Our friends at financewomen have pulled together some simple but effective ideas for the new financial year:
2. Get a better deal
A small change to some of your bigger expenses can make a huge difference to your cash flow. By checking out better deals on your mortgage (let me do this for you) you might be able to save even a quarter of a percent. On a $400,000 mortgage that saves you $1,000 a year. By knowing what other lenders will offer you can even approach your existing bank and ask them to give you a discount to stop you moving, might save you both money and hassle.
Choice’s new research has estimated that switching your shopping from Woolworths and Coles to Aldi can save you 50% off your grocery bill. A typical family can easily save $100 a week on the grocery bill, a whopping $5,000 a year. As a fairly passionate Aldi shopper for the past couple of years I have been really impressed by quality of the meat and veges, not just the packaged goods. It takes a while to get used to their range and for particular specialty or branded items you might need to duck into a rival to complete the list every now and then, but the range at Aldi is getting better and better and I’m finding much less reason to shop at the big two these days.
For me it’s time to revisit my electricity deals. Since I last did this the Victorian State Government has introduced a couple of really nifty measures. I plan on claiming my $50 bonus when I use the independent comparison tool to find out the best deal for me. Furthermore I’m fairly impressed at their new Default Offering which is mandating a fairer price for those consumers who have been a bit disengaged and may not be getting a good deal on their electricity prices. If you live in Victoria you might like to check out the Victorian State Government’s programs including the $50 rebate and comparison tool.
3. Making the most of your tax refund
If you are lucky enough to get a tax return this year, what are you going to do with it? If you’re like most of us it either goes on a bit of a splurge or disappears into the vacuum of your bank account never to be seen again. How about using it a little more constructively this year? You don’t need to be a complete miser though. How about agreeing now that half is you to enjoy now and half later. When you’ve worked out how much it’s going to be, be disciplined about both the spending and the saving. Make sure you enjoy your ‘now half’ whether it’s the size of a dinner or a new handbag or only stretches to that book you’ve been promising yourself or a ticket to the movies. Then make sure that you deliver on your commitment to enjoying the ‘later half’. You can make an extra contribution to your super or into the part of your mortgage you can’t easily get your hands on.
While your doing you your tax return this year keep one eye on what you could do better for the next year. Is it keeping receipts when you donate money? Or keeping a log bog for your car mileage? What can you do now to make next year’s tax time easier and more rewarding? So you’ll have more money for now and later next year!
Message from CAtherine
Occasionally I come across an interesting article to do with Home Loans. I thought I'd share some of these with you here.