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Get in shape for a tough 2011
2011 has all the makings if being a tough financial year. So here are some top tips to get your personal finances in shape for whatever’s ahead.
- Pay yourself first. Or in other words, make your finances top priority.
- Set a budget. It sounds obvious, but so many of us don’t do it in the area of our own personal finances. So have a firm understanding of what’s coming in, what’s going out and where it’s going. Knowledge is power.
- Know what you are paid on an annual, monthly, weekly basis and use the experts. If you’re sick you go to a doctor, if you’re building a house you use a builder. If you are not a financial expert, call Census.
- If you are self employed, claim whatever you are legally entitled to. That means keeping those receipts, filling in a car log and checking in regularly with your financial advisor and your accountant.
- We’re approach tax year end, so get your tax return in on time, either directly or via your accountant. It means peace of mind knowing it’s done, and you’ll know ahead what to set aside for tax bills.
- Credit is not your friend. If you have a credit card, or maybe multiple credit cards, pay them off. Or consolidate the debt to the lowest charging card.
- Simplify your finances by closing unwanted bank accounts, cancelling duplicate credit cards, etc.
- Keep a close eye on your bank. Know what you are paying in bank fees. Know what interest rate you are paying on your mortgage. Look for hidden charges like penalties for withdrawing money when you are overseas
- If you’re in gainful employment, ask for a rise. Your employer can always say no but, then again, they might say just say yes.