It’s easy to think that the start to 2016 for most Australian’s has brought some unease as we slide into the New Year. Oil prices are at record lows, uncertainty about interest rates
Here’s 3 financial tips to think about about getting your finances in shape for 2016.
1. Establish your weekly budget
Yes, we’ve all promised ourselves that we’ll stick to our budgets, but we never do. The easiest way to stick to budgets is to have them written down, as simple as a pen and paper, or a fancy excel spreadsheet – it’s completely up to you. By writing it down, we can visualise it, and it keeps us in check before we head to the register and buy things that we don’t need. Thankfully, technology has made it even easier with great smartphone apps such as Pocketbook App that help you visualise your spending all in one place.
2. Openly talk to your partner about your joint goals
Talking to our partners about our money concerns and goals are healthy part of a successful mutual financial planning. Without a plan, or a goal in mind, it’s very easy to keep continuing with the status-quo. Openly talking to our partners at the start of the year can align both of your actions when it comes to your financial goals. Both of you will keep each other accountable when you’re both in together. Some common goals for couples are; saving to buy your first home, saving for a year end holiday, buying an investment property, and household renovations to name a few.
3. Reduce debt
One of the hallmarks of waking up in January is that we receive that dreaded credit card bill after the silly season in Christmas. Thankfully, banks have caught onto this and offer great deals on balance transfers that allow you keep your balance and not pay any interest for a period of time (typically 12-18 months). If you do sign up for a balance transfer, make sure that you pay off the card sooner than the allotted interest free period. Some cards have big “gotchyas” – for example if you don’t pay off the balance within interest free period, the interest is backdated to start of the card – this can be a pricey exercise, make sure you read the size 6 font for all the terms and conditions.
If you have a home loan, and want to consolidate debt like credit cards, why not consider a free home loan quote at www.switchmyloan.com.au – not only can we see if you can consoliadte your debts, but you may be able to achieve a better home loan rate than your current provider – and the best thing is a quote is 100% free!