The beginning of spring is not only a good time to clean out your wardrobe, pantry and cupboards, but it’s also a great time to spring clean your finances.
If you haven’t reviewed your financial situation in a while, you may find that you are spending more money than you need to. Take a look at these tips below to see how you can re-organise your finances and start afresh this spring.
Automatic repayments are a life saver for helping you pay bills on time. If you are guilty of missing payment deadlines more than once, then automatic repayments will be extremely beneficial. Most financial institutions will have scheduled direct debit options available on internet banking and so instead of having to worry about when bills are due, it will happen automatically. Late payment fees can add up as well so by scheduling your repayments you could be savings as well.
Missed or late repayments can have a negative effect on your borrowing power if you decide to apply for a home loan or other credit down the track. So, keeping on top of your repayments will benefit you in lots of ways.
Add up reward points
Do you have multiple reward cards, but have no idea how many points you’ve saved? Gather all of your cards and add up all the points you have (e.g. credit card points, frequent flyer points). Many of these rewards have an expiration date and your money could go to waste if these points aren’t redeemed in time.
Also spend this time looking over all of your loyalty and rewards cards. Do you need all of them? Are there fees involved with having these cards and do they outweigh the benefits? If so, consider cancelling them.
Look out for mystery charges
How often do you look over your bank statement? Do you know where every single dollar is going when it comes out of your account? Just by looking over your statement, you may find that there are old subscriptions you’ve forgotten about or you are being charged for something you shouldn’t be. These mystery charges could be taking a significant chunk of your change each month.
Organise your paperwork
Part of the reason why you may be less willing to review your budget regularly may be due to the mountain of paperwork sitting on your desk. Having a tidy, easy-to-use system will help you keep track of your finances better. Set aside an afternoon where you can sit down and sort out what paper you do and don’t need.
Many companies are now going paperless, which means you can store all of your important documents on the computer. But, if you prefer to have a hard copy of your statements and documents, create a filing system where you can easily reference each financial commitment.
Find a better deal
It doesn’t matter if it is your home loan, credit card or even your weekly grocery bill, there are ways to find a better deal.
Your home loan is probably going to be one of your biggest financial commitments, so it is worth the time to ensure you are getting the best deal. Shop around and see what other lenders are offering. There are a number of free tools available online which can help calculate how much money you could save if you switched lenders. The home loan calculators available on the State Custodians website help calculate repayments as well as savings using an offset account and extra repayments. Do the sums and use this as motivation to take action.
With spring just around the corner, now is the time to spend some time to see how you can improve your financial situation.