The new financial year has arrived and if you wished you had improved the ways you had managed your money, there is no better time than the present to right those wrongs. Start the year the way you intend to finish it by getting your taxes in order so that the process is as painless as possible next time around. Whilst in problem-fixing mode, it’s a good idea to iron out any other financial headaches too which are currently causing you issues.
Similar to a New Years resolution of improving fitness, the end of a financial year is the ideal time to do the same with your financial fitness. To help get you off to a flying start, here are some of the best ways to immediately begin turbo-charging your bank account this July.
Interest Rates Payable
If you haven’t checked this in the past then it’s one of the very first things you should be looking into. Check the rates of interest you are paying on things such as your mortgage, credit cards and any other forms of loans that you are liable for. Understanding your liabilities and at what rates will enable you to prioritise paying off the more expensive ones so that they stop costing you money every month.
The previous financial year may have shown weaknesses in your budgeting abilities and that’s ok, we are not robots. However, if you are aware of this weakness then it’s a great time to reorganise your spending so you don’t have the same feeling of regret this time next year. One of the best parts about setting a budget is that it’s so easy, open an Excel spreadsheet and start with what you earn. Then list all the expenses underneath to see what is coming in and going out every month. Then it’s time to get serious about what’s a want and a need and then stick to it.
Cash is King
Cash is king because it can be spent anywhere, but if you only take cash out with you then it also limits the amount you can overspend, making you king of your budgeting efforts. If you don’t believe me, try taking cash out to last you for a week and witness how much more conscious you immediately become each time you spend money. This will help you understand what a want and need is if you struggle to decipher the difference.
The 80:20 Rule
This is a great rule to follow, try putting aside 20% of everything you earn into savings each month, allowing you to spend 80% on your monthly requirements. If you try to create your spreadsheet for monthly expenses around this 80% figure then you instantly improve your financial health with this simple exercise, but obviously you need to stick to it each month.
If you left your taxes until last minute during the last financial year then this is your chance to get a grip and reduce your workload. Create a slot in your diary every month to enter each month’s incomings and outgoings. This activity wont simply allow you to keep everything organised, it will also show you where the mistakes are being made and how you can rectify them, overall making you more responsive.
If services are costing a large proportion of your monthly disposable income, it’s time to get tough and begin renegotiating with those providers. Yes, that means contacting the customer service departments of your mobile phone provider, credit cards and home loans etc. If they aren’t having it, threaten to walk away and see if they change their tune. No doubt if you do then the retention teams will be all over you like a rash trying to keep your business, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Restructuring of fees is how these financial providers rake the cash in and you could be one of their victims if you don’t stay on top of how much you are paying for their services. Read the fine print, check your balances regularly and try to ascertain where you money is going and whether it still needs to be going there. My recent article showed the Australian people that they paid $4.3 billion in fees last year, which could have been avoided.
It goes without saying, if you are borrowing money try to keep to your repayments without fail otherwise the additional costs you absorb due to late payments will only add salt to the wound. Take extra precaution and even set reminders on your mobile phone’s calendar to help you. It’s a double-edged sword, because if you are late you get charged for the privilege, plus your credit rating could be affected.
Additionally, if there is any tips or tricks that you use to keep on track, please feel free to share the with the Buckscoop community in the comments section below, we would love to hear your thoughts.