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The start of a new financial is the ideal time to give your finances a makeover. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young and saving for your first home, a single or double income family with children in education; or a retiree – everyone can benefit from rethinking their financial and lifestyle goals once in a while.
Here’s 8 ways to transform your finances:
1.) Think about your lifestyle goals. Before anything else, plan out what you personally want to achieve in the year ahead. This might include working toward purchasing a new home, a car or even just a small renovation to your home. Setting clear lifestyle goals is the key to driving your finances. After all, goals are what keep us focused.
2.) Revisit your budget: Consumers devote about two-thirds of their income to three key items – food, housing and transport. This is followed by debts to service, household costs and optimal items such as entertainment. Ensuring your budget is accurate is the best way to plan for the year.
3.) Review your insurances: Revisit your insurance policies every 12 months to ensure you’re adequately covered, and consider a full pricing review given that insurance prices vary constantly to ensure you’re getting the value and cover you need.
4.) Top up your superannuation: This is important no matter what your age. Super funds will accept as little as $50 a month, and over the course of your working life, this could amount to over $30,000 in your back pocket.
5.) Review payments: Not all debt is bad – in fact, some debt can be very advantageous, particularly if you’re on a higher income bracket. Examine your debt levels and rates of payments and think about whether you can accelerate non tax-deductible debt, pause or maintain minimum payments for deductible debts such as investment properties or margin loans.
6.) Track and review account statements: Holidays are the ideal time to check your account statements. Double check your credit card, home loan and bank account and superannuation statements for any erroneous transactions or errant fees. You may be surprised by what you find.
7.) Review your superannuation: It might feel like a long time until you can access your retirement savings, but this isn’t an excuse to let your super sit idle. Review your super fund’s annual statement and check employer contributions are being made, if your funds are being invested or saved, what your account fees are and whether insurances are attached.
8.) Get independent advice: An independent financial advisor can help you work through your objectives and create a plan to meet your financial goals. An independent expert can explain how you can achieve your financial milestones. Make sure you seek advice from an adviser with no affiliations with banks or insurance companies so you can be certain you’re receiving conflict-free advice. In many cases (such as with our firm), your first appointment is free.
If you would like to book an obligation-free appointment to see one of our advisers, please phone our office on (03) 9999 7200 or contact us here