Spring clean your finances
Replenish and revitalize your
Nothing about money is set and forget. Whether your finances
include a budget, savings, loans, insurance, super or more, it's a
good idea to dust them off from time to time, and see if they need
a freshen up. Here are our tips on how to rejuvenate your financial
affairs this spring.
Freshen up your
your home loan with other loans on the market to see
if you can get a better deal. Find out what your
current interest rate is and which loan features you want to keep,
such as an offset or redraw facility.
If you switch to a cheaper loan, stick with your current
repayments to save interest and pay off your loan sooner.
Approach your current lender and tell them you are considering
switching your mortgage. They may offer you a better deal to keep
your business. If not, use the mortgage switching calculator to see
how much better off you could be switching loans.
Work out whether you will save money by switching to another
Put a spring into your
Check the return you are getting on your savings and see if
there are other financial institutions
offering better rates.
Also reconsider the type of savings product you have. For
example, if you have a term deposit that's about to mature and
you find an at-call savings account that pays higher interest, ask
yourself whether a term deposit is the right account for you.
On the other hand, if your money is in an ordinary savings
account but term deposits are paying higher interest, see if
you can lock some savings away to get a better return on your
Your choice of investment needs to fit in with your investment goals but there's
no harm in shopping around to get a better deal for your cash.
Reassess your home and contents
We all buy items for our homes from time to time, like
appliances, furniture, TVs and electronic equipment. How long since
you estimated the cost of replacing the entire contents of your
home? Is your current contents insurance enough to cover
what you have?
If you are a homeowner, you should also re-evaluate the cost of
rebuilding your home. This is especially important if you have
completed any extensions or renovations since taking out your home insurance
Whip your personal
insurance into shape
If you couldn't work for a long period of time due to illness or
injury, would you still be able to cover all of your living
expenses? If not, income protection insurance may help.
Check if you already have income protection cover through your
super fund or another insurer and see if it is enough.
We all love to get a pay increase, but is your income protection
insurance keeping up with your pay? Most income protection policies
are based on a fixed income amount. Cover won't automatically
increase when your pay does. If you want your income protection
insurance to reflect your actual pay, contact your insurer to find
out your options.
Blow the cobwebs off your
You might not see super as 'your' money because you can't access
it until you retire. But the reality is that it is very much your
money and it's going to come in pretty handy when you retire.
To get to know your super better, find your latest super
statement (it could be hiding in your email inbox or filing
cabinet) and have a good hard look at it. Here are some things to
- Multiple super accounts - If you have
more than one super account, consolidating your accounts
will save you fees and make it easier to keep track.
- Investment options - Think about the best
investment option for your stage of life when choosing
your super investments. If retirement is more than 10 years
away, a more aggressive investment strategy is likely to deliver
higher returns. If you are closer to retirement, think about more
conservative options to protect your capital.
- Contributions - The sooner you start contributing extra to
super, the less you'll have to give up each week to make a
difference down the track. If you're a lower income earner, you may
be entitled to a government co-contribution. Mid to higher income
earners may be able to save tax.
- Personal details - If you've moved house or
changed your phone number or email address, your super fund may not
know how to contact you. Keeping your personal details up to date
will make sure your money doesn't end up in lost super.
Rejuvenate your budget
When you've spring cleaned the rest of your finances, it's a
good idea to update your budget. Your income and expenses change
over time, so having an updated budget will help you track what
you're spending and calculate how much you can save towards your
goals. Use the budget planner to start creating your budget.
Work out where you money is going and how to make it stretch
You work hard for your money, so make it work
hard for you. Look for low interest rates on your mortgage and high
interest rates for your savings. Keep on top of your insurances and
know where your money's going so you stay in control.
Last updated: 19 Dec 2018