Reducing financial stress in 10 days

When you’re in the middle of a personal financial crisis, it can seem like there are no solutions in sight. Debt can loom large, with bills like mortgage and credit card repayments seeming to stretch out forever.

calendar on the table

If this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. And we’ve got some good news for you: with a few steps, you can get on the right track again. Try one of these simple steps every day, and you could be feeling more in control by next fortnight.

Day 1: Establish your financial goals and write them down

If you're clear about your destination, you'll have a greater chance of getting there. Do you want to save for a house, a car, a holiday?

Hint: Don’t forget to include time-frames.

Day 2: Get organised

If you want to achieve your goals, this step is important so you don’t lose track of where you are at. The new year is a great time to start fresh and get your paperwork in order, so make sure you have a good system in place to keep track of it. It’s important to have a plan to stay in control of what you owe and when it is due.

Day 3: Work out your current financial position

Get a quick snapshot of what you are worth in money terms with the MoneySmart calculator.

This may be just the reality check you need!

Day 4: Set up a budget 

Try our online budget planner.

Hint: Don’t forget to include large one-off payments that occur on a quarterly or yearly basis such as medical, telephone and vehicle insurance payments. A quick review of bank and credit card statements will help.

Day 5: Understand your finances

Look through your bank statements so you are aware of exactly how much cash you have coming in and how much is going out.

Day 6: Keep a money diary

It’s impossible to gain control of your money unless you know where it’s all going. Chances are, you’re spending cash here and there on the little luxuries of life like a daily coffee, music downloads and magazines. The reality is that it all adds up. You may find it hard to remember where you spend those quick few dollars that disappear out of your wallet, so try keeping a money diary for a week. Just grab any notebook that you can find and each day write down what you purchased and how much it cost.

Day 7: Squirrel a bit away each month

Put a little bit away each month and start saving for times when you have to pay for something unexpected. Consider setting up a monthly regular payment and putting any extra money (such as a tax refund or bonus) into your savings account.

Day 8: Clean out your wardrobe

A wardrobe clean out is not only a great way to get organised and find those long lost items you’d forgotten about, but can also be the perfect way to see if you have a lot of clothes and shoes you never wear and handbags you never use – if this is the case it might make you think twice about buying new things next time you hit the shop. 

Hint: consider listing them on eBay if you are unlikely to ever use them, to make some of that ‘extra’ cash mentioned in Day 7.

Day 9: Write down a list of 5 ways you can cut back

A few ideas to get you thinking – you could make your lunch and take it to work, buy generic branded groceries, put your coins into a jar at the end of each day and you could use self-catering holiday accommodation for holidays. Over time you will begin to notice the savings!Hint: check out savings vouchers such as Groupon, Cudo and Scoopon for luxury items at a fraction of the price!

Day 10: Sort out your super

Sorting out your super doesn’t have to be a long-drawn-out process. There’s plenty you can do in 30 minutes that could help you build your super savings. And the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be!

Firstly, check if you have multiple super accounts - if you’ve changed jobs in the past, it’s likely you’re paying multiple fees, so combining your super accounts could make a big difference to your end balance.

You can check if you have any other super accounts instantly by logging into your TelstraSuper online account. You can also combine them together in a few clicks, it takes less than five minutes. Before you consolidate you should consider any implications on your benefits including, fees, taxes and your insurances.

FIND MY SUPER

Secondly, adding a little bit extra each week to your super can help build your retirement savings. There are tax effective ways to grow your super that may not make much difference to your take home pay.

FIND OUT ABOUT BOOSTING YOUR SUPER

 

Any general advice on this website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before you act on any general advice on this website, you should consider whether it is appropriate to your individual circumstances. Before making any investment decision, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement which is available on the Website or by calling 1300 033 166 between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. You may wish to consult an Adviser before you make any decisions relating to your financial affairs. To speak with an Adviser from TelstraSuper Financial Planning call 1300 033 166.