Five steps to buff up your finances
IT’S time to get fiscal, and pump up your financial wellbeing.
The new financial year is a great opportunity to boost financial fitness – and it doesn’t involve working up a sweat.
ME’s Head of Deposits and Transactional Banking, Nic Emery, offers a 5-point fitness regime to get your money matters looking trim, taut and terrific.
Check your financial pulse
Is your credit card debt under control; are you growing regular savings; do you have a pool of emergency funds to fall back on?
What about your home loan – are you sure it’s competitively priced, and are you making additional payments to get ahead with the loan? Are you juicing your finances too much? Overspending is seriously bad for your financial health, and an early warning sign can be a bloated credit card balance.
To get cash under control, you need to know exactly what your spending habits look like.
The government’s free TrackMySpend app is useful for recording daily spending or simply maintain a handwritten spending diary for a month.
When you know where your money is going, draw up a budget.
Your budget will also highlight areas where you can cut back spending to free up cash for saving or investing. Detox your finances - whittle away debt Your overall debt is important, but some types of debt are worse for your financial health than others.
In particular, relying on high interest debt to pay for items of no lasting value is the fiscal equivalent of carrying unwanted kilos.
Detox your finances by aiming to clear high interest debt – like credit card or store card balances, with extra repayments.
Or consider switching to a low rate credit card.
Savings on interest charges make it easier to clear the debt sooner.
Tone your savings
Personal savings is one muscle group none of us can afford to overlook. Savings are the foundation of wealth and can provide a financial lifeline when unexpected expenses crop up.
Your budget will show how much you can set aside in regular savings.
Now make it happen by organising an automatic funds transfer from your everyday bank account to a high interest savings account.
Time the transfer to coincide with pay days to be sure you give savings (rather than spending) top priority. Aim for a personal best Debt under control? Check. Action taken to grow savings? Check. All that remains is to set some financial goals to work towards.
Make your goals realistic and achievable
No matter whether you’re aiming to buy a first home, give your kids a quality education or build funds for retirement, the goals you set today could set you up for your best financial year ever.