Former Sunrise host David Koch has issued a challenge to Australians to switch and save on a “big bill” every week for the next two months.
“Kochie” issued the challenge today after announcing he has joined price comparison website, Compare the Market, as its new economic director.
He said his ultimate goal in the new role would be to see everyday Aussies not just survive, but thrive over the coming years, despite the current cost of living crisis.
“I want to see people surviving this squeeze of interest rates and inflation,” he said.
“Sleeping better at night because they are coping a lot better with it and having a few dollars left over to take their family on holidays and have a treat.
“That’s what life is about. Losing sleep over money issues – there is nothing worse.
“If we can make people sleep better, and also enjoy their life, because they’ve got a bit of spare cash, that’s the aim.”
Mr Koch said this week’s Reserve Bank of Australia Board meeting minutes showed that while we’re near the end of the interest rate hiking cycle, rates also would not come down for some time.
“So even though it’s not going to get a lot worse, it’s not going to get a lot better,” he said.
Mr Koch said one way people could save money was to shop around for a better deal on their home loan, energy bills and insurance policies.
“For the next two months, every week, tackle a big bill to see if you can get a better deal,” he said.
“This week, do home and contents insurance. Next week, do private health insurance and the week after do pet insurance.
“At the end of each week, do a different one and, at the end of the eight weeks, add up the savings.”
Mr Koch’s appointment as economic director for Compare the Market comes two months after leaving Sunrise, where he had been co-host for 21 years.
Before hosting morning television, the 67-year-old had an impressive career as one of Australia’s leading finance journalists, founding Personal Investment magazine, launching Money magazine in the UK and also working as the Seven Network’s finance editor, among other big roles.
He said after leaving Sunrise, several financial institutions approached him to join their team, but he said none felt like the right fit until Compare the Market reached out.
“All of my career I’ve preached to people that you’ve got to shop around and get the very best deal on your money,” Mr Koch said.
“You’ve got to compare different institutions and you’ve got to make them work harder.
“So it would have been a bit of a conflict to align myself with one.
“When the Compare the Market team came and said, ‘Hey, can you do stuff with our clients and give them information on how to better manage their money,’ it just seemed perfect because we share a similar view that the consumer has to have the power to shop around.”
Compare the Market Chief Executive Officer Rob Clancy said he was thrilled to welcome Kochie as a senior voice on economic issues and personal finance, to lead Compare the Market’s research and commentary on a wide range of issues affecting Australians.
“Kochie’s appointment as our economic director comes as so many Australians are in need of a cost-of-living champion,” Mr Clancy said.
“We started our comparison service just over 10 years ago, with a mission to help people save on their home loans, insurance and energy bills and we’ve since helped millions of Australians compare and switch to suit their needs and their budget.
“Kochie’s extensive credentials in finance and business journalism will take our research to the next level and ensure we can help Australians make better everyday financial decisions.
“The vast majority of Australians stick with the same providers despite receiving jaw-dropping figures on their bills and renewal notices.
“We hope that by raising awareness, we can help drive greater competition in the market and encourage more Australians to reap the benefits of comparison.”
Koch will provide insight and expertise to the Compare the Market team, to support research and commentary and will be made available to the media on request.