We’re at that point in the new year where we all stop talking about our goals and start talking about how fast the year is going. Instead of letting this year get away on you, make a few meaningful changes and enjoy a better grasp on your finances that’ll stand you in good stead in 2019 and beyond.
An exercise that’s almost annoying in its simplicity, tracking your spending is key to getting to grips with your money. There’s a reason that tracking where your cash is going is the basis of budgeting and financial planning- without the data, it’s hard to know where to make changes.
There are a lot of options for doing this basic tracking but don’t overthink it. A plain spreadsheet may just be your best bet. Make sure that you’re able to cross-check your log of receipts with your bank accounts - Moneytree will help you to do this, as well as suggesting categories for your different transactions.
The idea of fasting comes from the diet world, where restricting your calorie intake for two days a week is ‘fast’ gaining traction. You can try this technique with your finances too. It might not be realistic to completely curb your outlay every day, but it can almost be fun to minimise things for a short amount of time.
This means being prepared - no coffee on the go, packed lunches, an evening activity that doesn’t cost money, and the knowledge that slipping up means you repeat the exercise tomorrow. As you experiment and see what you can cut out of your day, you may find small changes that can really add up.
We’ve talked before about auditing your subscriptions and recurring charges to make sure that you’re not paying for things that you don’t use, but when was the last time you looked at all of your accounts? Opening lots of different accounts is one way to track your cash and savings but all those different accounts can mean lots of extra fees. Take a half hour to sit down and make sure you’re only paying for the accounts that you need and use.
And if you’re not looking at all of your accounts on the regular, how do you have a complete picture of your finances? The Moneytree app gives you all the information you need to make good financial decisions by showing you everything in one place, from your super to your Myki or Opal card balance.
Money’s valuable and one great way to remind yourself of the power of a dollar is to donate some of your cash. Choose a cause that’s close to your heart and take a look at their site to see what your donation could mean to them. You’ll be amazed at what some charities or not-for-profit organisations can turn $20, $50 or $100 into.
Once you’ve settled on a charity, consider turning this into a regular thing, and set up a recurring donation. Make sure you chat with your accountant or do your research to understand the tax implications from donating- if you’re donating to a charity with deductible gift recipient charity this may mean your donation is tax deductible.
Want a simple way to keep on top of your finances? It’s easier with Moneytree.
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