The coming of a new year is often viewed with hopeful optimism for what the next 12 months will bring.
As calendars tick over, a number of changes, both in the public and private sectors, usually come into effect.
New taxes commence or evaporate. Old charges are hiked or slashed.
2019 is no exception. Here are the financial changes to watch out for this year.
1. Transurban tolls
Road toll operator Transurban has raised rates on major roads in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Sydney drivers will pay more travelling on the Cross City Tunnel (one to two cents), Eastern Distributor (seven cents), Lane Cove Tunnel (one cent) and Hills M2 (two to seven cents).
In Melbourne, CityLink travellers will pay between one and four cents more while Brisbanites will be slogged an additional ten cents on the AirportlinkM7.
2. Melbourne transport hike
Melbourne commuters using public transport won’t escape unscathed either.
Most fares are set to rise by 2.2 per cent to match inflation.
For train-users, that’s 10 to 20 cents a ride for full-fares, while concessions will rise by between five and ten cents.
3. Tampon tax cut
The controversial 10 per cent GST has been stripped from 1 January on feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons.
The sanitary items will join other health products such as sunscreen and Nicotine patches which are exempt from the tax.
4. Electricity and gas price cuts
If there was one consumer story that endured in 2018, it was soaring electricity prices.
While the issue is not likely to disappear anytime soon in Australia, there is some relief due in 2019.
Providers AGL, Origin Energy and Energy Australia have pledged to reduce or hold electricity rates in 2019.
Victorian households with AGL will save around $23 a year, while gas prices will come down by about $11.
Origin Energy’s Victorian customers will pay no additional hikes in 2019 and concession holders will be eligible for discounts.
Concession holders in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT will save an average of $169 a year, automatically receiving a 10 per cent discount.
EnergyAustralia customers will avoid any electricity hikes in the new year across Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT while Queenslanders should see their bills come down as rates reduce.
The same can’t be said for its gas bills, set to increase by nearly $70 per household.
5. Credit card changes
After an ASIC report slammed the way in which some credit card providers treat indebted customers, Australia’s largest issuers have pledged to do better this year.
Providers won’t be able to extend more than you would be able to pay back within three years, proactively increase your credit limit, or retrospectively charge interest on a balance transfer.
They will also be required to provide an opportunity online to request a card cancellation or credit limit reduction.
Other measures to be implemented include restricting customers to only exceed their credit limits by 10 per cent, as well as increased transparency and disclosures.
6. ATM fees
NAB customers will join other bank customers in 2019 in paying a $2 fee for using RediATMs, after they had been exempt.
It comes after the big four banks and a number of regional ditched charging ATM fees to their competitors’ customers in 2017.
7. NSW gambling tax
All online bets placed online in NSW will be subject to an additional 10 per cent tax this year.
8. Qantas restaurants
Qantas has scrapped its restaurant program, which had allowed frequent flyers to earn points every time they booked a restaurant.
Instead, you will only be able to collect points when you spend money at select dining spots.
Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that “Bankwest ATMs also continue to charge fees”. A Bankwest spokesperson subsequently clarified that the CBA subsidiary ceased charging fees for its branded ATMs in September 2017 and via its previous partnership with 7 Eleven in June 2018. Your Money apologises for the error.