposit $500 in the first 45 days. Remember to check their terms and conditions to find out the details.

BankSA will also give you a $50 cash bonus when you open one of their Complete Freedom accounts. Just deposit $450 within the first 45 days and check their terms and conditions.

St George also have a Complete Freedom account option and will give you $50 cashback when you open one. To qualify you need to deposit $500 within the first 45 days. Once again, remember to check their terms and conditions.

These are just some of the offers which are available but there are sure to be others. Do some research and see what you can find.

2.  Investigate An Alternative To Your Current Phone And Utility Providers

You could quite literally save hundreds of dollars a year simply by doing some research on what offers are available from telco providers and electricity supply companies.

Think about it. Do you seriously need to update your mobile phone every year? If your current plan is coming to an end and your mobile still works perfectly fine, why not consider switching to a sim-only provider.

You will more than likely save at least $50 per month by not paying for a new mobile phone with your contract. Better still, consider not signing up for a lengthy contract and go month to month instead. Then you can then switch again if you find a better deal a few months down the track.

Most electricity suppliers will sign you up for a defined period so that they can offer you the biggest discounts. It’s a really good idea to shop around every year just before your plan is due to expire, to see whether you can find a better deal.

Then when it comes to renewing, let your current supplier know that you’ve found a better deal and see whether they’ll match it. Sometimes they actually will and if not, just switch to the new supplier.

3. See If You Have Any Lost Money

If you’ve moved house a number of times, you may well have forgotten to update your address details with all the financial institutions you’ve had accounts with. This could include forgotten bank accounts, shares, life insurance policies or other types of investments.

Asic’s money smart website has a special tool you can use to see if you have any lost money anywhere. They state that there is around $1.1 billion in unclaimed money available. Some of it could be yours, so check it out today.

4. Track Down Any Lost Super

These days you can elect which superannuation company you want to use when you change employers. However, a decade or more ago, this wasn’t the case and your employer would sign you up with their own super fund.

If you changed jobs frequently back then, you may have substantial amounts of money sitting in super accounts that you’ve totally forgotten about. Thankfully, it’s now very easy to track down any lost super you may have.

All you need to do is create a myGov account on the Australian Government website and then you’ll be able to search to see whether you have any unclaimed super and roll it over into your current super fund.

5. Consider A Balance Transfer On Your Credit Card

If the interest on your credit card balance is killing you, consider applying for a new card with a low or no interest balance transfer option. This could save you thousands of dollars in interest, especially if you pay off the balance within the interest free period.

If you use one or all of these five tips, you’ll more than likely find or save hundreds if not thousands of dollars, which you can then use for more worthwhile purposes.

For more information on managing your debts or taking control of your personal finances, the MoneySmart website has a very useful section on ‘managing debts’. This includes various calculators and tools you can use to better understand your finances and set yourself up for a wealthier financial future.

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