4 things you should never pay full price for

From gym memberships to health insurance; tips to ensure you can bag a bargain all year round.

We often hope a bargain will appear right in front of us, but some of the best savings can be found by simply scratching below the surface.

If you have health insurance or simply want to take a trip away with the family, it doesn’t have to come at full price if you know how to talk the talk and where to find a deal that will work for you.

TODAY spoke with finance guru Patrick Canion who gave us his tips on how you can potentially save hundreds a year by knowing where to look.

TODAY: So what are some general things our audience should keep in mind when looking for discounts?

CANION: No one cares more about your money than you do. Don’t be reluctant to do some research and ask if you can get a discount or price reduction. Sure, be polite, be respectful, but remember how much savings you could get with just a bit of extra effort.

TODAY: Health insurance can put a huge dent in people’s wallets, what’s the best way to save there?

CANION: As always, shop around, start with some internet comparisons, and then phone the health fund to see what they can offer. Also, tell your existing fund why you are leaving, often they will be willing to do a little extra to keep your business. Be careful about waiting periods for pre-existing ailments though – make sure you check if there are any implications of moving funds.

TODAY: Gyms memberships seem to be getting more and more expensive, how can we negotiate a better price?

CANION: Look for areas where there are a few local gyms, that way you know there will be plenty of competition for your business. It costs a lot for gyms to win new clients, so if you contact them, they may be in a position to share some savings with you. Plus, their business model means that their costs are fixed, whether they have 10 customers or a thousand. So if they want to grow their business, they will often be willing to give a discount – especially if you are prepared to commit for a longer term membership.

TODAY: School holidays are on around the country this morning, are there bargains to be found?

CANION: Absolutely, especially if you are looking to stay at one place for an extended time. Again, research and find the best price, then simply make a phone call to the hotel and ask them if they can beat that price. What’s the worst that can happen?

TODAY: Home loans can be a massive strain on families, is there a way to alleviate the stress?

CANION: You can save literally thousands of dollars over the course of your loan by having a competitive interest rate. If you are an owner/operator and your home loan doesn’t start with a ‘3’, you are probably paying too much! Talk to a mortgage broker and see what alternatives are in the market. You may have to pay a little extra to refinance but see if the long term savings are worth it.

In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.