Article by Jenny Brown, Create Protect & Enjoy

As summer has taken hold, it’s a great time to stay inside with the aircon and consider your finances. It’s even better that the year is just getting underway, because the tools you set up now will hold you in fantastic stead for the next 10 months of the year – whether you fancy a holiday, new designer bag or want to ensure your super is healthy.

For this post I’m not talking about the big picture. I’m interested in the nitty gritty. Time and time again, we have clients who sit down and tell us they don’t know where their money is going, which can easily add up to thousands of dollars each year.

Whether you like it or not, the best way to work out what’s happening on a daily basis is to print out your bank statements and go through them with a ruler and a highlighter. Nine times out of ten it’s the little things that just keep adding up. So my tips today are not earth shattering. They’re simple – and they work.

This is a silent money trap. That $20 you need to withdraw because you have no cash seems to disappear before you need it again the next day, because you’ve forgotten your lunch – again. Even if you buy your lunch three times a week, you’re looking at more than $1500 over the year. Double it if your partner is doing the same.

Financial Health Check

Public transport
If work is within walking distance, ditch the tram and walk. Anyone in Australia would agree that generally catching public transport is cheaper than driving a car, but why not take it a step further – literally. Walking is better for your health too.

This is one of my favourites because it’s just SO easy to fix. Many of us love our special coffee from the café near work, but if you resist the temptation even just one day each week, you’ll save more than $1000 a year. If you must have a coffee each day, have an instant at work every other day. Sure, it won’t taste as good, but think of all that cash you’ll save in the long run.

Get smart when filling up. Use the price differences at petrol stations to your advantage, and fill up on the cheaper days when the prices are lower. Better still, jump online and check out the many websites that do it for you. The RACV has a good site, as does Motor Mouth, where the stats are recorded twice daily.

Save your coins
Finally we often have lose change that hangs around in pockets or the bottom of the handbag. If you put the silver coins into a jar at the end of each day, you just might be able to splurge on some luxuries at the end of the year! We’ve seen some amazing results, it’s surprising how quickly it will add up.


Financial Health Check

Disclaimer: This editorial provides general information only. Before making any financial or investment decisions, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your particularly investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs. Charter Financial Planning and its authorised representatives do not accept any liability for any errors or omissions of information supplied in this editorial. Charter Financial Planning Limited ABN 35 002 976 294 AFSL Licence No. 234665. Principal Address 750 Collins Street GPO Box 2830AA Melbourne VIC 3000.

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