Article by guest blogger, Bessie Hassan from Finder.com.au
It’s no secret that financial pressure can cause a huge amount of mental stress. In fact, with one in four Australians worried about money, it’s important to address these levels of pressure. Luckily, now is the perfect time to do so. With 2017 around the corner, thousands of Aussies will be writing “save more money” on their New Year’s bucket list. But, how can you make sure this resolution sticks?
What is financial fitness?
Before establishing the best way to go about maintaining your financial fitness in the New Year, it’s important to first know exactly what it entails. Firstly, it’s important to realise that good financial health is far more detailed than just drawing up a budget! Financial fitness involves sharpening your skills in money management, cutting back spending, re-evaluating costs, and planning for the year ahead. This means tracking your earning, spending, and saving habits, and maintaining the changes you make. It’s also about realising there is more to money than just being either broke, or wealthy. There is a vast financial scale in between these two paradigms that is a far clearer way of evaluating your money.
How can you get financially fit?
What financial fitness essentially involves is removing or addressing the causes of financial strain in your life. Firstly, consider conducting a financial audit. Checking your credit score online can assist you in seeing whether your spending habits require a serious overhaul, or whether you’re within an alright limit. If your credit score shows that you have a penalty against you due to missing credit card repayments, you may want to consider consolidating your debt. This involves transferring your personal debt over to a loan with a lower interest rate.
See where you can make money back. You can claim your work related expenses through your tax return. For example, if you use your phone constantly day-to-day as part of your job, you should be able to receive a rebate for a portion of your phone plan. Also, if you work from home, here is a list of home office expenses that are claimable.
And finally, make the most of your insurance! If you’re on a package that you feel isn’t covering you for what you need, consider making a switch to a higher-value policy that may be more beneficial for you and your health. Have a look at an insurance policy comparison table to see if you could be receiving more extensive extras or benefits.
So you see, financial fitness doesn’t necessarily need to be as scary as it may sound. It’s simply a matter of lining up your expenses so you can see where your money is being spent. Don’t let financial stress put a dampener on 2017. By establishing good habits now, you’ll be able to have a happy and financially healthy New Year! Good luck.
Bessie Hassan is a Money and Insurance Expert at finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website.