Five Tips for Improving your Personal Money Matters – and something to do when housebound!

August 15, 2011

I hope that you are all keeping warm today.

Here in Auckland we are challenging the  lowest ever maximum temperature of 7.8. Currently, at just after 3pm, the Met Service tells me that the temperature is 7.4 but feels like 3, with the wind chill! Now I know that that is positively balmy for some of you further south, but it’s cold for here! A great day though for indoor activities. So, if you are getting sick of reading, doing puzzles and can’t find anything on TV, maybe you could do some work on your finances.

Now I actually think that work like this needs elevating in the priorities but anytime is better than never!

Some things for you to consider:

  1. By paying your bills on time you never have to pay late fees on anything. This not only saves you money but also protects your credit rating, which will be very important if you need to apply for a loan eg a mortgage. So why not use some of this time you have now to set up automatic payments or direct credits to pay your monthly bills.
  2. If you’re a book reader go onto your library’s website and work out how you reserve books for the future. Then when next you are in a bookstore and really want to buy the latest John Grisham you can instead order it from the library. Now I’m not trying to put bookstores out of business nor cause serious impact on author’s sales, but if you are trying to save  money or having trouble making ends meet, this will help out. I do this all the time and seldom have to wait very long for a book at all.
  3. Check out your insurance policies. Do you need more insurance? ( eg contents, life, mortgage protection, income protection) or maybe you no longer have dependents and your mortgage is close to being paid off, so do you still really need that life insurance policy? Maybe it would be better put towards health or income protection? Make an appointment with an insurance broker or your adviser to get them sorted out. (Mentioning Sorted go to http://www.sorted.org.nz – a great NZ financial site and explore it!)
  4. Check out your wardrobe. Are there things in there that you have forgotten about? Need repairs or alteration?  If you can make your wardrobe go further you can reduce the need for new clothes or maybe with the addition of some new accessories brighten and freshen up a favourite outfit. Maybe a new blouse or shirt will just make it last another season.
  5. Make three financial goals. For example: How much would you like to have saved by this time next year? Does this weather make you really serious about needing a holiday somewhere warm next winter? How much will you need and how are you going to save it? ( Holidays on credit cards are good examples of “dumb” debt – see a previous post http://wp.me/pDpjD-3z)

What are your financial goals? I’d love to hear them.

So, keep warm, and just know that if you do these things your time stuck indoors will have been well spent!

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