For some of us, the thought of standing on the edge of a high balcony or watching the creepy steps of a spider is enough to make our skin crawl. But if it’s the financial boogie man that’s keeping you up at night, then what better month than October to face your fears. Here are seven money-focused things you can do this month that might seem scary at first, but are as harmless as a black cat.
Lodge tax return.
If you do your own taxes, October is the last month to lodge your tax return before you’re met with a horrific ‘failure to lodge’ penalty. If the October deadline isn’t enough to scare you into acting quickly, we’re sure the maximum penalty fine of $1050 is. The average tax refund currently sits at $2,122, so if you do manage to submit it on time, give yourself permission to think about all the things you’ll do with it!
Summer proof your energy bill.
Let’s just put it this way, if your winter bill felt a horror movie coming to life, then your summer bill will be the sequel. We’ve already seen sky high temperatures this spring, with summer predicted to be even hotter, so one of the best ways you can prepare for summer’s blaze is by shopping around on your energy provider now. Mozo’s data found that switching energy providers can help Aussies save up to $1,086 a year on their annual bill! And if you’re unsure on who’s got the cheapest electricity plan or best solar plans out there, we’ve just released our Experts Choice Electricity Awards to get you on the right track.
Go through bill pile.
You ever get the feeling that something or someone is watching you? It’s probably that bill pile you’ve neglected for far too long. This month, dust off the cobwebs from your bill pile. If it’s the mountain of paper that scares you away, you might want to think about automating certain bills, like your gym membership or home loan. But if paying the bill is the issue, use this month to shop around on phone plans, credit cards or any other bill you receive to make sure you’re still getting the best deal.
Check in on your home and contents cover.
This is the month for pumpkins, skeletons and lots and lots of lollies. While Halloween is an American holiday, many Aussie kids across the country enjoy ‘trick or treating’. But this festive activity could go sour if a child is injured or hurt on your property, making you personally liable. While you’ve got a whole month to prepare, quickly reread through your home and contents policy so that you have a firm understanding of what you will and won’t be covered for if there’s an accident or your property gets damaged. Make sure your driveway is cleared and clean by the 31st and if you are choosing to spook up your home, ensure that your decorations are firmly bolted down and are not a potential danger to children.
Start an all-cash diet.
With Christmas now only 2 months away, many of us are beginning to brace ourselves for the most priciest time of the year. One of the ways you can scare yourself into saving for the upcoming holiday is by starting an all-cash diet. Once you start paying for things with cash, slowly watching your money slip through your fingertips, you’ll be amazed at how reluctant you’ll be to spend money on unnecessary items or to overspend on your essentials, like weekly groceries.
Get on top of credit card debt.
Don’t be haunted by the ghost of post-holiday debt this Christmas. Make the move to get on top of credit card debt now by getting a 0% balance transfer credit card or upping your repayments so that by the time Christmas rolls around, you’re free of debt. Another way might be to consolidate your debt into one, manageable personal loan while paying it off at a lower rate.
Look into travel insurance for the school holidays.
There’s three things your kid looks forward to all year: their birthday, Christmas and school holidays. If you’re planning the perfect summer holiday, get your travel insurance sorted now. It won’t cost you any extra, but it means that you won’t be haunted by overseas hospital bills or cancellation charges if something does go wrong.
Want to conquer more of your financial fears? Check out Life and Money hub for more tips and tricks on you can get on top of your money.