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Revisiting your financial goals, making changes to ensure you are on the right track, and checking in on your household budget is a great exercise to do on a regular basis. Here are our top five financial spring-cleaning tips to get on top of your finances:

1. Set realistic financial goals – and write them down

Research suggests that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them, than those that don’t. The research also shows that sharing your goals with another person may increase your chances of success further still. 

What are you waiting for? Grab a pen and paper and get started!

If you find goal-setting difficult, try breaking it down into smaller chunks:

  • The big picture. Start with a long-term vision – think as big as you like. Picture your ideal lifestyle, your home and what you would ideally spend your time doing.
  • Small wins. What are some of the smaller scale goals – for example, paying off a debt or boosting your savings – that you would like to achieve over the next month or year?

Keep this on hand and revisit regularly so you can track and keep on top of your goals. Make sure you tick off your small wins as you go – it’s always good motivation seeing what you’ve achieved.

2. Review your expenditure

Going over your expenses with a fine-toothed comb is a very important exercise to know exactly where your hard-earned dollars are going. Look out for unnecessary subscriptions that no longer serve your needs and identify areas where you could you cut down and save.

Of course, life is also about enjoyment. While living within your means is important, so is doing the things you enjoy – such as going out for a nice meal. Marie Kondo’s now famous advice on decluttering is to assess whether or not something ‘sparks joy’ for you or whether you should let it go. Cull the unnecessary expenses!

3. Create a budget

Budgeting is not a one-size-fits-all exercise and the best type of budget is one you use and stick to. If detailed spreadsheets aren’t for you, try:

  • The ‘bucket’ approach – check out our article on the popular style of budgeting to find out more.
  • A free online budget planning tool
  • A budget in the palm of your hand via a smartphone app, such as TrackMySpend or MoneyBrilliant.
  • Good old pen and paper!
  • Plus, don’t forget to register below to be the first to find out about new banking technologies that are going to make managing and mastering your money easier.

4. Prepare for the unexpected

As we know, the unexpected can happen at any time. It is crucial to ensure that you have a ‘safety net’ in place in case of any unforeseen events, such as sudden job loss or illness.

This is a good topic to discuss in greater detail with a financial planner, but here are two simple ways to get started:

  • Set aside some ‘rainy day’ savings - easily accessible funds you can draw on in an emergency.
  • Check your insurance policies. It may be helpful to seek expert advice to ensure you have the right insurance for your circumstances and that you are adequately covered for life’s unexpected events.

Check out our insurance services to learn more or get a quick and easy quote online.

5. Future-proof your money smarts

Have you heard about Open Banking? After strong take up of this game-changing banking technology when launched in the UK in 2018, this new way of banking has now landed in Australia.

At its simplest, Open Banking gives you choice, control and convenience and, as an opt-in and opt-out service, sharing your data securely is completely in your hands. You’re in control of your data at all times and can choose to share as much or as little as you want.

So how does this make managing my money easier? Ultimately, this will put your financial empowerment in your hands. You’ll have the complete picture of all your banking, bills, and insights into where your money is being spent.

At P&N we’re hard at work to provide our members the very best Open Banking has to offer.