Four tips for spring cleaning finances
SPRING is here, providing an excellent opportunity to sweep out the financial cobwebs and turn messy money into a tidy budget to achieve your goals.
Our latest Cost of Living research revealed failing to start a budget and delaying establishing financial goals are two of the most common forms of procrastination when it comes to money.
This tendency to put things off can be costly, both in terms of unnecessary spend and missed opportunities.
To get ahead of the curve and avoid this sneaky drain on household resources, it's helpful to do an annual review to make sure your budget is up to date.
Here are a few of my top tips for getting your financial house in order.
Health check your accounts: it's easy to underestimate how much can change in a year. If you've experienced a big change like starting a new job, adding a family member or moving house, you might have out of date account details, expense structures or direct debits. This is also a great opportunity to check in on your super and see if there's an opportunity to consolidate accounts or if you could be making additional contributions towards retirement.
Prioritise your paperwork: with tax time in the rear-view mirror, there's a good chance you've got stray paperwork floating around. Take the time to file or scan what you need to keep, and shred what you don't. If you're still getting paper statements, check to see if you can opt for online versions to help reduce the clutter.
Revisit your insurance: the start of spring also marks the arrival of another important period for many of us: bushfire, storm and cyclone season. As well as making sure you've got your home and contents adequately insured for these big events, now is the perfect time to revisit your level of cover across the board. Review changes to your policies and ensure they're up to date in terms of who and what's covered. Don't forget you can often get multi-policy discounts or change your excess to reduce premiums.
Make time to talk: Once you've finished giving your finances a good spring clean, start a conversation with your loved ones about your financial goals for the next year. Start new savings targets, measure yourself against old goals and align your budgets. Friends and family can be important allies for achieving dreams and growing financial confidence, and if you have any joint savings plans it's especially important to make time to talk and keep each other on track.