Spring is the perfect time to take a look at your finances and reflect on what you have achieved in the last financial year, where you want to go this financial year, and what you need to do to get there.
- Manage your credit cards and other consumer debts
If you have personal loans, outstanding amounts on your credit cards or other debts currently being paid off, consider the interest rates you’re being charged and directing any extra money to the highest interest rate debt.
Combining all your debts into one loan at a lower interest rate can also be a way to reduce the time and cost to pay it off. Another option is to call your loan provider and find out if they are offering any deals with more favourable interest rates.
- Review your mortgage
If you have a home loan, spring is a great time to review it. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- What interest rate am I paying and is it competitive?
- How much has the loan balance changed in the last 12 months?
- Can I increase my payments or frequency of payments to save interest?
- Can I refinance for a better deal?
Call your loan provider and tell them that you are shopping around – they may review your rate. Otherwise, there are any number of comparison sites that can give you an idea of what rates are available.
- Get your super sorted
Whilst the government has recently increased the mandatory superannuation guarantee to 10%, you may want to consider if your retirement is on track. This generally means looking at when you want to retire and at what standard of living you desire. If you’re not on track, you may consider putting more away for retirement in the form of salary sacrifice or after-tax contributions to superannuation. Doing this may also provide a benefit at tax time next year, so it can be a win-win situation.
Most superannuation funds have calculators that can show you where you’re at with regard to retirement and the results can be eye-opening.
- Focus on learning better money habits
It’s never too late to start improving your money habits, a few easy places to start can be:
- Pay bills on time or set up direct debits to avoid late charges
- Review your budget
- Develop a savings habit by auto-depositing an amount each pay day into a separate bank account
- Listening to some great Aussie money podcasts.
If you have any questions, or need help implementing any of the strategies in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact Gallagher Benefits by phone or email. As a leading Employee Benefits consultant in Australia, we understand your individual and business priorities and needs.
Any advice included in this article has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, you should consider whether it’s appropriate to you, in light of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should look at any Product Disclosure Statements before making a decision about the products referred to in this article.