Financial Year Tips

Financial Year Tips

With the new financial year upon us, it’s time to get organised for the year ahead, and even a savings plan for the biggest spending time of the year; Christmas. Now is a good time to make changes and develop a savings plan for the new financial year.

Sit down with your family and go through your records.

Look at how much you’re spending, the size of your credit card bills and look at how to save money monthly. Look at the income coming in, and try to work out where it all goes. If you would like a Holiday, or new car, set your self a goal or savings plan, and budget to put some money aside for it each month.


Update your family budget

Start with your family budget. It needs to be updated on a regular basis to stay relevant. You should make a list of all the expences that have occured each month in the last financial year, and see if those expences are likely to occur again.

Some of them may be ‘one offs’ but remember that a different unexpected expence can crop up; and when you least expect it, or want it, so always budget for some money in reserve.
Update any expenses or sources of income that have changed, like higher mortgage repayments or recent pay changes. If you do have excess cash each month work out the best way to use it; which does not mean spend it, have a savings account in healthy surplus. If you are spending more than you are making, you need to either cut spending, and should know How to Reduce Expenses, or increase your income; or both.


Check your bills

We all swipe a card at the supermarket checkout or pay bills by direct debit and loose track of how much we actually do spend. Always keep your bank statements, which show these spending amounts, and the location. See how much the utility bills, mobile phone bills, and grocery bills etc. were each month. Check whether you’re sticking to your budget estimates each month, and compare your bills to the previous quarter or the same time last year and notice any increases. If there are try to work out why, and make a correction.


Read your bank statements

Take the time to go through your bank statements. Have a look at where your money is coming from and where it is going. If you notice any transactions that don’t mean anything to you, take this up with your bank, and ideally this should be done as soon as the statement comes in.

Add up the fees you’re being charged on your transaction account, savings account and especially your credit card. You may be able to reduce the amount you pay by changing your banking habits. For example, always paying the minimum amount on your credit card on time or avoiding cash advances. Compare other lenders or credit card providers if you’re not happy with your current deal, and budget a weekly amount to take out cash when you are paying for your weekly groceries so you don’t need to visit atm’s and pay more fees.


Keep track of debt

Don’t let spending get out of control and credit card debt mount up. Keep track of what you owe and start paying it off with any excess savings you can accumilate each month. If you ignore your financial problems they will only get worse.

Paying down debt should be your first priority instead of saving for that holiday. Any spare cash should go towards getting rid of debt, like paying off any credit card debt, you may be paying up to 20 per cent in interest. Then look at any personal loans you may have, like car loans, and lastly your mortgage (generally your cheapest debt) but it is amazing how much money you can save by puttting a little extra money each month on it.


Make a savings goal

Now you’ve got your day-to-day finances under control, it’s time for big picture stuff. While your still together as a family, talk about where you want to be financially in the medium; say 1 year time and long term; say 2 to 5 years time.
Set goals and work out how you’re going to reach them with a savings plan. Paying off the mortgage as soon as possible or making contributions to superannuation if your over 40 are two of the best goals you can set. Read more about savings tips.

Share your money goals for the new financial year.