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As the days start to get longer and warmer, it’s a popular time to dust off the cobwebs and give the house a thorough spring clean. But what about your finances? Revisiting your financial goals, making changes to ensure you are heading in the right direction, and checking in on your household budget is a great exercise to do on a yearly 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 from the Dominican University of California* indicates that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to reach them than those that don’t. The research also shows that sharing your goals with another person can 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 pieces:

  • The big picture. Start with a long-term vision – think as big as you like. Imagine 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, boosting your savings or clearing some debts – what would like to achieve over the next month or year?

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

2. Review your expenditure

Going over your expenses with a fine-toothed comb is an 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. Keep reading through to step 5 and you’ll learn how we’re working hard to put this money back in your hands!

Of course, life is also about enjoyment. While living within your means is important, so is doing the things you love – such as going out for a nice meal. As Marie Kondo would say, assess whether or not something ‘sparks joy’ for you or whether you should let it go. Cull the needless 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 can stick to. If detailed spreadsheets aren’t for you, try:

  • A free online budget planning tool, like this one from us.
  • 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

If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it is that 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 circumstances, such as sudden job loss or illness.

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

  • Put 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.

5. Future-proof your money smarts

Have you heard about Open Banking? The new initiative that has launched in the Australian banking industry 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 bcu we’re already hard at work to provide our members the very best Open Banking has to offer.

Want to be the first to find out about the future of banking? Register your details below to be one of the first to hear about our future banking technologies.

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*https://scholar.dominican.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1265&context=news-releases


Important information

Information on this website is general and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this information is suitable for your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on the information provided.