Sit back and read these five recommendations to help you budget, save, and put money back in your pocket if you need a little additional encouragement to re-evaluate your finances.
1. Get rid of your old service provider and switch to a better one
Are you worried about how working from home affects your energy bills? How about the interest rate on your house loan right now?
Don’t be complacent any longer – a new fiscal year necessitates immediate action! Don’t be hesitant to switch if you believe your utility, banking, or insurance providers aren’t providing you with the value for money you deserve. After all, in most circumstances, loyalty isn’t rewarded. That’s why re-evaluating your existing offerings and switching to a better deal could be one of the most straightforward methods to save thousands of dollars.
2. Reconsider your saving goals
Given the widespread influence COVID-19 has had on most Australians, it’s understandable if they’ve strayed in the interim. Maybe you were planning a trip to Japan later this year, but it’s been postponed in favour of a domestic vacation? Perhaps COVID-19’s economic crisis has encouraged you to start saving for an emergency fund for the first time, or even redoubled your efforts to save for a first home?
Whatever your objective is, now is the moment to rethink it and devise a new approach to attain it. Working out where the best spot to save your money should be a component of that strategy.
If you don’t plan on accessing your funds for a while, a term deposit, which provides a fixed rate of return for a certain length of time, can be worth considering (generally from 3 months to five years).
A savings account, on the other hand, may be a better option if you prefer the idea of being able to access your money in an emergency.
3. Review your budget
It’s never too late to make a few tweaks. From dropping one of your less successful New Year’s Resolutions to reducing your takeaway spending, there are plenty of methods to minimise your expenditure and get your budget back on track. Do you need to start from the beginning? Because circumstances vary, update your income and expense information in a budget calculator to observe how your financial situation has altered.
Finding ways to rebalance your budget doesn’t mean you have to live a life of full restraint right away. It might be as simple as practising fiscal restraint.
4. Prioritise and ditch your debt
When it comes to debt, there is no such thing as wasted time. First and foremost, determine which of your loans has caused you the greatest distress this year. When you have a car loan or credit card debt that is burning a deeper hole in your pocket, it’s pointless to focus on your student loan or HECS debt, which is growing at the national rate of inflation.
Do you have a lot of debts or credit cards to pay off? A debt consolidation loan may be the best option for you, since it will allow you to consolidate all of your debt into a single loan with (hopefully) a lower interest rate. If paying off credit card debt is the goal, finding a 0% balance transfer plan that allows you to focus on paying off your debt rather than just interest payments may be a good choice.
5. Maximise your tax refund
One of the first financial tasks we tackle in the new fiscal year is filing a tax return. Rather than racing through it as quickly as possible, it’s worth taking the time to make sure you’re either getting the most out of your tax return or paying the least amount of tax possible.
Because of COVID-19, which allows millions of Australians to work from home, tax returns have become a little more intriguing than usual, with the ability to claim everything from internet and phone charges to office setups and stationery.
That’s on top of any standard deductions you’re entitled to in your industry for the financial year, as well as any additional concessions or outstanding commitments. Remember, you may be expected to produce proof for many of your claims, so make sure you have all of your documents and receipts in order beforehand.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended as legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such. Before making any commitment of a legal or financial nature you should seek advice from a qualified and registered Australian legal practitioner or financial or investment advisor.