February 12, 2014
The New Year is here, and with it comes the opportunity to get your finances in order.
If you are anything like me, you may have already made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and exercise more, so why not resolve to whip your finances into shape as well.
While we understand that growing your savings is no easy feat, a little bit of careful planning teamed with a strategic budget can go a long way towards helping you reach your financial goals in 2014 and beyond.
Here are five tips to help get your finances in order this year:
Think small when budgeting: Planning ahead with your finances for a full year can be daunting, and ultimately, ineffective. Instead, budget monthly or in accordance with the length of your pay period. This will allow you to amend your budget fairly quickly if you over overestimate or underestimate certain expenses.
Avoid unnecessary extras and costs: Evaluate your regular outgoings and identify any unnecessary costs which you can cut down or cut out. Cutting back on guilty pleasures like takeaway coffees, Friday night takeaway or premium television packages can lead to significant savings in the long term.
Pay off and cancel your credit card: Credit card interest rates are notoriously high. Constant use without complete payment at the end of the month can lead to significant debt. Many people get stuck using a credit card and struggle to break the cycle as interest continues to accrue. Make paying off your credit card a priority early in the year, and cancel it as soon as possible. Debit cards are an ideal alternative, providing a similar level of protection for online and over the phone purchases, without the significant interest rates.
Update your savings account: Research the benefits offered by savings accounts across various financial institutions. Switching banks and opening a new account with a lending institution that offers lower fees and higher interest rates will allow you to save more in less time.
Compare to find a better deal: You may be paying more than is necessary on your home loan, insurances, utility bills, etc. Comparing your options via your mortgage broker or websites such as HelpMeChoose.com.au can help you find the best deal suited to your needs and save you money in the process.