Staying in control of your money beyond the end of financial year
The end of the financial year is often the annual check-in for many Australians on just how much they’ve spent in a year.
Instead of waiting for June to stay on top of your finances, here are 5 tips you can stick to all year round to feel in control, have greater visibility over your spending and reduce any lingering financial anxiety.
Visualise your expenses by creating a list
You may have a firm understanding on when your regular bills are due, but since the pandemic, your expenses may have changed. Working from home might have reduced your monthly public transport expense, or perhaps you’ve increased your petrol payments due to part time office hours.
Whatever the case may be, re-examine your expenses by listing them from biggest to smallest. Once you’ve mapped this out, it will be easy to identify where you need to cut back.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your provider
The bigger items at the top of your expense list are always the harder ones to eliminate — think utility bills, mortgage repayments, rent and so on.
To bag extra hip pocket savings, reach out to your provider and ask them if you’re getting the best deal available to you? Banks and financial institutions have teams dedicated to supporting you in developing a payment plan or possibly even pausing payments. Take advantage of their help, as savings could only be a phone call away.
Use a smart search app tool
Navigating your way through a maze of multiple accounts and banks in the search for a certain payment, is simply a nightmare! The reality is many Aussies find this method overwhelming and off putting.
Instead of manually looking for vendor-specific spending across your banks and accounts simultaneously, utilise a search tool within your bank app.
For our customers, we recently launched ‘Smart Search’ to put the financial power back in Aussies' hands. The feature provides filters to help our customers pinpoint a transaction from months or a few days ago, but it was mainly designed to help Aussies stay in control even when they splurge.
Invest in yourself through low cost hobbies
One of the most common money saving tips is to ‘rethink your subscriptions and memberships’, but there is truth in it. Clear out those subscriptions you no longer use such as a fitness app you opened whilst gyms
Take up a new low cost hobby that will encourage you to save and get outdoors i.e. painting, hiking, visiting museums and galleries with no entrance fee or even Tuesday trivia nights with friends and family.
Don’t be hard on yourself
Once you’ve cleaned the slate, re-evaluated your finances and mapped out your short term financial goals, remember not to be too hard on yourself.
Yes, it’s important to stick to your plan and at times it can be hard to stay motivated (particularly if life throws an unexpected curveball). But it’s important that your savings goals are making you feel good. It’s better to feel a sense of accomplishment than depletion.
Author: Belinda Hogan, Chief Financial Officer at Australia's First Smart Bank, 86 400