Big Saver

Reporter: David Richardson

Banks, utility providers, phone companies, insurance firms you had better watch out - Bigsaver is out to get you.

BigSaver.com.au is the brainchild of mechanic Charlie Lambous and his best friend...IT consultant Steven Begley.

Using the power of the internet...and social networking sites like Facebook. They're linking tens of thousands of unhappy customers across the country into buying blocks to negotiate better deals on every household bill...and soon...groceries.

"It's about time they just passed on some decent discounts to the general everyday public, the mums and dads that don't have any more money at the end of their pay. They've paid their mortgage. they've paid their electricity they've paid their groceries. They've paid all those different bills. It's time." Said Charlie

"We're looking at electricity bills, phone, mobile, internet, health insurance, insurance, credit cards and bank fees. everything? everything. every single bill we're targeting." Said IT consultant Steven

The service is free...there are no sign on fee...just register on-line...and the computer program links customers together into bargaining groups.

"How many people will you need to force these companies to give you that 2-and a half to 12 and a half percent off?" Asks reporter

"On average we'll need around about 5,000 people and the more people we get the more people will save." Said Steven

"There is no reason why a company would refuse 10,000, 20,000 even 100,000 people a better deal." Said Charlie

It's not the first time companies have bowed to collective pressure. Somers...east of Melbourne, banded together and bargained their way to cheaper power bills - more than 200 residents putting the squeeze on power companies.

Although reeling from massive power bill hikes...households will soon be hit with increased water prices. Water companies are huge users of electricity and will pass on those costs through your tap.

Alex wilson set up savingsguide.com.au while struggling to survive at university. Now he advises people on how to save money...

"If we follow your tips how much potentially could we save every year?" Asks Reporter

"It's hard to put a dollar figure on i but I do know that our motto is it's not how much you earn it's about how smart you are with your money. so by that accord I'd be hoping you can save a lot more money which means no matter how much you earn you're gonna be better off than the next person." Said Alex

In the face of those soaring water prices...Alex suggests "only do laundry when your washing machine is full....no half loads. The same goes for the dishwasher, always make sure it's full before running it. Fix any dripping taps...every drop costs money. The best piece of advice I could give on saving money is to start an efficient household. start everything from the bottom up and find ways you can save money on just about any item." Said Alex

It's tax time...and hundreds of thousands of families will receive a deduction. A 2-thousand dollar cheque can save thousands if paid off credit cards...or the mortgage.

"Don't go and blow it on a TV, put it on your mortgage. $2,000 now could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars when your mortgage is done in 30 years." Said Alex

Our obsession with credit cards must also end - already Australians owe $50-billion in credit card debt.

Lisa Narroway from Your Money Magazine has cruched the numbers on Australia's cheapest credit cards to come up with the top three and says "we were looking at the interest rates they charged, the annual fees they charged and the number of interest free days you get on the purchases you make on that card." Said Lisa

Taking the gold medal, the M.E. Bank Mastercard...with 12.25% interest...an annual fee of $39...and 44 interest free days. Next was Bendigo Basic Black Mastercard, charging 12.49% interest...an annual joining fee of $45 and 44 interest free days. The bronze award went to Suncorp Bank Clear options standard card....at 12.74% interest...a 39-dollar fee...but no interest free days on offer.

"Everyday people need to understand if you ring your bank, ring your gas provider, your water provider, no matter who it is and you say you are not content with the price, you are considering moving elsewhere, what can you do to keep me and you are that up front, you are going to get a saving." Said Alex

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Alex Wilson's budget tips : www.savingsguide.com.au

------------------------------------

www.bigsaver.com.au -launches tonight with a special deal for Today Tonight viewers. Follow the links.

------------------------------------

Your Money Magazine's Top credit card tips in the magazine out this Friday