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Seven simple tips to manage your money better

14 October 2015

Seven simple tips to manage your money better

Managing your money can seem overwhelming at times. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Salvation Army Moneycare Financial Counsellor Kristen Hartnett has seven simple things you can do to help you stay on top of your budget.

1.   Know how much money you have and know where it goes

Guessing where your money goes just doesn’t cut it. You need to know how much money is coming in (after tax) and where you’re spending it. Self-monitoring makes a difference and actually slows down your spending.

One way to do this is through the Moneysmart app ‘Track My Spend’ which you can download for free for Apple and Android.

2.   Don’t go it alone

Bring in help and support. Chat to family and friends with good knowledge about your financial issues, goals and how to get there. Think about other places you can get help. For example, free financial counselling is available for people experiencing financial stress by calling 1800 007 007.

3.   Don’t be impulsive
It’s really easy to spend money. Work out what kind of spending tempts you and set up a system to keep this in check. Here are some ideas:

- Reduce the limit on your credit card.

- Wait one week to see if you still really need an item if it's over $100.

- Stay away from websites and shops that are tempting by developing other interests.

4.   Make savings a bill
Saving something is better than nothing. Save regularly and consistently. It’s the habit that makes the difference and you’ll enjoy seeing the growth in your savings.

5.   Shop smart
The cheapest deal isn’t always the best value. You should shop smart for good deals on things like insurance, electricity, whitegoods and internet plans. Use the Shopping Smart guide in the You’re The Boss manual to make sure you buy the products that suit you. You can access the manual via our free You're The Boss app for Apple and Android.

6.   Know the total cost of products
If you don’t know the full cost of a product with interest, fees and charges, then don’t buy it! Ask the retailer to tell you how much it will end up costing you in the long run. If they can’t tell you, leave it on their shelf.

7.   Persevere
Jump back from minor rebounds before they become major ones.

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