Tips on how to make your money stretch further in 2017

1/09/2017


While the celebrating was fun and well deserved after a long year, it is back to basics at my house. I've already worked through my plans and goals for 2017 in December, and now I am set to dig in and make this year a winner in what really is a war. Why do I say that? Just look at some of the stats and you’ll quickly see that for a huge number of us, our finances and economic well-being has suffered from a lack of personal income growth and increases in many of the basic costs of living.

With every expense increasing seemingly faster than the published inflation rate why not start 2017 with a plan to get serious about money? Make this year the year you build better money habits and start building momentum. Here are a few tips from Rita Cool, Certified Financial Planner at Alexander Forbes Financial Planning Consultants on how to make your money stretch further.

·         Make sure you have a budget. Without knowing what you spend money on you won’t know where you could find lost cash. Once you have identified where the money is going monthly you can decide how and where you can save

·         Check your bank fees. Are you in the best structure for your needs? Are you paying for services that you never use? It is not impossible to move banks to get a better deal.

·         Don’t draw cash from banks other than your own so that you do not need to pay service charges. Make sure you know what the transaction fees would be if you draw from till points or transfer money to family. Did you know that you started paying interest immediately if you draw cash from a credit card and that you do not get three or six months’ interest free?

·         Buy second hand and sell items that you do not need to make extra cash and save on paying full price. Anything from school clothes and TVs are bought and sold. Advertise properly to get the maximum amount so you can free up cash.

·         Buy cash where possible as the interest rates on hire purchase items are very high and you pay around 20% more for those items than the sticker price. Do you really need that item if it was 20% more expensive?

·         Don’t try to keep up with your neighbours. Looks are deceiving. They might drive a fancy car but you don’t see that they don’t have no furniture or no savings for the future.

·         Shop around but don’t drive all over to get a “bargain” The petrol spent to get the discount might not make it worthwhile. Buy long shelf life items when they are on sale. For example toilet paper and washing power can be kept for quite long but you need to know your prices to be able to make use of the value

·         Use store coupons and discount vouchers. The main food retailers have loyalty programme structures that can be tailored to your specific spending patterns. Make sure you claim point or vouchers but look out for monthly costs to belong to a rewards program. Ask yourself if your monthly savings validate the cost. Optimally a reward scheme shouldn’t cost you money.

·         Drive at the speed limit. It saves petrol, fines your car and perhaps your life.

·         Check your current insurances. Do an insurance rebroke. Make sure you are covered for what you need and take things off the list that you do not have any more and add what you have bought since the last update. Make sure you are not under or over insured and that your premium is market related. The cheapest premium isn’t always the best so be aware of exclusions and excesses and make sure you can afford the excess if you need to claim.

·         Check if you actually need a pay out on your insurance sometime in the future. In most cases you can reduce your monthly premiums by not having a pay out in the future. If you want a pay out in the future save the extra premium in an investment product, not a risk product.

·         Be wary of consolidating debt. You might pay a lower interest rate but it might well be over a longer period so the total interest paid will be higher. If you have debt issues, set up a debt plan with dates and goals to reduce the debt little by little. Do not give up.

It doesn’t require special knowledge to follow this simple plan and make 2017 the year you whip your finances into shape. The important thing is to START.

  • Share:

You Might Also Like

0 comments