With the holidays over and our credit cards in disarray, we could all use a post-Christmas cash boost. Here how you can make thousands in just one hour!

Open a new bank account

Some banks will offer a promotional cash bonus if you switch to them – between $50 and a few hundred dollars paid when you open an account. Just make sure the product is right for your needs, and that you read all the fine print – the “gift” might have conditions attached. For some banks it only takes 10 minutes to apply online.

Switch to a new phone provider

If you’re not on a plan, or you’re close to the end of your plan, look at the promo deals on offer from all providers. If you’re happy to keep your existing phone this year (which saves hundreds of dollars in itself) and go SIM-only, you could save upwards of $50 a month. And if you don’t sign up for a contract, you can switch again if you find something even cheaper later in the year. 20 minutes’ work.

Claim your work gear

Find out if you meet the approved occupational clothing criteria so you can claim work clothing, laundering and drycleaning on your tax after June 30. Should only take 3 minutes to get across what records you need to keep.

Claim your lost money

Ever moved house and neglected to update your address with your various financial institutions? Australians have more than a billion dollars in shares, investments, forgotten bank accounts and life insurance policies waiting to be claimed. You even get interest on the money. Start with this search tool.

Look for lost super

Though you won’t be able to touch it ‘til your super ‘preservation’ age, lost super is still money in the bank for your older self. And in Australia there’s around 18 billion of it. (!!) Create a myGov account and track it down. Or get your bank to do it. That’s a 10-minute call.

Outstanding deceased estates and dividends

Think you might have an inheritance, dividends, salaries or wages, rental bonds, deposits, royalties, commissions or similar floating out there in the ether? Contact your state government agency and check. Depending on how long you’re on hold, this might only be a 15-minute job to get things underway.

Find a specialist tax accountant

Are you claiming all the refunds you can for your occupation? Do some research, talk to friends in similar industries and get recommendations for a reputable accountant who knows the ropes and can get you a bigger refund starting this year. (Ask how much they charge too.) Collect all your receipts, and prepare to book your session in advance – the good ones get busy after June 30. That’s a 10-minute task.

Organise a balance transfer

Are your credits cards in a mess? Do your research and find the best offer for consolidating all your debt onto one loan with fewer fees and lower interest. And then pay it off like crazy all year to take advantage of that. You could save hundreds in interest. 30 minutes’ research should get you started.

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