How to improve your financial situation without spending a cent
16 February 2022
Let’s face it, life gets busy and sorting out your finances isn’t the most appealing activity to use your spare time on. But, a little extra time spent on wealth management now could help put you and your family on the path to financial success.
Even if you can only afford 20 minutes each day, that adds up to over three hours over a week - time that you could be investing back into yourself and your family’s financial health.
So, what do I mean by investing that in your family? Essentially, doing all those little things that you always think you're going to do but never actually get to. And none of them will cost you a cent.
Investigate your insurance
The first one is to review all of your general insurance, that being your home, car, contents and also health insurance, to ensure you’re getting the best deal for the things you need.
My advice is to shop around. Our lives and needs are constantly changing so our insurance should match. There are a number of online comparison sites such as Canstar and comparethemarket, or financial services companies available that offer comparison services.
The second one concerns your utilities, which are creeping up every year. Shop around for your electricity, gas, internet and TV needs, along with any other subscription service you may have.
Jumping on the energy made easy website is a good place to start as it is run by the Government so provides free and impartial advice. You can also submit your bills to Findex Bills, who can compare service providers and facilitate the connections of new services to make sure you're getting a competitive deal.
Call your bank
Thirdly, I would strongly suggest you jump online or on the phone to your bank and ask for a better interest rate on any debt you may have. If you don't feel comfortable having this conversation with your bank directly then a lending and finance broker will be able to assist you.
Although it may require changing banks, which can include changing direct debits, the long-term benefit of paying 0.2% or 0.3% lower over the next five years will be significant.
The key here is if your payments reduce down on a monthly basis, and you are managing on the old payments then keep paying the higher payment to reduce down your debt levels quicker, which will in turn reduce down your interest rate costs.
A number of banks are also currently offering thousands of dollars in cashback offers if you refinance your home loan with them, so it pays to look around.
Build your budget
Lastly comes the discussion around budgeting and where your money is actually going. The first step in setting any budget is to analyse your current spending.
Most online banking applications have an easy facility to either analyse or download your transactions to review, so this is a good place to start. Once you understand where your spending is going, then you can assess the areas you’re happy with and the places you can afford to cut back on.
Next, create a budget for your family. If you find it difficult to save on a regular basis then some easy suggestions are to set up an automatic direct debit to go into a secondary savings account, or to use one of the savings applications which allows you to round up your transaction to the nearest dollar, with a rounded amount flying into a savings facility.
This is a way of subconsciously saving as we don't tend to notice it as much as when we transfer a physical chunk of money to a savings account.
Just a little bit of time spent on wealth management each day can set you up to meet your goals in both the long and the short term. To find out more, get in touch with us or find an adviser in your local area.
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