7 tips to spring clean your finances

As spring arrives, cultivate good financial habits and set yourself up for a rosy future.

After winter, simple things like opening a window to let in the sunlight can transform your space.

In the same way, shedding light on your finances can give you more control and peace of mind when it comes to money. Spring’s the perfect time to make sure your finances are not just in order but set to blossom in the months and years to come.

Spring clean your finances

Start your financial spring clean by working out how you’re placed financially—you need to work out how much you earn, how much you owe and where your money’s going every week.

Our budget planner and the TrackMYSPEND app at the MoneySmart website can help you gain control over your spending. You’ll get to know your spending habits and can decide where your money can work hardest for you.

Set an overarching goal to maximise the amount you hold on to and gradually minimise the amount you owe. And read our tips for cutting debt. If you are lucky enough to be debt-free turn your mind to saving.

Then set short-term and long-term goals so you know where you’re heading.

Once you’ve worked out what you’re aiming to achieve, set smaller milestones—like saving $1,000 at a time—and mark them on your calendar. That way you’ll enjoy some quick wins along the way to achieving bigger goals.

Stem your spending

Most of us would be a lot better off if we spent less. And even if you are spending less than you earn you may be able to boost your savings and reduce debt by making additional spending cuts.

Look for ways to spend less and be creative!

Here are seven simple and practical ways to get into better financial shape this spring:

  1. Consider holidaying on a budget. You may be able to put the extra money you’d normally spend into repaying your home loan more quickly.
  2. Work out how much you’re spending on non-essentials like buying lunch—calculate the costs over a one-year period and set a goal to make your lunch and pocket the money instead.
  3. Automate your money. Set up automatic transfers and send some of your money to separate savings and expenses accounts before you can spend it.
  4. Revise your shopping strategies! Before you buy, compare prices at online comparison sites. And before walking into the supermarket, arm yourself with a shopping list and stick to it―consider generic brands or take up a special offer.
  5. Consider making changes at home. Suppliers of household services like gas and electricity will often compete for your business. By negotiating a better deal you could save hundreds of dollars by the end of next winter!
  6. If you exercise at the gym, ask yourself how you can look after yourself just as well without paying a formal membership.
  7. Instead of eating out at expensive restaurants, consider spending some gourmet time enjoying a picnic lunch outdoors.

Enjoy the fruits of your labours

It’s true that money doesn’t grow on trees―so spring into action and get yourself into a good financial position so you can start enjoying your best life. Use our budget planner to manage and plan for every cent you earn. And speak with a financial adviser. Good advice can make a big difference to how quickly your financial position improves.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.