If you’re stressed about where your money goes, overwhelmed by debt or don’t have any cash set aside for emergencies, now’s the time to think about getting your finances in order before the good times of summer arrive.
To help you on your way, we’ve got a five day challenge. All you need to do is put an hour aside each day to start getting your finances in shape.
And why not tell a friend or family member you’re doing this, or even better, get them involved? After all, being accountable is proven to make you more successful1 in achieving your goals.
So, if you’re keen, it’s time to jump to the starting line and get things underway.
Day 1 – Create a budget
Creating a budget and tracking your income and spending can help you see what money you have coming in and what money you have going out, giving you insights into how you use money.
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
- 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 you on your way, like our budget planner calculator.
If you’re an AMP customer, you can use our money manager tool to see your AMP and non-AMP bank, credit card, loan, superannuation, and investment accounts all in the one place. Money manager also helps you to track your spending so you can see where your money goes, while the budget builder feature uses your transaction history to automatically create a personalised budget quickly and easily.
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?
Comparing providers can often end up saving you money in the long run, so do your research and see what competitors are charging and offering in comparison. If you can quote a better deal, your current provider may match it or offer you something better.
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
Consider whether you have insurance inside your super and if so, whether the level of cover is adequate.
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.
Spend a bit of time today getting across these things:
- Do you have any lost super? The good news is we can find any lost super for you
- Whether your super money is all in one place, or spread across different super funds
- What your super balance is (or balances are) - you can check what your projected super balance might be at retirement with the my super simulator tool
- The amount (or %) you’re being charged in fees
- What investment option(s) you’re in and the investment performance over the longer term
- Whether 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!
Hopefully after completing the challenge you’ll be a step closer to achieving your goals.
Finally, good luck, and remember we’re always here to help. We can put you in touch with a financial adviser if you don’t already have one. Just call us on 131 267 or use our find an adviser tool.
Is our use of social media driving us to engage in conspicuous consumption? <br>Research shows it does.