After the Christmas and New Year holiday period, we often want to start the new year off by getting our finances in order.
Here are some tips on how to pay off your debt and save:
Get disciplined and set up four different bank accounts
Set up a low-fee account for your bills, a savings account, a splurge account for fun and holidays and an everyday account. Make sure you know how much should be allocated to each and automate regular transfers from your pay. If you get a pay rise, make sure to update your automatic transfer limits so that you have an increase across your accounts.
Get proactive about reducing expenses or increasing income
If you are struggling to pay bills or not meeting your savings goals, you should look at reducing your spending by cancelling memberships that you are not using (eg. gym), finding better deals for your bills or even switching your loans to lower interest rates. You can also look at increasing your income by asking for a pay rise or taking on some extra work such as Uber driving or offering services on Airtasker.
Reduce the limit on your credit cards
For some people, the danger of having a high limit on a credit card means they automatically count it as part of everyday spending money. Take control by reducing the limit on the credit card to an amount that can be confidently paid by the due date.
Hide your savings
If you can easily access your savings it can be difficult to have the willpower not to touch them. Work out what you need to do to protect your finances so that you are not drawing down on your savings. Think about choosing a savings account that penalises you for withdrawing money.
Make payments towards high-interest debts first
Make sure you prioritise clearing high-interest debts quickly ? these are usually credit card debts. The interest on some debts can be reduced temporary if you transfer your credit card debt to a 12 month zero-interest card or fix your mortgage interest rate. These actions could help you to prioritise paying down other debts first.
Louisa Sanghera is a Finance Broker for Residential Mortgages, Vehicle and Asset Finance, Commercial Lending and Budgeting and Cashflow Coaching with Zippy Financial.
She has gained more than 30 years in the Banking and Finance Industry, and since founding Zippy Financial, has become a multi award nominated expert in the field of finance featuring regularly in industry press and speaking at finance and investment seminars across the country.