Jasmine is in bloom and cricket is on the telly. It’s spring (even in Melbourne, despite a few false starts). It’s time to open up your windows, pull the feather duster out from the cupboard, and begin cleaning. But this year you won’t just be cleaning the house, you’ll be cleaning your finances.
Many of us will know the feeling of finishing a summer having put a few holes in your piggy bank. The longer and warmer days invite more time spent out and about (festivals, concerts, BBQs every other day). So we’ve got a few tips for getting your stuff in order before the silly season kicks off properly. Remember; the early bird gets the worm.
Declutter your debt
There’s a big chance that you’re tied to the Big Four. While there are benefits in banking with a larger institution (great service, great apps, etc) they can trap you in what’s called a ‘walled garden’. We’ll often inherit our bank from our parents, and over time we’ll simply buy more and more of their products due to familiarity.
Shake that off and start again. Write down the fees and interest rates of your debts. With the help of an experienced Mortgage Broker, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get a better deal. Alternatively, there are countless websites that offer credit card and loan comparisons. It’s an unbelievably easy way to get a snapshot of who offers what. But just like airfare comparison websites, take it with a grain of salt, because you’ll always need expert advice to reveal the hidden traps.
Have a garage sale
You can make space, clear out unwanted items, have a bit of fun, meet the neighbours, and most importantly, make money. It’s simple. Pick a weekend with a good weather outlook. Go for a walk around the neighbourhood and stick some signs up the week before. Invite some friends over and have a beer (though not in the morning). A no-brainer for getting some more coin into your savings account. If all that is sounding too strenuous, jump on eBay. Easy peasy.
Cancel your gym membership or investigate class pass
It’s nice outside: no more excuses. Save yourself hundreds of dollars of membership fees over the next few months by hitting the park instead of sweating it out indoors. But if the gym is your thing, try out Class Pass.
For the lazy ones
No judgement, but we know that there are plenty of you who still haven’t done your tax return. If you want to make money appear out of thin air, go and see an accountant for some advice. It may not be as quick or inexpensive as using an online tax assistant, but you will get real world guidance that will illuminate all the hidden expenses that you never knew you could claim