Your new financial year checkup

We’ve just passed the end of the financial year (EOFY), and so money is on the mind for many people during the tax season. It’s a good time of year to remind yourself what your financial goals are and if you’re on track to reach them.

Savings and everyday accounts

Take an honest look at what you’ve earned and spent in the last few months. Does it add up? If you’re spending more than you earn and living beyond your means, give some serious thought to working out a budget then take a look at your accounts with the following in mind:

  • are you earning the best interest possible?
  • can you put your money to work for you in a mortgage offset account?
  • are you keeping on track with your savings plan?

Tame your credit cards

Credit cards are a great tool, but can get out of hand if they aren’t managed carefully. Think about adding to your to-do list a check of how much interest you’re paying on your card and how you’re using it. You might save money if you can:

  • find a low interest or interest free period card
  • check if you’re paying for a rewards scheme you’re getting no return on
  • transfer your balance. If you take this option, try to make a plan to pay the balance off before the interest-free period is up.

Mortgage matters

If you have a mortgage, it’s usually your single biggest cost, and paying it down is the long-term goal  of many people. Wrangling your mortgage to pay if off quickly can save a lot of interest and reduce the term of the mortgage. A step in the right direction could be:

  • paying some extra each month – every little bit helps
  • pay fortnightly instead of monthly – 26 payments over the year adds up to 13 monthly payments instead of 12Don’t be afraid to talk to your bank about ways of making the most of your mortgage, if you don’t ask, you won’t know.

Paying the bills

If your service providers aren’t giving you a good deal, the good news for you is it’s a competitive marketplace so you should take a look at the following:

  • electricity and gas – compare what’s available and if you want a better deal try asking for it, you might be surprised what you can get
  • health insurance – make sure you’ve got the best balance between cover and price and focus your policy on the benefits you’ll use
  • phone and internet – as many areas move to the NBN scheme, there may be new deals available that help your hip pocket.

Don’t be afraid to ask providers to match a competitor’s price. It could make a big difference to your budget.

As we wave goodbye to the last financial year, a financial check-up keeps you on track to a healthier financial future. If you’re not sure you’re getting the best deal on your savings, credit or home loan accounts, contact QBANK.

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