Set your yearly financial goals
Just like New Years resolutions (Hopefully these you keep) you should annually make time to review the financial goals you have set for yourself, see how you are tracking with last years goals, and set new goals for the next year. This is about making yourself accountable and make sure you are always moving forward, life changes, so do your financial goals, which is why you should review these regularly.
Review your budget
Hopefully you have some sort of budget in place, if not, Spring is a perfect time to sit down and write one. To get ahead you need to know where your money is going. If you do have a budget, there might be expenses that have changed so update your budget accordingly. Remember always make sure you are trying to save at least 15% of your wage.
Order an annual credit file check
You can order one free copy of your credit file per year. Your Credit score is your financial foot print, it is what banks and creditors will use to determine if you are able to get a loan, it is important to check it regularly There might be a bill you have missed or an accidental black mark that goes against you which could potentially stop you from buying that new home you are working towards. You can order a free copy through www.mycreditfile.com.au.
Sort out your super
Consolidating and sorting out your superannuation may be one of the jobs you have been putting off for years, but it is important to spend the time reviewing it. You have 9.5% of your wage going into it every pay, and that percentage is only going to increase so wouldn’t you like to know where your money is going? Spend time finding any old super statements you have, contact the superfunds and see if you still have a balance and if you have insurance in place and consider which product might suit you best. The ATO also offers a free search to try to locate any lost superfunds which is through the link below. All you need is your Tax File Number and they will locate lost superfunds for you.
It is a good idea to seek financial advice before rolling over any superannuation funds. We can help to ensure you don’t lose valuable insurance, work out how much insurance you need, which product suits you best, and what to invest your money in. Alternatively, we can help do all the hard work for you by finding your superannuations and getting the information for whats in them, book an appointment at Profolio today.
Check your insurances
Speaking of insurances, now might be a great time to compare not only your personal insurances such as life, total permanent disability and income protection as found inside your superannuation fund but also your car, house, contents and any other insurance you have.
As your life changes your insurance needs changed and what worked for you last year might not be the same and you never know you might save money.
Don’t know how much insurance you actually need? Speak to one of our Financial Advisors and they can help calculate it with you completing an Insurance Needs Analysis. Remember; a majority of Australians are underinsured, you don’t want to leave your family without if something happened to you.
Consider interest free periods for transfers of credit card balances
If you have somehow let your debt get away from you over Winter, now is a great time to look at it. Have you built up a balance on your credit card you are not able to pay down in the interest free period? Consider rolling credit cards over to a credit card with an interest free period to pay off debt faster. Remember, once the card is rolled over, cancel your existing credit cards and if possible do not activate your new card. Work out what you need to repay each payment to pay off the balance in the interest free period and set this up as automatic payments with your bank so you know it will be done.
By consolidating your debt and saving interest where you can, you may be able to roll car and personal loans into your house loan to save on interest, keep in mind however, to maintain the loan term at the old period, you don’t want to be paying off that old commodore in 30 years time when the Commodore is long gone! Always remember what the debt was for. Plus it is a good idea to review your current mortgage at least every 4 years as products are forever changing and you may be able to get a better deal. But remember before making any changes seek advice from a professional. Call our office today to organise an obligation free ‘Mortgage Health Check’ with one of our Mortgage Brokers.
Shed your Winter debt weight
Now that you’ve looked at your debt and looked at ways you can save on interest, its time to put a plan in place to pay that debt off. Unless it is debt for an investment it is BAD DEBT (bad debt is debt that gives you no real value, with good debt you are able to claim a tax deduction for the interest), work out a plan to get rid of this debt faster!
Sort your receipts and make sure you are up to date with your taxes
Like most people, I struggle with receipts, it sits in a tray in the office and at tax time I rummage through it and try to tell my accountant I have been diligently filing all year. If you haven’t done your tax for the year yet, make the time to get this done. Chances are you will get a refund and the hour of prepping is well worth the pay.
Make an appointment with your financial advisor to make sure you are on track with your financial plan
Before acting on advice you should always discuss your personal circumstances with a professional. A Financial Planner is great because we are in your corner with you, helping you achieve your goals, we can help make you accountable and give you the extra edge with your finances and investing. Who else is going to champion you to succeed? If you already have a financial planner you should be reviewing your situation with them at least annually.