6 ways to clean up your personal finances

Bringing your spending under control can sometimes feel daunting. Here are some ways to start.

More than a few titans of the finance world have suggested that earning money isn’t the hard part. Keeping it is.

Speaking to nestegg, 86 400 CFO Belinda Hogan shared a few tips for those looking to spring-clean their personal finances.

To start with, she recommended those looking to declutter and organise their expenses do a regular assessment of just where their money is going.

“You may have a firm understanding on when your regular bills are due, but since the pandemic, your expenses may have changed,” she said.

For example, Ms Hogan noted that working from home has meant less monthly spending on things like public transport or petrol costs.

“Whatever the case may be, re-examine your expenses by listing them from biggest to smallest. Once you’ve mapped this out, it will be easy to identify where you need to cut back, or where you’re actually saving,” she said.

After you’ve identified just where your money is going, Ms Hogan said that the natural next step is to dive a little deeper into them.

“This might sound basic, but when was the last time you sat down and made a budget or perhaps reviewed your current one? Now is the perfect time to reassess where you’re spending and what you can save on,” she said.

According to Ms Hogan, the bigger items at the top of your expense list are usually the hardest ones to eliminate. That being said, you can usually squeeze a little of savings out of each if you’re smart. Over time and added together, those small savings can add up.

“To bag those extra hip-pocket savings, reach out to your provider and ask them if you’re getting the best deal available to you,” she said.

For those who manage a “maze” of bank accounts, keeping track of your spending and saving can be especially hard. Trying to untangle your finances manually can be downright nightmarish at times, Ms Hogan admitted.

“The reality is many Aussies find this method overwhelming and off-putting,” she said.

As a shortcut to avoiding this, Ms Hogan recommended using a smart search app or tool.

Following the launch of open banking in Australia, numerous banks and budgeting apps now offer this functionality, which can make keeping track of your spending across multiple accounts a little easier.

While some expenses have gone down in lockdown, Ms Hogan noted that others have gone up. If you’re looking to rein in on your spending post-lockdown, she said that streaming services like Netflix are a good place to start.

On that note, she added that unsubscribing from marketing emails can be another less-obvious way to reduce your spending.

“It’s easier to not be tempted to buy another pair of yoga tights you don’t need if you don’t see that your favourite brand is 30 per cent off to begin with,” she said.

Ms Hogan’s final tip is one that many consumers fail to consider: super.

While superannuation is something many Australians prefer to set and forget, Ms Hogan said that it can pay to pay closer attention to it.

“Most Aussies don’t have regular visibility of their super and are blind to how much they have sitting in their accounts, the fees and insurance they’re paying, and how it’s performing,” she explained.

Pointing to the Australian Taxation Office’s recently released Your Future comparison tool, she recommended consumers make time for a deep dive to see where they can save money with their super fund.

If you need help to manage your money more confidently, give us a call at 08 8211 7180 or at info@centramoney.com.au

Article courtesy of Nestegg

 

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