18 September 2013

MaGet your financial house in order

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MaGetLeave the postie to convey just the most essential items to your mailbox while your financial adviser helps deliver you space and clarity from beneath that pile of financial clutter.

 

Ever wonder if it’s time to do a little financial spring cleaning? Start at the mailbox. A bank statement from an account you never use, maybe a long forgotten final notice relating to a credit card debt or some PR material from a super fund you didn’t realise you had.

 

Like that cupboard under the stairs or wallet full of receipts, clutter can quickly envelop our lives and create stress at the most inappropriate times. Here are some tips to declutter your finances:

Why not start at the mailbox? Make a list of your key financial tools – bank accounts, insurance, superannuation, credit cards, etc – reconcile the list, consolidate what you need and get rid of the rest. Better still, let your financial adviser help sift through the list and help you decide what to cull.

Debt is the worst form of financial clutter. Think of debt as the unwanted ab machine that stops you getting into the cupboard to find the Christmas decorations. Move it into a manageable form in preparation for its removal.

Speaking of the ab machine take some time to dig through those cupboards and spare rooms and get rid of those unwanted items. Sites like eBay and Gumtree make it easier than ever to sell your old skis or bikes while providing some extra cash.

Fail to plan, plan to fail. Unless you have a clear financial path in mind, you’ll never achieve your goals. Spend some time each week reviewing your plans. With every transaction, ask how this fits with your financial goals.

We all hate paperwork, but instead of tackling the problem once a year (normally about the time the tax return is due), set aside a few minutes each day or an hour each week to sort through bills, statements and accounts.

Make it a team effort. Dad can cancel those unused magazine subscriptions, Mum can do without an extra pair of shoes and the kids can (maybe) hold-off on their latest CPI increase in pocket money. Check your progress regularly, set some targets but ensure everyone shares in the rewards.

The author is an employee of Verante Financial Planning in Castle Hill, Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Limited, Licence No 221557, Magnitude Group Limited ABN 54 086 266 202.

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