Category: Money Matters
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Sub category: Spending

Five tips for getting your finances on track

Whether you’re already making good progress or have fallen by the wayside, here are five tips for making sure your finances are still on track coming towards the end of the year.

1. Be aware of your outgoings

Want to get your spending under control? Being aware of your outgoings is a good place to start.

Compare how much money is coming into your account with how much you are spending to get a clear picture of whether you need to cut back, and by how much. Analyse your spending habits over the past month – were those purchases all necessary? What could you have gone without?

2. Reassess your commitments

The trouble with direct debits is that it’s all too easy to forget about them – which is great if you’re direct debiting money into your savings account, but not so good when you’ve signed up for something and forgotten about it.

Look at all your direct debits over the past year, and assess whether you still need them in place. If you’re not using your gym membership or not reading your magazine subscription, perhaps it’s time to cancel and put the money to better use elsewhere.

3. Get the best deal

Most of us have some sort of utility bills or insurance coverage to pay for, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of staying with the same providers for an extended period without comparing what’s on offer elsewhere.

Your mobile phone contract or annual travel insurance are just a couple of areas where it could pay to seek out a better deal rather than simply renew.

4. Start an emergency fund

Aussies have identified approximately 3 months’ income as an ideal amount to have saved for a rainy day, according to ING DIRECT’s Financial Wellbeing Index. You might never need it, but having some cash set aside gives you peace of mind in case you’re hit with an unexpected crisis.

Don’t have a ton of cash to spare? That’s fine, just start small and save steadily. Even $20 a week will add up to over $1000 over the course of a year!

5. Direct Debit your savings

Make saving a non-negotiable part of your financial behaviour by setting up a regular transfer from your everyday to your savings account. If you can organise with your employer to transfer a proportion of your pay directly to your savings before it even hits your transaction account, then even better!

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