Spring Clean Your Finances

Why do you need to spring clean your finances, you may ask? The answer is simple: the right housekeeping can yield substantial dividends in your personal finances.  Whether you work on your mortgage, budget, savings or personal insurance, your financial affairs can get a boost. Here are some tips you can use now to revamp your personal finance.

Refresh your budget

A well-planned budget will help you to manage your finances more efficiently. It helps you to keep track of your income and expenses. But expenses and income change over time and you should review your budget regularly (and evaluate which expenses are taking up too much money). You will also find areas where you can save and speed up the payment of your mortgage.  To make it easier to set up a functional budget, you can use this online budget planner.

Take the dust off your super account

The state of your super fund gives you a glimpse of life after retirement. That’s why you should get your super statement, the electronic or printed copy, and examine it carefully. After looking at it, what should you do to blow cobwebs off your super account?

First, combine all your super accounts if you have more than one. Next, choose an investment option based on how close you are to your retirement. If you are over a decade away from retirement, you can pick an investment with higher risk. Then increase your contribution to your super account. This will reduce your weekly contribution as you get closer to retirement.

Renegotiate your mortgage

Periodically, you should find out whether you can save some money by switching loan providers. Compare your home loan with loans offered by other lenders.  For instance, comparing home loans by using various online tools provided by companies like Lendi and Canstar will help you to see how much you can save on a new mortgage.

You may even get your lender to give you a better deal by telling them you want to switch to another lender. If you get a cheaper loan, keep paying your present amount so you can pay the loan faster and still save interest.

Revive your savings

Your regular savings can give you more interest. But you may not enjoy higher rates until you shop around. Find out whether there are other lenders and banks that give higher rates. Term deposits usually give higher interest than an ordinary savings account while at-call savings offer higher rates than term deposits. If you haven’t been saving consistently or your savings have remained static for over a year, you need to focus on building up your savings.

Re-examine your home insurance

After working hard on acquiring your assets, you shouldn’t leave them unprotected. Look around your home for any uninsured items you’ve bought over the last few years. For instance, you may have things like electronic equipment, appliances and furniture that are not included in your home and contents insurance plan.

Also, if you’ve done some major renovations or remodelling in your home, you need to re-evaluate the cost of said property. It’s time to talk to your insurer about updating your home insurance policies.

Protect your income with personal insurance

Income protection insurance helps you to cover living expenses when you are not able to work. When you have an injury or illness, you won’t need to lower your living standards. Some insurers and super fund managers offer this type of cover. But what happens when your pay increases? Most policies don’t change when your pay rises or you get promoted at work. So you must contact your insurer and let them know that you need to adjust your income protection policy.

Make wise investments

If you have lofty financial goals for the coming years, you can achieve them faster by making good investment decisions. Get some financial advice from experienced investors. They will help you to understand the risks involved in various investment options. Some of the investment options you may consider include: shares, mutual funds, property, bonds, Forex trading and debentures.

If you are deep in debt or your income cannot meet the basic needs of your family, you should consider getting free financial counselling and legal advice fast, so you don’t end up filing for bankruptcy.