5 ways you can smash your financial goals sooner
If you're keen to meet your money goals or simply need tips to get on top of your finances, we're here to show you how.
If money issues are getting you down, you're not alone. Finances are a leading cause of stress for Australians, and with rising inflation levels, sluggish wages and increasing interest levels just keeping your head above water may be a challenge, never mind smashing your savings goals!
But while the climate seems grim now may be the perfect time to get on top of your finances and start putting some money management strategies to use. Setting yourself up now can save you a lot of pain in the future and you'll never regret taking those extra steps towards financial self-care. And while it can seem daunting, just a few small tweaks can help get you started and give you the skills you need to stay in control of your money and financial affairs. Read on to find out more…
Tracking your spending
Do you burn through your pay check well before payday? Do you have the slightest clue where all your hard-earned cash goes? With one-click purchasing and automatic billing, it's all too easy to lose track of your spending. But much like a late-night kebab; mindless spending can satisfy that urge to splurge but leave you feeling queasy the next morning. But it doesn't have to be this way! Apps like ANZ Plus can automatically record and categorise your daily spending habits, allowing you to identify habits that might need taming.
Creating a budget
You've probably heard about the importance of budgeting your whole life, but never really put one to use. While it can seem like hard work, a smart budget or spending plan can you take back control of your money, while eliminating financial stress as much as possible. A popular budgeting strategy is the 50-20-30 method, which helps to categorise your spending across your essential needs, savings and wants.
Once you've identified your budgeting strategy, you'll want to ensure you have the right tools, such as ANZ Plus, to monitor your progress. The ANZ Plus app gives you a clear visualisation of your spending, while allowing you to set and track multiple financial goals in an ANZ Save Account. You'll also be able to refer to your transaction history, allowing you to spot patterns for upcoming bills and subscription fees. It'll help you keep on top of any looming charges.
Paying off debt
While it may not be the most glamorous financial goal, paying off a debt (or debts) is an important milestone that can make a huge difference to your overall mental and financial health. To start with, make sure you know exactly how much and to who the debts are owed to. While this can be a confronting task, knowing where you stand is the first step to regaining control over your finances. Reducing your debt can also enable you to have an easier time applying for loans in the future.
Create an emergency fund
While it hasn't been easy, living through a pandemic has shown us the importance of having a backup plan should things turn pear-shaped. Amidst ongoing financial uncertainty it's a really smart move to set up an emergency fund, or a safety net of sorts, should you run into an unexpected cost or life change. A good rule of thumb is to save up to three months' worth of your current income and ensure that your savings are both easily accessible and apart from your daily funds. ANZ Plus can help to support your progress through its user-friendly goal-setting features, which allows for transfers on a one-off or ongoing basis.
Start a side hustle
Despite your best efforts, great budgeting and income alone simply might not cut it in today's financial climate. If you (like most) could use a few extra coins, consider other sources of income that could help boost your bottom dollar. Perhaps you can monetize a creative pursuit, start selling second-hand stuff online, rent out your car or work a few extra shifts on weekends. While it can require a little brainstorming, finding an additional gig or pursuit to pad out your bank account can feel really empowering and make all the difference to your saving goals.
Keep in mind that getting on top of your finances can be tough in a turbulent economy. If you're struggling to stay afloat remember that help is available. Your wellbeing should always come first and being open and transparent about your concerns can make all the difference to your mental health. For free, independent and confidential advice, try contacting a support service such as Financial Counselling Australia.