With Easter but days away, it might be a good idea to take advantage of your time off and look at your cash flow.
If you're serious about organising and managing your money in 2017, it's not too late to take the first step.
As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to manage your personal finances like a business. Look back on 2016 and ask yourself: were there any changes you could make to improve your current financial situation?
Were there any financial mistakes you made that you wouldn't like to repeat? If the answer is yes, don't despair - you are not alone. We all make questionable financial decisions from time to time. The key is not to repeat them.
In addition to identifying the financial mistakes you made last year, there are a couple of other steps you can take this Easter to help improve your cashflow.
Streamline your cash flow
In the first instance, you can take the time to investigate your banking transactions.
Export last year's transaction history onto a spreadsheet so that you can see all of your outgoings and incomings. This will help you see what ‘must pay' expenses you have each year, including telecommunication bills, insurance, car registration etc.
Once you have factored in all of your ‘must pay' expenses, you will be able to see how much money you can and should have left over at the end of each pay cycle.
Be ready for surprises
When you are preparing a budget, it is always a good idea to factor in ‘rainy day expenses'. There will always be times when unexpected expenses crop up, so it is good to create a budget that gives you some wiggle room and the ability to meet these expenses if and when they appear.
Review your current obligations
Do you have a home loan, personal loan or car loan? Do you have a credit card, health insurance or gym membership? If you have any or all of the above, now is a good time to review the deal you are getting from each service provider and see if there is a better offer available.
If you have been with the same gym for a number of years, you may find you are able to negotiate a discount by simply calling and asking for one.
Similarly, if you have been with the same health insurance provider for a number of years, now is a good time to get online and make sure you are still in the right product and the most cost effective solution for your needs.
At the end of the day, you should never take a ‘set and forget attitude' towards your finances.
Don't panic, there's no reason to feel alone in this. Personal finance can be difficult to manage and if you feel you don't know where to start, then why not consider getting help? At Mortgage Choice, our network of brokers and financial advisers can help you with all of your financial needs so that you head into the rest of the year in the best possible financial position.
And, by next Easter you'll have confidence in knowing you're on track to financial prosperity!