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It's the start of a new financial year, so here's a challenge to kick things off.

If you don’t know where your money goes, are overwhelmed by debt or have no cash set aside for emergencies, there’s no time like the present to get your financial situation sorted out.

To help you on your way, we’ve created a five day challenge to get you started. All you need is to put aside an hour each day—and why not tell a friend or family member, or even better, get them involved?

After all, when you make yourself accountable, studies show you're more likely to achieve your goals. So, if you’re keen, jump to the starting line—it's time to get things underway.

Day 1 – Create a budget

Creating a budget can help you keep track of your money, cut down on unnecessary spending, reduce debt and save for various goals you might’ve set yourself.

Start by recording:

  • What you earn – wages, salary, other sources of income
  • What you owe – your debts, including credit cards and loans, plus any fees and interest charges you might be paying
  • What you spend – living expenses, including things like food, bills, transport, gifts and entertainment.

Once you’ve crunched the numbers, you can then look at areas to make some savings. And, there are plenty of tools which can help, such as our budget planner calculator or the MoneyBrilliant app.

Day 2 – Compare your providers

List your current providers, for things like your home loan, bank accounts and credit cards, mobile phone, internet, gas and electricity. How much do they charge and what do you get for this?

Do your research and see what competitors are charging and offering in comparison. If you can quote a better deal, your current provider may offer you something better. Comparing providers can often end up saving you in the long run.

Day 3 – Review your insurances

You might have a variety of insurances—home and contents, car, pet, personal and health. Now is the time to assess not just whether you can make savings on your insurance policies, but whether you have the right type and level of cover.

To do an initial assessment, make a list of:

  • What insurances you have and which companies these are with
  • What you’re covered for and whether you think this is the right amount
  • What you’re paying currently
  • What the competitors are offering
  • Whether insurance inside your super would be beneficial.

Our insurance calculator can help you figure out how much cover you might need.

Day 4 – Get on top of your super

It’s important to think about super early on, as many Australians will be looking at a retirement of 30 years or more, and the Age Pension alone is unlikely to be enough1.

Address the following:

  • Do you have any lost super? If you do, the good news is we can find any lost super for you
  • Is your super money all in one place, or spread across different super funds?
  • What does your super balance (or balances) equal? Try our super simulator tool to find out what your projected balance will be at retirement
  • What amount (or %) are you being charged in fees?
  • What investment option(s) are you in and are you tracking investment performance over the longer term?
  • Are your beneficiaries are up to date?

Day 5 – Embrace online services

There are a range of things you can now do online that can help simplify and streamline your financial life.

  • Set up direct debits so your bills are paid on time
  • Elect to receive communications electronically. This will help the environment, as well as your hip pocket, as some providers now charge for paper-based communications
  • Download apps like My AMP, so you can access your finances on the move
  • Check and update your details, so your providers don’t lose track of you
  • Set up a good online filing system, and make sure you back it up!

Procrastination can often be a roadblock to getting on top of your finances, so hopefully after completing our five day challenge you’re a step closer to achieving your goals.

To get a step closer still, we can help you to build out a timeline for your goals with our new online goals tool.

We wish you luck and remember we’re here to help. If you'd like to be put in touch with an adviser, call us on 131 267 or use our find an adviser tool.

 

1 http://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard