25 Feb 2015
How financially fit are you? Here are ten tips on how to take charge of your money.
1. Start with a check-up
If you are managing your household budget from week to week, you may find it hard to find time to plan other aspects of your finances. A good way to start is to complete a financial health check. Answer simple questions about your finances and get an overview on which areas need attention.
2. Track where your money goes
Do you know where all your money goes each week? If you're not sure, you might want to take a snapshot of your spending. Record what you spend over a week or fortnight (for example by using MoneySmart's free smartphone app TrackMySpend). This helps you see where your money is going and where you can cut back. You'll be amazed how much you can save.
3. Don't dream it, do it
Have you been putting off your dream car, house, holiday or investment property? You could set up a direct debit into a separate high interest savings account every payday and start making your dreams a reality.
4. Diarise your big bills
If you find it hard to manage paying for big bills like car service, insurance or electricity, make a note in your diary or calendar on the date these bills are usually due. Then put some money aside each pay so you are prepared for them to come.
5. Get off the credit card roundabout
Does thinking about your credit card bill make you nervous? Make a plan to pay off your credit cards in full. Your Financial Adviser can assist you with this. If you can't resist spending, you could consider a debit card instead.
6. Prepare for change in your life
What if you suddenly split up or your partner passes away or loses their job? It can be a shock to have to deal with everything on your own. To ensure you are protected, make sure you know how your joint finances work and have access to them. This includes your bank accounts, will, super and investments. You could also attend one of PSK's client seminars on Estate Planning.
7. Bridge the super gap
Sick of hearing reports about the gap between men and women's super? Take action now. Whatever your age, it pays to consolidate your super into one fund and make extra contributions if you can. Talk to your Financial Adviser for more information.
8. Resist loan pressure from your family
If your partner or children ask you to be a guarantor or co-borrower on a loan, don't sign up until you know what you are signing and the consequences. You will be liable for the full amount if they default on the loan.
9. Don't lose sleep about your debts
If your debts are getting out of control or you are struggling to make ends meet, it is important to act quickly. There is help available. Your Financial Adviser can help you get a clear picture of your situation, understand your options and work out a budget.
10. Build wealth for your future
If you have some spare money, you could consider generating another income stream like buying property or investing in a managed fund.
If you would like to meet with your PSK Adviser, call us on 02 9324 8888 or click here.
Article source: ASIC's MoneySmart: You and your money