Nearly one in three Australians are feeling stressed due to their finances. Here are five things you can do right now to improve your financial situation. Best of all they are quick, easy and will be emotionally freeing.
If you would like some assistance, remember The Farm Protectors are here it help.
Determine Your Financial Goals
If you aren’t sure where you are aiming, then it’s very difficult to get there. Do you want to purchase a new house? Remove consumer debt or maybe take a holiday?
Defining your goals helps you focus on what’s most important to you. Your goals provide you the motivation to stick to your budget and remove unnecessary spending.
It’s recommended that your goals have clearly defined timelines and that you create a visual representation to keep your eye on the prize. It could be a simple as attaching a progress chart on the fridge or downloading one of the many mobile apps available.
To improve your financial situation, you can no longer have your head in the sand. Part of this process is to become super organised with your finances.
Gather all your financial paperwork including bills and statements. Create a system for planning and organising this paperwork. It could be folders on your computer or a binder on the bookshelf.
Try setting up your bills on direct debit to ensure that they are paid on time. Late fees and missed payments can negatively effect your financial future.
Check your balances regularly and aim to set up an emergency fund with three to six months of living expenses.
Having an understanding of your current financial situation is the first step to improving it.
Budgets (They don’t have to be bad)
Budgets. They don’t have to be horrible or ultra-restrictive.
Before you even try to create a budget, simply track your current spending for one or two months. Keep a note of exactly where your money is going. Whether that be to the mortgage or rent, food and even your sneaky coffee on the way to work.
The first step isn’t to judge or filter yourself. It’s just to get clear understanding of where your money is going.
Once you have this figure in mind, compare it to your income. Hopefully, you will have excess money or can identify how you can create an excess. This additional money can be used to achieve your goals.
If you are overspending, then you need to reduce your expenses or increase your income. However, at this stage the first key is awareness.
Make the Most of Your Money
Now that you have a clear picture of where your money is going, it’s time to make the most of it.
Look over your spending and consider where you can reduce it. Often, it’s the small things that can add up quickly.
Are you paying monthly bank fees or non-bank ATM fees? Call your bank now to get them removed or change banks.
Do you sign up for a gym membership that you never use? Cancel it.
Can you take your lunch to work a few days per week?
Take any excess money you create and direct it toward your budget. You will be surprised how quickly they can be achieved with some simple shifts.
Also, consider decluttering and selling any unwanted stuff around your house.
Check Your Score
Your credit score is a representation of your creditworthiness in the eyes of potential lenders or credit providers. Of course, there is a complex system that determines this amount, however, some of the influencing factors are – paying your bills on time, keeping balances on credit cards low and not having any defaults.
It’s recommended to read over your report to check everything is in order. If there are mistakes, you can take steps to have it removed from your report.
Taking control of your finances will not only increase the quality of your life but improve relationships and reduce stress. If you have any questions or need help with any of the above, contact The Farm Protectors today.