I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly glad the winter months are coming to an end and spring is about to kick in.
While this new season is typically known as the ideal time to give your home an overhaul, it’s also the perfect opportunity to do the same for your finances.
So for this week’s moneyvator, I propose you start the new season afresh, by giving your finances a spring clean in 5 simple steps.
1. Ditch the debt.
Have you racked up some debt on your credit card thanks to the EOFY sales and your winter vacay? Don’t worry it happens to the best of us. And with this being a new season, now is the perfect time to transfer that debt over to one of the many interest free offers available in the market.
Just make sure you calculate exactly how much you need to repay each month so you can get rid of that debt within the balance transfer period, as these cards are notorious for reverting to a rate that bites. And once you’ve moved the balance across, don’t forget to cancel the old card, especially if you’re paying a high annual fee.
2. Review your insurance.
Whether it’s your car, health or home insurance, most of us don’t bother reassessing the terms of a policy we bought years ago. And before we know it, we’re paying for all these extras thanks to auto-renewal. So don’t fall for the classic set and forget trap, instead take the time to review your contracts and make the switch if you find a cheaper deal.
3. Switch energy plans.
Did you know many energy providers hiked up there electricity prices this year? The impact on your power bills is they are now likely higher than usual. Since it can take up to three months to switch your energy plan, this is the ideal time to compare the cheapest energy providers in your area and calculate just how much you could be saving by switching your retailer, before the summer months kick in and your aircon usage along with it.
4. Plan a realistic budget.
Once you’ve reviewed your major spending areas, it’s also important to give your budget some love. The best way to do this is by using an online budget calculator, which will show you where your money is going and the amount you have left to put towards your savings. Of course the cash leftover should be stashed in a high interest savings account. Or if you already have some cash saved up, consider stashing it away in a term deposit for a long-term savings plan, as rates on these accounts have seen a recent spike.
5. Say hello to money saving habits.
If you find after that budgeting exercise, you are actually spending way more than you should, take a moment to consider some of the areas you can cut back on. It might be as simple as giving up a vice like smoking, drinking or junk food. Think about it, if you spend an average of $50 a week on drinks, you could save around $200 a month.
Of course, you don’t need to give up everything altogether, but there’s no harm in letting go of one bad habit a month and who knows, you may even start enjoying a healthier, more money savvy lifestyle!
So what do you think? Are you up for a money saving spring challenge? If you have any other budget savvy tips for our readers, don’t forget to share them in the comments section below!