Being financially organised is a spectrum – it can be as simple as setting direct debits or as complex as regularly hunting down the best interest rates in town. It’s important to make sure you’re at least on the spectrum.
If you need motivation, think about how much money you could save with a few simple ideas.
Budgets and buckets
A budget can help you work out what you’re spending money on and when, so if you don’t already have a budget in place, learn the basic steps to creating one here.
A really simple way of then sorting your finances is using buckets like:
- Pay – includes commitments like your mortgage or rent, bills and debts. These expenses are less flexible and should be prioritised as missing payments could impact your credit rating.
- Spend – includes your daily living expenses. Consider giving yourself some “wriggle room” for surprise expenses or just to treat yourself. Budgets (just like diets) that are too rigid can sometimes set you up to fail.
- Save – what’s left over from paying bills and accounting for your expenses. Aim to put this away either for a big ticket item or just in case. You could even put some in your super to save for the long term.
Don’t forget to do a regular review of your budget. Your income and expenses will fluctuate over time and you’ll need to account for these changes. Make sure you have a contingency plan should things get out of control and on the flipside, put some thought into what you’d do if you had a little more to spend.
Save for yourself and the environment
Embrace the change and switch to electronic statements. It’s not only good for the environment, but it can help declutter your home and is more convenient.
Almost every bank and financial institution has an app these days and these can make things like paying bills and transferring funds much easier. No more trips to the bank or paying for postage.
Finally, think about automating your bill payments, so you don’t have to worry about them – or face another late payment fee. Also use this as an opportunity to see if you can save money by negotiating your bills.
Other goals to kick
- It is basic housekeeping, but making sure you update your details can ensure you don’t miss out on important notices or special offers.
- Super is one of your biggest assets, so by searching for lost super and consolidating your accounts you could save money on fees and find money you didn’t know you had. Just make sure you look into any exit or withdrawal fees and whether your insurance cover will be affected.
- It’s also important to figure out what would happen if you died. A good place to start is to make sure you have a will and that the beneficiaries from your estate are named on your super account.
We’re here to help
If you’d like advice on how to budget and take better control of your finances, speak to a financial adviser or call us on 131 267.
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