Spring is about new beginnings and as we embark on the new tax year, it’s the perfect time to ‘spring clean’ your finances. Here are six easy steps to help you get your finances in order:
1. Evaluate your spending
Starting with your highest priorities, such as rent/mortgage and groceries, your outgoings are also likely to include some items that are ‘nice-to-have’ or no longer needed such as memberships or subscriptions. Our Budget Planner is a useful tool for reviewing your monthly income and expenditure. We all need our treats, but identifying where savings can be made will free up disposable income to make your financial goals more achievable.
2. Review your credit
Think about reducing your credit card limit or setting up a payment arrangement, such as a direct debit, to pay the balance in full each month and help keep spending in check. If you are struggling to keep track of multiple credit cards, consolidating all your credit cards into one card could be the solution. Moving to a low-rate credit card could also be an option, such as our award-winning Low Rate Visa Credit Card, which currently has one of the lowest ongoing purchase rates in the market.
3. Consolidate your debts
Do you have several debts, for instance, a car loan, a personal loan and multiple credit cards? If so, you could benefit from consolidating all of these different debts into a single loan. Paying the relevant charges for one loan is more cost effective, while arranging a single payment that’s aligned to your pay cycle will make managing your household budget easier. Consolidating your debts with one financial institution will also generate only one set of statements, which is much easier to review each month. Our Fair Rate Personal Loan can be used for debt consolidation purposes.
4. Sort out your savings
With interest rates currently at record lows, are you getting the best return on your savings? With a new tax year ahead, now is the best time to consider your options. As a member owned bank, we have developed a range of attractive savings and investment options especially for our members. If you are over 55 years of age and a recipient of either a Centrelink or Veterans Affairs Pension, or if you are a self-funded retiree, our Pensioner Plus Account is worth considering. Alternatively, our Bonus Saver and Term Deposits can also help you reach your savings goals.
5. Assess your home loan
If you took out a home loan a few years ago, your circumstances may have changed so review your options to ensure that your current home loan still works for you. There are various options that you can consider:
Refinancing could save you money and if you are coming to the end of your fixed term, you may want to switch to a variable option.
Accessing the equity in your home could help you achieve investment goals, perhaps to realise an overseas trip of a lifetime or ,if you have been inspired by TV renovation shows, you may wish to update your home with a new coat of paint, new kitchen or furnishings.
Establishing an offset account can help reduce your interest payments while allowing you access to funds when needed. You can use any additional funds, such as a tax rebate, pay rise or even small amounts, to help reduce the interest that you will pay over the term of your loan.
6. Get a free Financial Health Check
If your financial spring cleaning has raised questions about managing your finances or achieving your financial goals, we can help. We would be delighted to offer you a free Financial Health Check with one of our Mobile Lenders. Our Mobile Lenders are available to meet you at a time and place that suits you. Together we can help you achieve your financial goals. Contact us to arrange your appointment or book a Mobile Lender directly.