Most of us feel like we’ve been running around crazy since Christmas and New Year, and Easter is the first real break to come since the start of the year’s rat race. Although this is the perfect time to put your feet up and reflect on the first quarter of the year, it is also the ideal time to assess how your spending is tracking for the year so far and ensure you haven’t given up on those financial New Year resolutions.
Everyone’s goals are different when it comes to saving money, whether you’re trying to reign in the credit card debt, pay off your mortgage, or saving for your first home. No matter what the goal is though, it’s essential to keep revisiting the budget to make sure you’re heading in the right direction and should be reaching your goals in the timeframe you want.
It can be hard to know exactly where to begin, especially if you’re one of the many that feels there’s too much month left at the end of the money. Don’t worry you’re not alone, follow this list over the break and you’ll be right back on track!
UPDATE OR START A BUDGET
You can’t expect to reach a financial goal in a set amount of time without a budget, these two go hand in hand. It’s also essential to review your budget every few months to make sure it’s still working the way it needs to. A good general rule when it comes to budgeting is the 50/30/20 rule. 50% of your income to essentials, 30% to your lifestyle, and 20% into savings, although this varies depending on the household.
One of the greatest advances in technology (well, in our opinion) is the ability to pre-schedule payments from your accounts into other accounts! Most banks have apps now that do this, and it’s the perfect way to ensure you’re sticking to your budget. The day after pay day is the best day to divert money into savings, that way you don’t need to think about it and you know it’s the right amount every pay. Make your savings (or credit payments) a non-negotiable expense, this helps when temptation comes knocking and means you won’t overspend where you don’t need to. This also works really well for regular payments and prevents those late fees on your bills.
GET THE EMERGENCY SAVINGS GOING
Life is like a box of (Easter) chocolates, you really never know what you’re going to get. It should be a priority to have a savings account only dedicated to emergencies for those not so crash-hot weeks (or months) where your income may be disrupted. Aim for a minimum of three months living expenses, as maxing out credit cards in a situation like this will only add to your stress down the track. Set up a separate savings account, which can be done in as little as 10 minutes, and majority of banks offer these services online so you don’t even have to speak to anyone!
RID YOURSELF OF THE LAZY TAX
Four days off work is the perfect amount of time to look at your bills and make sure you’re not paying more than you need to. Car insurance, electricity, and your mortgage are all bills that can hit hard if you’re not careful. Staying loyal to your bank just because you’ve been tied in for so long only helps the lender, not you. Have a shop around this weekend and start to cut down unnecessary spending.
Speak to one of our finance specialists today to assist with mortgage refinancing or lending, why put it off?