It’s time for your annual spring clean but don’t forget your finances!
Despite the persistent Melbourne winter weather, spring has now sprung and it is time for your annual spring clean. While you are on a roll with cleaning out your clothes wardrobe and kitchen pantry, why not use the momentum and do a tidy up of your personal finances too. Here are five tips to spring clean your finances.
1. Dust off your utility bills
When was the last time you took a close look at your utility bills and the rates you are paying? Providers are constantly creating new plans and existing customers are often missing out on new, lower rates or other bonuses like early bird payment discounts. Take the time to contact your providers and simply ask for a discount.
If you have some extra time, go to the Victorian Government’s Energy Compare website which helps you compare plans; you may find a better deal that you can ask your existing provider to match. While you are there, be sure to claim the $50 Power Saving Bonus payment which is available until 30 June 2020 – it’s quick and easy to do and is an extra $50 in your pocket!
2. Tidy up your superannuation accounts
If you have not already received your annual superannuation fund member statement, you should be receiving it soon. Take the opportunity to have a look at the performance on your account over the last financial year, the fees that you incurred and the way in which your funds are invested.
If you receive multiple superannuation account statements this year, it is even more important to have a close look at the statements and decide whether you need multiple superannuation accounts. The more accounts you have, it is likely the more fees you will be paying. Consider consolidating your accounts or ask questions about whether the accounts you have are right for you.
3. Vacuum up your credit card debt
Credit card debt is costly and can get out of hand quickly. If you are in the habit of making only minimum repayments on your credit card, set yourself a new goal to make the full repayment each month. If this is going to be difficult for you to do, it is time to set yourself a budget so that you can get on top of the debt. It could be costing you 20% or more in interest payments each month. Compare this to current variable home loan rates of approximately 3.20%; this is a huge expense that you need to eliminate quickly.
4. Toss out the unnecessary expenditure
Use your spring clean to look at your monthly expenditure. Do you really need multiple TV streaming accounts? Are you still using that gym membership? Could you set yourself a goal to take your lunch to work at least 3 days of the week? Small tweaks to your spending habits can add up quickly if your make a few adjustments, which over the long run, can improve your ability to save.
5. Review your financial plan
How long has it been since you had a look at your financial position from an overall perspective and thought about it in the context of your long-term financial goals? For some people, the answer to this might be, never! Thinking about what you what to achieve from a lifestyle and financial viewpoint over the short, medium and long-term and building a plan to work towards these targets will help to set up your financial future.
Take the time this spring to plant the seeds for your future by planning your goals, stick to them and review them again next spring clean out. If you’d like to discuss you current situation or any points in this article further, please contact one of our Financial Specialists today. Alternatively, you can complete your details below and we’ll be in touch or give us a call on (03) 9835 8200.