Take the stress out of managing your finances7 Mar 2017
Close to a third of Australians find dealing with money stressful and overwhelming, with women more likely than men to feel this way.* The best way to overcome the stress and make your finances feel manageable? Get educated and ask questions!
We have some handy tips below from our friends at ME to get you started. And if you want more, check out ME’s ‘ed school of money’, which covers everything from money basics and budgeting, to investing, managing debt and buying a home.
SET UP A MONEY BUCKET LIST
Be a boss of money matters this year by drawing up a money bucket list. Take some time to think about what would really make a difference to your financial wellbeing (other than winning the Lotto!), then:
- Pick your top three goals
- Set realistic targets
- Make it happen!
Find out more about setting up your money bucket list.
TRYING TO SAVE? AVOID THESE SIX MISTAKES
Growing a healthy honeypot of savings is simple – especially if you know the mistakes to avoid:
- Believing you need a lot to get started
- Failing to set, track and celebrate goals
- Taking a ‘manual’ approach
- Not having an emergency fund
- Trying to do all the hard yards yourself
- Putting saving off ‘til tomorrow
Find out more about the six mistakes to avoid if you’re trying to save.
UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD DEBT AND BAD DEBT
Aiming to be debt free is always a sensible goal; but we often need credit to achieve personal goals like buying a home or car. The things is, not all debt is created equal.
Credit card debt is generally considered ‘bad debt’ and loans for big ticket items like furniture, appliances and cars are necessary debt – you need the loan to make the purchase but the items don’t hold their value over time. Be smart in finding a low rate loan or credit card that suits your financial situation and, if you can, pay off more than the minimum to clear the debt sooner.
Home loans are generally considered ‘good debt’ because the loan is backed by property that will rise in value while the loan balance reduces. And there are simple ways to pay off your home sooner, with extra repayments and offset accounts playing a key role. Borrowing to buy an investment property is considered financially savvy debt – it allows investors to enjoy low rates and capital growth on the rental property.
Find out more about good and bad debt, and how you can borrow smart and get ahead.
DON’T WORRY…BE APPY
Technology puts a wealth of tools at our fingertips, and there’s no shortage of smartphone apps and web-based tools that can help you manage your finances and achieve your goals. With our financial world more complex today than it was for previous generations, it’s critical to make carefully considered, well-informed decisions.
A recent ME survey found that 90% of people who use money management apps or tools would continue to use them because they’re gaining real value from them and are making important inroads to achieving their financial goals.
The survey found the greatest value was attributed to apps/tools that help us:
- pay bills on time
- stick to a budget
- reach savings goals
- reduce debt
- buy property.
If you’re not convinced, ME suggest checking out a few apps for yourself. The Federal Government has two free, award-winning apps to start you off:
For more tips or to learn more about specific financial topics, visit www.mebank.com.au.
*Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker, Wave 4: September 2015-February 2016, ASIC
Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 Australian Credit Licence 229500.
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