Steps to a brighter financial future

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A brighter financial future looks different for everyone. For some people, it might be having the house paid off. For others, it might mean being able to take a family holiday each year. Whatever it means to you, a brighter financial futrue starts with just a few small changes to the way you deal with money. The key is to establish some good financial habits - no matter how old you are or how much money you have.

Here are some steps you can take towards a brighter financial future. Try one or two to start with, and see what a difference it can make for you.

Track your spending

The road to a better future starts with knowing where your money is going. You might think you know how much you spend on groceries or takeaway meals each month, but getting a better idea of your outgoings will give you the power to make some real changes in your spending habits.

Use our TrackMySpend app to record your everyday expenses, so you have a clear picture of what you are spending your money on, and where you can make some changes. 


Set a budget

For many people the idea of budgeting is daunting. However, our research into Australians' financial attitudes and behaviours shows that about two thirds of Australians who have a budget mostly or always stick to it. Setting up a budget is not about depriving yourself - after all, being financially free is all about living the life you want. 

Our article on how to do a budget has some great tips, and our budget planner can help you get started.

Budget planner.

Video: Top money tips

Video with top money tips

Financial experts give their top money tips for the year ahead.

Transcript: Top money tips

Find the best deal on your bank accounts and insurance

Smart tip

Set up an automatic deposit into a high-interest savings account every payday. Your money will grow faster, and you won't be tempted to spend it.

Taking charge of your bank accounts can save you a lot of money in the long run, and bring you a step closer to a brighter financial future.

Even if you have banked with the same institution for years, you may not be getting the best deal. What interest are you earning on your savings? Work out how much you are paying in fees and charges on your account, then shop around for a better deal. It's your money, so take control of it.

Our article on switching bank accounts shows you what you need to think about when changing your accounts.

Review your insurance

Having the right insurance in place is a critical part of protecting your assets but, unless you shop around, you could be paying more than you need to. Before you renew your home or car insurance policy, check out our article on renewing your insurance for tips on how to find the best deal.

Take charge of your home loan

Mortgage payments can account for a huge slice of the household budget. Whether you already have a home loan or are saving up to buy your first house, take a look at our tools and tips to help you get ahead:

Clear your debts

Picture a financial future free from debt stress. If you are struggling to pay off your credit cards or repay loans, we have some advice on how you can bring different kinds of debts under control:

  • Mortgages - help with home loans
  • Credit cards - dealing with multiple credit cards
  • Fines - help for people struggling with fines
  • Utility bills - take action on water, electricity, phone and gas bills
  • Uni debt - when you have to pay your uni debt and how to make voluntary payments
  • Travel debt - pay off your travel expenses

Video: What would you tell your 20-year-old self about money?

Video about tips for 20-year-old self

Financial literacy experts talk about their experiences with money at the National Financial Literacy Stakeholder Forum 2015.

Transcript: What would you tell your 20-year-old self about money?

Start or expand your investments

Investing can be a good way to grow your money. There are many different investment options available, so it's important to choose the right one to suit your needs.

Our financial attitudes and behaviours research shows that one in 10 investors has lost money they couldn't afford to lose, and 2 in 5 Australians haven't heard of the concept of "risk/return trade-off".

We have lots of information to help you better understand and choose the best investment strategy to reach your financial goals:

Take our investing challenge to test your knowledge of risk and return, diversification and investment products.  

Investing challenge

Pay your future self

It is never too early to start planning for a bright financial future in retirement. Whether you are just starting your career, or beginning to think about life after work, our superannuation calculator can show you how much super you're likely to have when you retire.

Superannuation calculator

 A great way to boost your retirement income is to make extra contributions to your super now. Even just a few extra dollars a week can make a big difference in the years to come.

Our tools and tips can help you take control of your money and achieve your dream of a brighter financial future.

Related links

Last updated: 30 May 2016