When it comes to money, it is always worthwhile to make time to refresh your finances. Whether it is reviewing your goals, consolidating your super or reassessing your insurances, the start of the financial year provides the perfect time to get your finances sorted. Here are our tips to get on top of your finances this financial year:
Get your estate in order:
What significant things have happened in your family this year? It could be that you have a new child or grandchild, or a new life partner, or maybe a family member got married or divorced. Whatever the case, think about whether your Will reflects your intentions and is still valid. The same can be said for your Power of Attorney, make sure you are still comfortable with the nominated person(s) and keep them updated on your wishes.
Review your rates and providers:
Whether it is your mortgage rates, car insurance, or electricity provider, don’t just let your accounts rollover. It pays to shop around. Review your current rates and make sure you are getting the best price available.
Consolidate your superannuation:
If you have more than one super account, consider whether it’s worth your while consolidating your accounts once and for all. Having multiple accounts is hard to manage and more expensive with multiple fees and charges. Take the opportunity to find out if you have any lost super by using the Australian Taxation Office’s online services. Just make sure you don’t cancel any insurance in the process!
Review your financial goals:
We usually set ourselves a mix of short, medium and long-term financial goals. Whether it is saving for a holiday, buying a property or preparing for your retirement, it is important to review your goals to stay on track. Major life events like getting married, having a baby or sickness in the family can change your financial priorities, so use the start of the financial year to take stock and re-set your goals.
Lodge your tax return:
Have you lodged your tax return? Whether you prepare your individual tax return yourself or use a registered tax agent, it’s important to get your deductions right, especially if you’re claiming work-related expenses. A registered tax agent can help you to understand your personal circumstances in relation to your eligibility, and the required recordkeeping to claim a deduction for work-related expenses.
Check your bills and accounts are up to date:
Search through your email inbox or sift through your mail to check that you are up to date with your service payments. It’s easy for notices to get lost throughout the year, but chasing up even the smallest outstanding amount could save you money on overdue notices and make a difference to your credit rating. Where you have bank or credit card accounts that you are no longer using, consider whether they are still necessary, especially if they are incurring fees or your money is sitting idle.
Reassess your insurance needs:
Do you have the appropriate insurance cover in place? It may be time to reassess your personal arrangements, including cover for death, disability and income protection, and check other insurances including your home and contents and other assets – especially if you have had a recent change in circumstances.
Redeem your reward points
After using your credit card for the last financial year, it is likely that you’ve accumulated some reward points. This goes for your frequent flyer points too. Check what benefits are being offered and see if you may qualify for a cash back or gift card reward. This could be a great way to save on shopping or secure some discounts if you have a holiday planned.
Remember your finances are never set and forgot. It is important to review your financial goals and track your progress throughout the year and if your circumstances change adjust your plan accordingly.