This post was first published on the Credit Savvy blog.
There are lots of little things you can do to give your finances a face-lift.
Happy End of Financial Year! If you’re falling a little short of your 2015 New Year’s resolutions, now is the perfect time to start fresh.
Check out these six resolutions for the new financial year:
1. Get organised
Knowledge is power. As cheesy as it may sound, it’s true! The first step in knowing where your finances stand is to take a look at your income and expenses. How much money do you have coming in and going out? Go through all your account statements, you may find that you’re spending money on things you don’t use or need, like that gym membership you swore you’d use.
Internet banking is all the rage these days and has made it much easier to keep track of where your money’s going. Many online banking services have spend analysis tools built into their systems and there are quite a few smartphone apps on saving (such as Pocketbook and MoneySmart’s TrackMySPEND) that can help you stay on top of your finances.
2. Revamp your budget
Your budget shouldn’t be set in stone but it should be realistic. Cutting back your spending to the bare minimum can be too restrictive so don’t forget to treat yourself every once in a while. It may prevent you from going on a big splurge later and blowing out your budget completely. Being organised with things like meal planning can also be a big help.
3. Start an emergency fund
Setting a little bit of money aside each month for emergencies can save you from needing to take out a personal loan or maxing out your credit card to pay for unforeseen expenses. Life is constantly changing. If something unexpected happens, you want to be prepared.
4. Start monitoring your credit reputation
Your credit score and credit report are good indicators of your credit reputation. A lender can look at these when assessing your application for a home loan, credit card, or even a post-paid phone contract. Request a copy of your credit report from each credit reporting body in Australia and check to make sure all the details are accurate and up to date.
An easy way to track your credit reputation is by monitoring your credit score through a service like Credit Savvy. Credit Savvy gives you free ongoing access to your Experian credit score, monthly score updates and alerts when there are changes to your credit file.
5. Tackle your debt
Don’t let your debts get you down, take control today. There are small things you can do to help chip away at that pesky debt. Paying more than the minimum amount due is a good place to start. Paying an extra $50 towards your credit card bill or mortgage payment can actually save you a lot in interest charges and can help you pay off your loans faster. Just double check to make sure there aren’t any penalties for repaying your loans early.
6. Switch it up
Have another look at your financial products, you might be using accounts that don’t quite fit your circumstances. Maybe you’re paying a hefty annual fee on a credit card you never use or you’re not earning any interest on that emergency fund you have stashed away. Check out a financial comparison website to see what’s in the market and get in touch with your financial providers or advisors to see what they can offer you.
Now, this list isn’t the definitive guide to getting your finances in order but it’s a good place to start. Hope you all have a happy and prosperous financial year!
Do you have a resolution for the new financial year? Let us know what it is in the comments below.
If you found this blog useful please share it using the buttons below.