Trying to improve your finances is not an overnight task.
Working towards a deposit for your home takes time and patience. The best way to approach it is to start with small changes in your life. This doesn’t mean giving up absolutely everything, but rather cutting back on the non-essentials in life. Every little bit counts, and each small contribution can result in big progress.
We have rounded up a list of nine things you can start doing today to help you improve finances and get on track to purchasing a new home in 2017!
1. Cancel subscriptions/memberships
Topping almost all financial guides is cancelling subscriptions to magazines or gym memberships you do not use. Another perhaps unnecessary purchase is cable TV. With so many cheaper, alternative streaming options available, it may be worthwhile checking out.
2. Renegotiate your bills
Shop around for your energy, gas, credit card and insurance needs. If you like the company you are with, a simple phone call asking for a reduction will often get you a cheaper price – they want to keep you as a customer! It may be painstaking, but renegotiating your bills could save you some big cash. If you already have a mortgage, it is worth speaking to your bank about an interest rate reduction too!
3. Pay your debts
If you have a high-interest credit card, the first thing you should do is pay it off as fast as possible. Interest-related costs is basically dead money, so working to get rid of the debt should be your priority. Consider transferring the balance to a credit account with a lower or even zero-interest rate to further help your cause and improve finances in the new year!
4. Find your unclaimed money
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission can help you search for unclaimed money from various banks, building societies, credit union, life companies, friendly societies and registered Australian companies. Check out this link to see if you have any unclaimed funds!
5. Automate your savings
Set your bank account to withdraw a portion of your earnings every time you are paid. By doing this straight away, you can never miss the money you never had! If you can transfer it to an online account you cannot touch, or does not have an attached card, even better. Be sure to figure out exactly how much you can afford to save per pay by creating a budget for the week, fortnight or month.
6. Reconsider your phone plan
Just like renegotiating your bills, it is worth checking out your phone plan for cheaper alternative options. These days there are so many options including ‘bring your own phone plans’. These plans require you to purchase a phone outright, but the ongoing monthly cost of the phone plan is significantly cheaper than an all-inclusive one, which could work out cheaper in the long run. Carefully consider all your options and work out what is best for you and your lifestyle.
7. Take a grocery list shopping
Plan out your meals for the week, write a shopping list and STICK TO IT. How many times have you gone to the supermarket and come home with items you never intended to purchase?
8. Cook dinner at home
Not only can this be cheaper and healthier than eating out, but you can also cook extra to have for lunch or even dinner the next day, saving you even more cash.
9. Don’t be TOO strict!
Saving for a new home will require some discipline and cutbacks, but you still want to live and enjoy life while you do it. Don’t feel guilty for indulging every now and then and treating yourself. If you work hard to stick to improve finances for 2017, there is no reason to not go out, enjoy a nice dinner or hit the shops on occasion. Do not let your finances consume you!
Contact your local Hotondo Homes builder today to find out more and help improve finances next year!
*Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial adviser so please seek professional advice for your banking enquiries.