Spring is here and summer is on its way, so where does that leave your finances? We’ve got some money tips that will help you get things in sorted just in time.
If debt is in the back of your mind or your need to get saving for the festive season pronto, here’s our Financy’s spring clean that may just help get you on the right track.
You say budget but we say spending plan!
This is as easy as writing down what money is coming in and what’s going out… The most difficult part is of course what you do next!
Ideally you want more money coming in than is going out because that obviously allows you to allocate funds towards your goals. This may mean reassessing where you can cut your spending.
There is a popular 50/30/20 rule which some financial advisers debate given differences in wages and individual needs, but it’s worth raising as a basis to help you segment your money.
The idea is that 50% of your income goes towards essential spending or your absolute needs, so your accommodation, meals and bills.
Then 30% goes to non-essential spending or your wants, such as that fortnightly manicure or massage.
Then 20% goes towards your money goal.
The Money Smart Budget Planner by regulator Australian Securities and Investments Commission is also just one of the many online budgeting tools and apps that not only help to save you time, but they are actually a bit of fun to do.
Consider debt consolidation
If you’re struggling with a range of debt repayments, from credit cards to loans, consider rolling them into the debt with the lowest interest rate or a zero per cent interest credit card.
This will help you to lower the amount you’re spending in repayments and gain also some peace of mind.
But depending on which debt you roll into what product, be aware that spreading small debt amounts into a long-term loan like a mortgage, could actually cost you a lot more in the long run.
Before you do anything also compare any new fees or rules linked to the product that you wish to roll everything into. Plus investigate if there are any penalties for wiping a debt and rolling it into another product.
Check your superannuation
Some superannuation funds are better than others when it comes to fees and performance. To compare them, you can check out research houses like Chant West or Super Ratings, and of course by examining your own statement.
But it’s important to note that despite the best efforts of research houses and other companies that try to compare super fund performance, there is still no apples-for-apples comparison list that takes into account all the diverse aspects of each super fund.
The other wise super spring clean you can do is to check whether you have any lost super by visiting the Australian Tax Office’s website.