The new financial year is a good time to get back on track.
The new financial year is a good time to make a plan for getting your finances back on track. Here are five simple steps to help you on your way.
1. Set some goals
No matter how far-reaching they are, it’s good to have something on which to set your sights. Once you have highlighted areas on which you wish to concentrate, be it increasing your superannuation balance, clearing your credit card debt or planning a trip of a lifetime, it’s time to set your budget. For tips on how to create a realistic budget, visit Moneysmart.gov.au
2. Use your tax refund wisely
Once you receive your cheque from the ATO, consider how you’re going to spend your ‘windfall’. It could be for something useful such as clearing your credit card debt, boosting your superannuation or starting a ‘rainy day’ savings fund. Or perhaps you have a household appliance that needs replacing or repairing. Either way, it’s your hard-earned money so try not to squander it.
3. Understand your super statement
Rather than just ‘filing’ your superannuation statement when it arrives, take some time to read it and understand just how your investment is progressing. Check with Superratings.com.au how super funds are performing in general and use this information as a gauge to assess your own. Also, confirm what fees you are paying and compare these to other funds; it may pay to switch.
4. Start filing those receipts
Whether it’s simply popping them in a shoebox or creating a comprehensive filing system, start the new tax year by keeping your receipts handy. Then, when tax time swings around next year, you may be surprised at just how much more you’re able to claim. If filing isn’t your strong point, then a low-interest credit card, which you pay off each month, is a good way to track expenses.
5. Arrange a financial health check
Rather than plodding along thinking that your finances are under control, take the time to review your income and outgoings and how your money management is shaping up for the future. Your bank can arrange a free financial health check with a consultant, or you can make an appointment to see a financial counsellor free of charge if you feel your finances are out of control. An initial appointment to see a financial planner is usually free but there will be costs involved if you wish to take their advice further. Or you can use the YourLifeChoices Financial Health Checklist to see if your finances are on track.