The End of Financial Year is looming and there’s no better time to get your finances sorted for the financial year ahead.
Put aside that guilt of giving up on your new fitness plan at some point in February. It’s time to talk End of Financial Year’s resolutions.
Let this be the last year that you approach the end of June wondering whether you’ve set enough aside to pay your tax bill. These 10 simple actions will help you take control of your bank balance during the next financial year.
- Spend less than you earn
We’ve put this at number 1 for a reason: it’s the basic principle behind saving money for the future. Yet, it’s surprising how many people never really think about it or apply it to their own finances.
- Create a budget and don’t let it slide
It doesn’t matter what state your finances are in, the first step to improving them is a budget. Use an app, a spreadsheet or the back of an envelope – it doesn’t have to be complicated as long as you know how much is coming in and going out each month. Then, refer to point 1. If you’re spending more than you’re earning, you need to do an honest evaluation of the things you really need versus the things you just really want.
- Follow the 80:20 rule
Savings should be a part of your budget, otherwise you’ll never have any. Aim to put 20% of your income towards savings or extra debt repayments. The remaining 80% is for everything else (including your standard loan repayments). You’ll find this much easier to do if you set aside the 20% as soon as you get paid.
- Check all of your loan rates
What interest rate are you paying on your mortgage? How about that car loan? Credit card? Hmmm. If you don’t know, then how can you prioritise paying off the highest ones first? Clearing your high-rate debt faster will save you more in the long run.
- Use a financial calendar
Wouldn’t it be great if all your expenses could be spread into equal monthly amounts? Sadly this isn’t how it works in the real world, but you can still plan ahead so nothing comes as a surprise. Your financial calendar should include things like registration, insurance, holidays and birthdays.
- Only spend cash
Once you know from your budget how much you have to spend each month or week, set aside that amount in cash and leave your cards at home. You can’t overspend if the money isn’t there. The added benefit of this is you’ll probably become much more aware of how much you’re handing over if you pay with cash rather than a card.
- Team up for financial accountability
A like-minded money buddy can be a great source of support and inspiration. Keep in touch to share tips and keep each other accountable.
- Threaten to swap providers
You’re probably paying out money to a lot of different companies each month – for phone bills, loans, utilities, insurance… the list goes on. But are you getting the best deal from each of them? Try calling them up to say you’re considering moving to one of their competitors. They have whole teams of people whose job it is to stop you from walking away, and you might be surprised at the incentives they offer for you to remain their customer.
- Minimise your fees
Financial providers don’t just make their money from interest; they like to hit you with fees wherever possible, too. Credit card providers are particularly sneaky with this. If you’re being charged an extra fee every time you go to an ATM or make a purchase, you could save a lot by changing your spending habits.
- Pay bills on time
Late bill payments will almost certainly result in extra fees and may even damage your credit rating. Stay on the right side of your providers by always paying early or on time. You can set up direct debits or phone alerts to help with this.
Some of these things may require a bit more time and commitment than others, but they are all doable. When combined, they could be the most powerful End of Financial Year’s resolutions you’ve ever made. If you don’t know where to start talk to us – we’re your very ‘unordinary’ finance people.