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Spring clean your finances

Financial Planning  |  12/09/2017  |   5 min read

Spring is in the air, and while you’re probably focusing on getting your home and garden looking good, don’t overlook the need to give your finances a thorough spring clean.

Read on to find out how to put the spring back in your fiscal health.

1. Declutter – live lightly

Chances are you’ve got several bank accounts with next-to-nothing balances. It can all add up to multiple statements, excess fees and charges, and makes it harder to keep up with your money.  

Declutter your finances by closing down any bank accounts you no longer use. Shop around for a savings account with a consistently strong rate and skip the introductory rates, which only apply for a limited time. While you’re at it, look for a bank with free ATM fees. Yes, they do exist and it could save you a small fortune each year in unwanted ATM charges. 

2. Reclaim lost money

Check if you have any lost cash. An estimated $1.1 billion is sitting in unclaimed money including forgotten shares and life insurance policies. Visit the Government's MoneySmart website for more details and to conduct a search.

3. Round up forgotten super accounts

A vast pool of $14 billion in lost and unclaimed super is waiting to be reunited with its rightful owners . Consolidating multiple super balances into a single fund lets you save on fees and unnecessary life insurance premiums.

You can check to see if you have any forgotten super by visiting Equip’s Supermatch page and entering a few simple details. We’ll take care of the rest for you.  

4. Shine a spotlight on your home loan

Home loan interest rates may be at record lows, but there’s no room for complacency. 

Take a look at your latest home loan statement to check the rate you’re currently paying. In a competitive market it’s likely you could do better, especially if you’ve had your home loan for several years. If your lifestyle or circumstances have changed, be sure you’re only paying for loan features you actually need or use.

Refinancing to a low-rate home loan can be surprisingly easy, and best of all it can put money back in your hip pocket.

5. Give credit card debt a makeover

While home loan interest rates are near historic lows, you could be paying more than 20% on credit card debt – and be slugged with annual fees. Time to take action.

Shop around for a low-rate card. It’s possible to pay less than 12% with the extra savings of zero annual fees. The lower the rate, the easier it is to clear the card balance, and that could really send your financial wellbeing soaring this spring.

Taking a few simple steps today can leave you better off financially and streamline your money management.  

 

Originally published by Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679. 

This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Before making a decision to invest in the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund, you should read the relevant Equip Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Issued by Equipsuper Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049 AFSL 246383.  MySuper Authorisation Numbers 33813823017672 and 33813823017518  (‘Equip’, ‘the Fund’ and ‘the Equip Rio Tinto Fund’).

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