With the start of the warmer weather, for many this is the perfect time to think about spring-cleaning. The feeling you get from achieving organisation in your life can often create peace, when you step into the house after a long day of work and the drawers are clean, there is nothing hiding under the couch and you get that instant gratification of house pride.
Have you ever thought about applying these concepts to your financial situation? Many of us at one time or another fall into the trap of thinking things are under control, and not delving beneath the surface for fear of what may be hiding under there.
Being in the early stages of a new financial year is a great time to organise your finances, here are three ways to add some order:
How many times have you looked at the mailbox and thought, those are just bank statements I don’t need to open them. On the other hand, perhaps you have a pile of bills sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be opened ‘another time’. Sound familiar? Well the good news is you are not alone, the bad news is that avoiding opening the mail can often cost you hundreds of extra dollars in late fees, or worse you could be losing out on money that is yours (yes, this is a possible scenario). To begin your spring clean, open the mail and focus on understanding your bank statements, putting together a payment schedule for the bills and reading your super balance to make sure your contributions are up to date.
Create a system
Now that you know what you need to pay and when, it is time to avoid falling into the trap again. Creating a system for your bills and statements means you will be ahead of the game, and ease the fear of unexpected bills.
There are two ways to go about this. The first is to create automatic payments through your internet-banking app before the due date of each bill, and to switch to email statements on your accounts. Create a folder with sub-categories for each subject such as superannuation, rates, tax and file them as they come in remembering to keep business and personal separate. You can achieve the same result with a physical folder and filing system – with bills separated by due dates.
Many of us have multiple credit cards with limits that are much higher than we actually need. This not only encourages overspending, but it means that in many cases the fees charged monthly can equate to thousands of dollars over time. A great way to get control back is to switch to a credit card offering an interest free period for balance transfers, and consolidate all your cards to one personal and one business. Consolidation loans might also help you make payments more affordable, but remember to always check the rate after the interest free period has expired.
Investing some time in gaining control of your finances may not eliminate all your debt, but it will alleviate some of the stress associated and get you one-step closer to financial freedom.
CAAA Commercial Concierge provide a loan health check through a personal banker. If your spring clean has identified some areas for improvement, speak to our team today about how you could improve your financial situation.