The house isn’t the only place that needs a spring clean. Messy money management can potentially cost you thousands of dollars – and hold you back from achieving your goals. Here are three simple steps to help tidy up your personal finances.
The first step to getting your money in order is to know exactly where your hard-earned cash is going. Once you’re clear about this, you can find out if you’re wasting money anywhere – and put a stop to it.
So start your financial spring clean by making a list of all your fixed payments – regular bills, insurance payments, subscriptions, loan repayments, donations and the like. Make sure you include payments that occur less frequently, such as registration or school fees.
If you pay your bills by direct debit, note in your calendar the day these payments come out of your account each month. That way, you can make sure you have the money in your account and avoid wasting money on overdrawn account fees.
Next, go through your bank statements and work out your average spend on day-to-day items like groceries, petrol, clothing and going out. Don’t forget to factor in things like visits to the doctor or the dentist, haircuts, travel, gifts and any other expenses that could crop up during the year. From this list, you can create a basic budget that you can tweak as you go along.
Now that you have a good picture of your spending, you can make some realistic savings goals. Choose something specific to save for to help with the motivation factor. Your goal could be short or long term: a holiday, an emergency fund to cover unexpected costs or investments to help grow your wealth – like shares, units in a managed fund or an investment property.
Once you’ve got your goals in place, go back to your expenses list and see how much you can realistically save to meet your goals. Look for areas in your budget where you can cut back on spending. Perhaps you could choose a lower rate credit card, buy fewer clothes, or get rid of subscriptions you never use.
Your financial spring clean won’t be complete if your super is all over the place. So make sure your retirement savings are spick and span, with:
Your personal details updated, so your fund can stay in touch with you.
Your entire super consolidated into the one account, so you’re not paying double (or more) on fees, charges and insurance premiums.
The right investment option to suit your current investment goals, your age group and your risk appetite.
A binding death nomination, so, in the event of your death, your super will go to the person you want it to.
Please contact us to help you spruce up your finances and put everything into order.