We’re wasting billions of dollars - because we’re lazy

TOOWOOMBA's Heritage Bank has found that Australians are wasting $7.4 billion every year by focusing on saving money on food, electronics and clothes, rather than major life purchases, such as a home loan.

The research, commissioned by the local bank and carried out by the University of Technology Sydney, revealed Australians craved the instant gratification they got from saving a few dollars on food and fashion, but were ignoring the potential to save thousands by doing the same on major purchases - because they were too lazy.

University of Technology Sydney researcher Dr Eugene Chan said by obsessing over short-term savings on minor purchases such as fashion, food and travel, Australians had lost sight of the bigger picture and significant savings to be made from making the switch on major life purchases.

"We're definitely seeing a trend in Aussies wanting to be more savvy with their finances. However, Australians are more concerned about saving money on purchases that bring them 'instant gratification'," Dr Chan said.

"What is interesting to see is that tightwads, who are typically very rational in their spending, are looking to make savings on the things they connect with emotionally, like clothing and travel, over major life purchases such as a home loan.

"The attitude of many Australians today to 'live in the now' is also reflected in the belief that switching on major investments is confusing, time-consuming and not worth the effort."

Heritage Bank general manager marketing Jane Calder said, "More Aussies are moving away from carefree spending to thinking about how they can save.

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"However, as the research shows, those 'penny pinching' in the wrong areas could actually be losing out on savings, jeopardising their long-term financial security as a result.

"It's surprising to see that much of the nation believe switching will cost them money when in reality they could be saving significant amounts to put towards the things they enjoy most in life."

Ms Calder was referring to a key finding of the report that showed simplicity impacted the loan-switching habits of Australians.

Almost a third of Australians think switching home loans is too much trouble and a further 28 per cent considered the cost of switching not worth the time and effort.

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