The Aussie guide to pocket money
A financial health check can help you determine whether there is any area for improvement when it comes to your finances. A financial health check is about putting some time aside to look at what your current financial and services providers are charging and offering you, as well as creating or reviewing your budget and financial goals.
Start with reviewing your current financial and service providers and products. Here are four steps to consider:
1. Ask your current providers to help you review your products and services, including the price. Check you are not paying for a product that offers more than what you need.
2. When talking with your current providers ask about their current deals, or best rate. Remember to understand product differences and that a cheaper price now does not always mean cheaper in the long-run.
3. Shop around with other providers and compare prices. You may like to take quotes back to your current providers to see what they can do. Use comparison websites, such as Canstar Blue and Finder.
4. Remember, when reviewing your products and comparing with others you won't necessarily be comparing 'apples with apples'. Consider what the product or service offers, fees, rates, and any other costs associated. Make sure you understand everything before you make a switch. You have the right to ask the providers as many questions as you like, until you fully understand a product or service and the costs involved. If you are comparing lending products have a read Lending interest rates explained for more information.
To give you an idea on just how much you could save, we teamed up with the University of Technology Sydney to find out how much Australians are saving by switching things like their home loan, grocery supplier and phone plans. The opportunity for saving might surprise you!
Keeping an up-to-date budget will help you feel more in control of your finances and give you insight areas to save money. Ensure all of your service and financial providers are included in your budget, as well as all other outgoing costs. Once you have finished comparing service and financial providers update your budget accordingly. If you have found areas for saving consider whether you could put this money towards paying off a debt sooner, or putting it into a high interest savings account.
Now is the time to consider whether the savings you have found during your financial health check could be helping you reach your goals sooner. Whether you are wanting to manage your debt more effectively, or to save more money, considering your goals regularly is a great way to stay focused.